The Blankemeyer Foundation has awarded Fuller Seminary’s Office for Science, Theology, and Religion (STAR) Initiatives a multi-campus grant to launch a “Conversations in Community” pilot project at four colleges: Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California; Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala; and two other institutions.
STAR is dedicated to helping develop projects at the nexus of the sciences and Christian faith, focusing on training and supporting ministry professionals in cultivating a science-informed theology and practice; equipping and supporting science professionals in advancing theologically informed science; and conducting and supporting new scholarship at the intersection of the sciences and Christian faith.
“Christian college students are the future of the church. If we can create safe community environments at colleges for these conversations around faith and science, we could decrease the number of young people leaving the church or not pursuing scientific careers. Hopefully, these four campuses are just the beginning of a movement changing the academic climate for these issues,” says Rebecca Dorsey Sok, the project leader.
“The goal for the project is to bring up the elephant in the room,” says academic contributor Laird Edman. “People feel isolated and alone exploring their questions and beliefs because of fear. If we can cultivate environments of acceptance and humility, then real and honest human flourishing can occur.”
To eliminate that fear, the four campuses will bring students together for ongoing conversations built on the latest research and using academic coaching methods. To increase the impact of these events, Sok and Edman will equip local leadership with customized resources, including:
• Creating coaching curriculum for both one-on-one and small group campus discussions
• Training leaders on using coaching methods for faith and science discussions
• Releasing a guidebook of insights from this pilot project with suggested best practices based on feedback from the four colleges