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Science for Ministry

Science for Ministry Institute

Curriculum and Schedule

The Science for Ministry Institute offers a number of different courses varying by type, length, and emphasis. Courses are offered during four sessions each year: fall, winter, spring, and summer. (Skip to Course Descriptions or the Three-Year Plan.)

Core vs. Elective Courses

To begin the program, each participant pair is required to complete a core course called "Questions in Theology and Science." This course will be offered frequently during the first two years of the three-year program, and can be completed as either one five-day intensive experience or two shorter three-day “half” courses.

This core course will overview many of the key issues in theology and science, focused on the two program emphases of questions of origins and questions of human nature. As part of this core course experience, partner participants will also be asked to begin developing a strategy for ministry culture change.

Once a participant pair has completed the core course, they may then choose to take further elective courses (either together or individually) throughout the remaining duration of the three-year program. Starting in the spring session of the first year, at least two elective courses will be offered in each session, and some electives may be offered twice over the three-year program.

Five-, Three-, and One-Day Courses

All program courses are "intensive" style courses held over a span of 1-5 days. Elective courses come in both three-day and one-day varieties.

Course Length 
   Course Type  
   Course Hours 
   Typical Course Format 
5-day    Core
   24    Monday 1:30 pm - Friday noon
3-day    Elective
   12    Monday 1:30 pm - Wednesday noon
1-day    Elective    6    Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Through the Erdman Center for Continuing Education, participants in the full core course will receive a Basic Certificate in Science for Ministry. Participants who take an additional 30 contact hours (e.g. two three-day programs and one one-day program) will receive an Advanced Certificate in Science for Ministry.

Course Fees

Thanks to the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation, most of the program costs are covered by the Science for Ministry Institute, including convenient lodging and meals. Participants are asked to provide their own transportation to/from the program, buy a small number of course books per course, and pay a nominal daily fee of $50 per program day. The course fees are thus:

  1. 5-day: $250
  2. 3-day: $150
  3. 1-day: $50

Course Schedule

The following courses are scheduled for the coming months

Spring 2011

  • Core Course (March 21-25, 2011)
  • The Creation of the Universe in Science and Scripture (Mar. 21-23); Dobbs-Allsopp
  • Christian Education in a Scientific Age (Mar. 24); Osmer
  • Lecture: Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Boston University; Mar. 23, 2011

Summer 2011

  • Spirituality in Theology and Psychology (Aug. 8-10); Hollingsworth
  • The Problem of Suffering in Science and Theology (Aug. 11); Reynhout

Fall 2011

  • Core Course (Nov 7-11, 2011)
  • Lecture: TBD; Nov. 9, 2011

Winter 2012

  • Wolfhart Pannenberg: Systematic Theology in a Scientific Age (Jan. 23-25); Reynhout
  • Science as a Challenge and Resource for Theological Ethics (Jan. 26); Bowlin
  • A Brief History of Science and the Church (Jan. 27); Creager

Spring 2012

  • Core Course (April 16-20, 2012)
  • The Challenge of Human Evolution (Apr. 16-18); van Huyssteen
  • The Evolution of Human Morality (Apr. 19); van Huyssteen
  • Lecture: J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Princeton Seminary; Apr. 18, 2012

Summer 2012

  • The Creation of the Universe in Science and Scripture (Jun. 4-6); Dobbs-Allsopp
  • Christian Education in a Scientific Age (Jun. 7); Osmer
  • The Problem of Suffering in Science and Theology (Jun. 8); Reynhout

Continue reading about the Course Descriptions or the Three-Year Plan.