Science for Ministry Institute
Many of the points of contention between science and theology can be roughly divided into two overlapping categories: questions of origins (where do we come from?) and questions of human nature (who are we?). Within these categories, Princeton Theological Seminary's Science for Ministry Institute seeks to create opportunities for both dialogue and education about the history, development and enlightened contemplation of the many interdisciplinary, theological questions raised by contemporary science.
The Science for Ministry Institute is designed to equip and empower Christian leaders - both ministers and scientists - to bridge the divide between the popular conversation and the broader academic conversation about religion and science. It is intended to alleviate the all too common experience of ministers who struggle to develop a sympathetic dialogue about opposing scientific claims and theological beliefs. Equipped with little more than what the popular media affords, pastors, scientists and other laity must either concede that theology and science are separate, irreconcilable domains, better left alone, or that one must, in the end, trump the other as the true path to knowledge and practical guidance. Left with no other option, sympathetic dialogue between scientific claims and theological beliefs remains obscured and effective ministry elusive.
Through a process of continuing education, the Science for Ministry Institute seeks to give persons in active ministry increased ability to introduce and respond to questions at the interface of science and theology with grace, confidence and accuracy. Princeton Theological Seminary's Science for Ministry Institute strives to encourage leaders to advance informed dialogue in their communities concerning science and its impact on Christian belief and practice. As far as this is successful, we hope to facilitate the cultural transformation of churches and other ministry contexts with respect to the importance and integration of science for theology and other ministerial concerns.
Initially, participants in the Seminary's Science for Ministry Institute will complete a required core course that can be taken either as a single five-day or two three-day intensive course sessions. Upon completion of the core course (in either format), participants can register for additional elective concentrations on specific topics. All courses are designed for 'participant pairs' representing particular communities of faith or other ministry contexts, although each ministry partner pair is only required to attend the core course(s) together at the same time.