Faculty  |  Courses  |  Syllabi  |  Course Development Resources |  Online Resources

Teaching

An important component of the CTNS mission is to encourage creative teaching in science and religion. CTNS, as an affiliate center of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), is intimately involved in religious higher education: CTNS faculty teach courses and give guest lectures at the GTU and at its member seminaries. However, the pedagogical work of CTNS is not limited to teaching courses at the GTU. The now completed Science and Religion Course Program awarded grants to professors around the world who developed new courses in science and religion, and held supporting conferences and workshops on the art and method of teaching in this interdisciplinary field. CTNS publications also serve the academic community by providing texts for use in classes at all levels of interest, from adult education to graduate research.

line

 

Faculty

CTNS Sponsored Faculty
Dr. Robert J. Russell is the Founder and Director of the Center and the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the GTU. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ to Ministry in higher education. Dr. Russell is the author of Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: Towards the Mutual Creative Interaction of Theology and Science (Fortress Press, 2008), serves as primary editor of the CTNS-Vatican Observatory volumes on science and divine action, is editor of the festschrift, Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy, and is author of numerous articles in the science and religion dialogue. Dr. Russell serves as Co-editor of Theology and Science journal and as P.I. of STARS: Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series: "Science and the Quest for Ultimate Reality".

CTNS Affiliated Faculty
Dr. Ted Peters is Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the GTU, teaching in systematic and philosophical theology. A former Parish pastor, Rev. Peters is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He directed the CTNS Science and Religion Course Program and has authored numerous books and articles on theology and science--theology. Dr. Peters is Co-editor of Theology and Science and serves on the CTNS Board of Directors, Executive Committee.

Note: CTNS Faculty are available as teaching resources for pastors and speakers for religious groups
.
Email or call CTNS to request a speaker.

Back to top

line

 

CTNS-Sponsored Courses (Seminary and Doctoral Levels)
Graduate Theological Union registration information

CTNS faculty continue to offer a variety of M. Div., M. A. and Ph. D. level courses through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Dr. Robert Russell and Dr. Ted Peters oversee M.Div and M.A. students and supervise a number of doctoral students currently pursuing their dissertation research in theology and science at the GTU. Current CTNS-sponsored graduate courses at the GTU are listed below.

Spring 2014

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Friday, 11:10AM-12:30PM

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STCE 6005 Astrotheology & Astroethics
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Thursday, 2:10PM-5:00PM

This seminar will frame theological and ethical exploration within a scientific review of physical cosmology, the expanding universe, the search by astrobiologists for microbial life within our solar system, and the search by SETI Institute for intelligent life elsewhere in the Milky Way. Astrotheology will be defined as that branch of theology which provides a critical analysis of the contemporary space sciences combined with an explication of classic doctrines such as creation and Christology for the purpose of constructing a comprehensive and meaningful understanding of our human situation within an astonishingly immense cosmos. Astroethics will be defined as that branch of ethics which formulates issues regarding space exploration, the treatment of off-Earth biospheres, planetary protection, satellite surveillance, weaponization of space, and plans for welcoming extraterrestrial intelligent life into a common future. Field trips to NASA and SETI may be planned.

Fall 2013

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Friday, 11:10AM-12:30PM

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STSP 5900 Axial Theology Within Big History I
Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU); Lindsey Dean (GTU)

This seminar in philosophical theology and spirituality places the Axial Breakthrough within the context of Big History and the rise of ancient civilization. Big History includes the Big Bang, physical cosmology, and biological evolution leading to Homo sapiens and the modern world. Archaic or pre-axial religion will be reviewed in light of the transcendental insights of Israel, Greece, India, and China in the first millennium before Christ. The contrast and continuity between mythical thinking (mythos) and rational thinking (logos) will be subject to repeated examination, as will current attempts to provide an evolutionary explanation for religion and morality. Primary sources will be read along with secondary theorists such as Karl Jaspers, Mircea Eliade, Robert Bellah, Terrance Deacon, and Eric Voegelin.

Spring 2013

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Friday, 11:10AM-12:30PM

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STPT 4874 Christology and Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Thursday, 2:10PM-5:00PM

This spring, CTNS has offered the course, Christology and Science, at the Graduate Theological Union, with Professors Ted Peters and Robert Russell. The course is a seminar exploring the dialogue and interaction between contemporary forms of Christology and the natural sciences. Topics for the class have included the relation between christologies from below and from above plus the developing understanding of the human person in light of physics and cosmology, evolutionary and molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and the cognitive and neurosciences. Traditional sources have been complemented with contemporary theologians such as Walter Kasper, Niels Gregersen, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Ted Peters and Karl Rahner.

Fall 2012

STPT 4600 Christian Theology and Contemporary Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Joshua Moritz (CTNS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco Th, 2:10PM-5:00PM

In this course, we will examine principal Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. Theological doctrines include God, reason and revelation, creation and providence, theological anthropology (imago dei) and sin, natural evil, Christ and salvation, eschatology. Feminist perspectives on science and religion, inter-religious dialogue in science included. Scientific topics include Big Bang cosmology, physics, evolution, genetics, cognitive/neurosciences.

