Hood Theological Seminary is setting up the International Center of Faith, Science and History (ICFSH) over the next eighteen months thanks to the Science for Seminaries project funded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.
Hood is one of nine seminaries, along with the ELCA’s Wartburg Seminary, to have been awarded the project grants.
A seminary of the A.M.E. Zion Church, the North Carolina-based institution plans to have the new center support the revision of required course work at Hood in order to help students to become scientifically literate.
The ICFSH will also sponsor campus-wide events, worship services, community engagement activities and a podcast that will feature relevant topics from the dialogue between science and religion.
Sharon Grant, assistant professor of the history of Christianity, is co-leading the project with Mary Love, who is adjunct professor of Christian education.
Grant is serving as the founding director of the center and will be offering a summer overseas intensive course in June 2020 titled, “Science and Healing in the History of Christianity.” Previously, she has held a J-Term session overseas in Kingston, Jamaica on the realities of daily life as a seminarian in a developing country.
In addition to staying on the campus of United Theological College of the West Indies, Grant’s students in 2018 explored the effects of climate change by visiting beaches that were severely eroded due to extreme weather events, rising sea levels, removal of seagrass and the construction of hotels and other structures along the coast.
The center’s programs aim to provide current, relevant and scientifically accurate content that will help pastors, chaplains, laity and community members implement their ministry to people struggling locally and engage in best practices that attend to the immediate global environmental crisis.