Science for Seminaries

In the twenty-first century, science is always part of the vernacular. From banner issues – such as evolution, neuroscience, and reproductive technologies – to daily questions about medicine and public policy, ministers need a grounding in science to preach persuasively, pastor responsively, and spread the gospel.

In the 2021-22 academic year, ECLAS will provide funds and resources for the integration of cutting-edge science in the core curriculum of UK seminaries. Inspired by a similar programme in North America and supported by a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, we are offering £60,000 each to 10 courses or colleges developing or refining at least one core class and hosting a wider-reaching science religion activity.

Stained glass window showing the solar system
“Roots of Knowledge” by Tom Holdman. Credit: Rojochampion – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Apply

Our two-stage application process begins with a 1-2 page Letter of Interest (LOI). If it looks as if you would be a good fit for the programme, we will ask for a more detailed full proposal (8-10 pages). Proposals will be evaluated by external reviewers with experience in science and theology.

Key dates:
Letters of Interest (LOI) accepted 3 Aug – 1 Oct 2020
LOI decisions and proposal requests early Nov 2020
Proposals accepted until 8 Jan 2021
Awards announced Feb 2020.

Letters of Interest

Please send LOIs by email to science.forseminaries@durham.ac.uk before 5:00pm Thursday 1 October 2020. Letters should be no more than two pages in length (500 words).
Successful letters will address each of the selection criteria below in a concise and compelling way. They will include preliminary ideas on integrating science into at least one required course and hosting a campus-wide event. They will highlight potential impact of the project on students, faculty, and larger community. Please attach contact information and brief biographies for proposed project leaders. Budget information is not needed at this stage.

Selection Criteria:

  • One or more staff members teaching core courses who are committed to achieving the project’s goals in cooperation with other schools
  • Ability to integrate science into one or more existing courses in the core curriculum, such as systematics, ethics, missiology, apologetics, or pastoral ministry
  • The creation of one science theology activity within the life of the College or course; this could be a series of specially invited lectures, a podcast series or an art, drama or music production
  • Institutional capacity to implement the grant including a willingness to use ECLAS materials and create new resources
  • Commitment to sustainability beyond the length of the project
  • Demonstrated institutional commitment to cultural engagement

Exceptional proposals will also do one or more of the following:

  • Contribute to public understanding of the issue
  • Engage with previously under-represented groups
  • Explore a novel yet academically rigorous approach to the material
  • Fill a concrete need for a specific community (i.e., produce theological resources or activities for hospital chaplains dealing with theodicy and COVID-19).

We are also dedicated to engaging cultural, geographic, and theological breadth.

Full Proposals

Proposals by invitation only. We will send out detailed instructions after stage one. In brief, the proposal will be 8-10 pages long (4000-5000 words) submitted as an MS Word or PDF file to science.forseminaries@durham.ac.uk before 5:00pm Friday 8 January 2021.

Proposals should include a description of the planned class and activity as well as details about the organization, personnel, cultural engagement, and possibilities for the future. They should be accompanied by faculty CVs, administration letter(s) of support, and a comprehensive budget with accompanying narrative.

Questions

For more information, do not hesitate to email Lucas Mix at lucas.mix@durham.ac.uk. We look forward to working with applicants at every stage to ensure the best possible proposals and projects.