Spring 2011

STPT 4600 Christian Theology and Contemporary Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Adam Pryor (GTU)
CDSP:116, Th, 02:10PM-05:00PM

In this advanced MDiv/MA course, we will examine key Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. Theological topics include method, God, reason and revelation, creation, theological anthropology, sin and natural evil, Christology, and eschatology. Science includes cosmology, physics, evolution and molecular biology, genetics, the cognitive and neurosciences. The format is lecture/discussion. The evaluation method includes class discussion and written research and/or sermons, adult education material. [15 max enrollment; Auditors with Faculty permission] This class is co-taught by PhD student Adam Pryor with a Newhall Award.

STCE 4865 Evolution and Human Nature
Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
PLTS:GH2, Th 2:10-5:00

This lecture/discussion course is a study in Christian theological anthropology in light of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Social Darwinism, sociobiology, bio-genetic technology, artificial intelligence, and transhumanism. Rival positions will be compared: materialist atheism, biblical and scientific creationism, intelligent design, and theistic evolution. Much of the reading material will be drawn from theistic evolution and ethical issues raised by altering human nature. Grading: Class participation, oral report, and two ePapers. NOTE: Book purchases may be expensive.

STPT 5950 Theology Person and Neuroscience
Mark Graves (GTU/CTNS)
Mudd 102, M
2:10-5:00

This advanced MA/PhD seminar focuses on our growing understanding of the relationship between theological anthropology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. It provides the student a background in brain science; a mediating framework based on cognitive science to explore the connections between theology and neuroscience; and opportunities to participate in new scholarship in the relation between theology and neuroscience. Topics examined in the course may include cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience; religious experience, theological anthropology, neuroethics, and imago Dei; narrative and
contemplative psychology; philosophy of mind and pragmatism; artificial intelligence and systems modeling; concepts and metaphor in language; and consciousness and emergence.

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Dr. Robert John Russell and Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU)
Mudd 103, W, 11:30-1:00

This advanced seminar will monitor the independent research of each student, especially research dealing with the mutual interaction of Christian theology and natural science. Evaluation: Regular attendance, one scholarly paper, plus one or more class presentations. [Auditors with Faculty permission] NOTE: Class meets only 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

Fall 2010

ST 4827 Religion, Science and Ecology
Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU) Richard B. Norgaard (UCB) and Daniel R. Smith (CTNS/GTU)
Mondays 2:10-5:00pm, UCB, Wheeler Hall

The purpose of this seminar is to bring together representative views in religious and scientific communities to explore the ways in which they have contributed to the current ecological crisis and how they might work together towards its salvation. Class participation, written reflection and term paper required. [20 max enrollment; Auditors with Faculty permission] Class meets in
203 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley, beginning on Monday, 8/30/10.

STHS 5111 History of Theology: 1914-1965
Fr. Michael Dodds(DSPT)/ Dr. Robert John Russell. (GTU/CTNS)
3.00 Units, Thursdays, 2:10 - 5:00 pm. DSPT 3.

This seminar is designed to help students develop their research skills and their ability both to identify key theological issues and to interpret them in their historical perspectives. In keeping with the ecumenical focus of the Area, the course
explores major Protestant and Roman Catholic theologians, emphasizing the period from World War I to Vatican II. AS an outcome, students will be able to identify at least 10 key figures and their place in the theological, philosophical, and
cultural movements of the 20th century. The course is required for Systematic and Philosophical Theology doctoral students, but with faculty permission is also open to master's level students in the final year of their programs. Students will
be assessed through their informed and active participation in seminar discussions and by writing a 15 page research paper. [15 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded]

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Dr. Robert John Russell and Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU)
Mudd 103, W, 11:30-1:00

This advanced seminar will monitor the independent research of each student, especially research dealing with the mutual interaction of Christian theology and natural science. Evaluation: Regular attendance, one scholarly paper, plus one or more class presentations. [Auditors with Faculty permission] NOTE: Class meets only 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of
the month.

More recent past courses

Back to top
line

 

Course Development Resources

The Science and Religion Course Program was an eight-year initiative to encourage the teaching of science and religion in seminaries, colleges, and universities worldwide. The Course Program was initially administered by Gordon College and focused primarily on scholars in North America and England. From 1998-2002, CTNS has administered and broadened the program in a variety of ways, focused principally on three aims: (1) to strengthen the base of scholars currently teaching in this field, (2) to broaden the impact of science and religion on leading research universities and theological seminaries, and (3) to further internationalize dialogue by introducing and cultivating programmatic work in Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, continental Europe, and Latin America.

Nearly eight hundred US $10,000 Course Awards were distributed to institutions and professors across the globe. Though the program is over, the community of scholars and the legacy of pedagogical resources that the Course program created continue to influence ongoing dialogues between science and religion. This program was made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

To aid the development of new courses, the Course Program has selected seventy-five exemplary syllabi that are available for downloading and viewing. The complete list of Course Program winners from 1995--2002 is available here, as well as the 2002 Research Fellowships.

To support the Course Program's goals, CTNS held numerous workshops and conferences on topics from genetics to cosmology. Select lectures and panel discussions are available in written form and via streaming audio and video.

For more online resources, visit our publications page.

Back to top

 
2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709-1212 •   Tel: 510-848-8152 Fax: 510-848-2535 •   ctnsinfo@ctns.org •   Site Map  •   Search