New Brunswick Theological Seminary Wins Grant to Engage Science in Curriculum, and with Theology and Race
June 30, 2020
This fall, as one of nine seminaries granted funding by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to begin integrating science into their core curricula, New Brunswick Theological Seminary will present a program of four courses (Analyzing and Confronting the Systems of Privilege, Contextualized Ministry and Public Faith, and History of Global Christianity I & II) and a major campus event exploring the theme “Naming the Past to Claim a Better Future: COVID-19, Pseudo-Science and Pseudo-Theology.”
This innovative Science for Seminaries project is organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) Program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools. NBTS President Micah McCreary says, “New Brunswick Theological Seminary is deeply committed to dismantling various forms of oppression, sexism, classism, and racism. This project is an outstanding opportunity for the NBTS community to deepen this commitment by exploring the ways science and theology intersect to not only create systems and structures that foster injustice and various forms of oppression but also liberate and promote the wellbeing of all city residents and the wider society.”
NBTS Vice President and Academic Dean Beth Tanner, who is also the Rev. Dr. Norman and Mrs. Mary Kansfield Professor of Old Testament Studies, and Janice McLean-Farrell, Dirk Romeyn Assistant Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry, are leading the project. It will kick off for the entire NBTS faculty at the beginning of the school year with a discussion of Terrance Keet’s Divine Variations: How Christian Thought became Racial Science and include workshops with science and theology experts in pedagogy, sociology, and nanoengineering. Invited experts will provide lectures, discussion exercises, hands-on syllabi preparation, and assistance in planning a field trip excursion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
In the spring, Tanner and McLean-Farrell will lead a day-long public event with three lectures, experiential group activities, and resources for life-long learning. This events’ engagement with Science, Theology, and Health highlights the dynamic ways science and religion intersect to shape our society and the lives of its urban citizens in profound ways.
Founded in 1784, NBTS is the oldest seminary in the United States. It is one of two seminaries affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA), and offers an exceptional seminary education, a flexible academic schedule, and a spiritually rich community for students of many Christian denominations and backgrounds. The NBTS mission is to educate persons and strengthen communities for transformational, public ministries in church and society. We fulfill this mission through creative, contextual, and critical engagement with texts, traditions, and practices.
The Seminary offers Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.), and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degrees, as well as Professional Certificates to enhance the work and training of special ministers, church officers, and other Christian leaders. The seminary is located in New Brunswick, NJ, and operates a satellite campus at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. To learn more about New Brunswick Theological Seminary, please visit www.nbts.edu.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (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. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. 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 Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program in 1995 to facilitate communication between scientific and religious communities. The Science for Seminaries project 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. For the latest information and news about AAAS DoSER and the Science for Seminaries Project, visit AAAS.org/DoSER and ScienceforSeminaries.org.