Southeastern receives Science for Seminaries grant

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Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) will be the first Southern Baptist school to participate in the Science for Seminaries project. The project provides students with resources to foster informed dialogue about the intersection of faith and science and supports current and future engagement with new scientific discoveries and ethical implications.

“This grant provides the students and faculty of Southeastern the opportunity to hear from scientists who are persons of faith,” said Ken Keathley, director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, the Jesse Hendley chair of biblical theology and senior professor of theology. “In order to understand better the world God has created, it is important that we listen to those who study it as a lifetime vocation.” 

The $75,000 grant to fund the Science for Seminaries project at SEBTS will allow the integration of science into three core courses. These courses include Christian theology one, biblical counseling and foundations of counseling. The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture will also plan to incorporate science into campus life through its mentorship program, hosting four Ph.D. colloquium lunches and two conferences for the general public and those affiliated with SEBTS. 

“Southeastern Seminary equips students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. These disciple-making responsibilities call upon us to train students how to live in God’s world according to God’s Word,” said Keith Whitfield, Southeastern’s acting provost, vice president of academic administration and dean of graduate studies. “To do that, we have to help our students learn how to engage with scientific knowledge in their own ministerial vocations.”       

Science for Seminaries is a project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program, in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The project, now in its second phase, helps a diverse group of seminaries integrate science into their core curricula and provides support and resources to seminary professors to encourage informed dialogue and a positive understanding of science among future religious leaders. Integrating science into seminary education will not only benefit professors and students, but ultimately it will enrich those in the pews who are interested in the discoveries and implications of science. As many as 32 seminaries will be chosen to participate over the five years of the grant, joining the 10 seminaries that completed a very successful pilot program. 

This phase of the project is slated to run from April 1, 2019 until Oct. 31, 2020. 

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving millions of individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. Building upon its mission, AAAS established the DoSER program in 1995 to facilitate communication between scientific and religious communities. 

Southeastern believes every classroom is a Great Commission classroom. Students view their degree programs through the lens of a great God and a global, gospel focus. Southeastern offers over 40 degrees, ranging from undergraduate to Ph.D. Since 1950, Southeastern has grown its student body to more than 4,700 students who seek to minister in the United States and around the world.

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