Archdiocesan Seminary Selected to Participate in Science for Seminaries Project

May 29, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Gabe Jones
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Kenrick-Glennon is one of seven new project seminaries in the country

ST. LOUIS – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is one of only seven seminaries selected nationwide for the “Science for Seminaries” project. The announcement was made in the May 25th print issue of Science magazine. Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is the institution of the Archdiocese of St. Louis that prepares men for the ministerial priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

“Science for Seminaries” is a project of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program, in consultation with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The project helps a diverse group of seminaries from various Christian denominations integrate science into their core curricula. Participating seminaries will be awarded an 18-month grant to fund courses and programs exploring the connection between faith and science.

Recent data from the National Study of Youth and Religion show that 72% of 18-29 year-old Catholics think science and religion are in conflict, and 78% of lapsed Catholics in the same age bracket cite the alleged conflict of science and religion as a reason for their departure. In order to address this issue of growing concern, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary has been on the forefront of seminaries creating a deeper integration of science within the curricula with the goal of exposing future priests to science in such a way that is relevant to their future parish ministry.

In 2015, Dr. Ed Hogan won a grant in the first round of the “Re-Engaging Science in Seminary Formation” project, sponsored by John Carroll University and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, for his course on Theology and Science. In 2016, Dr. John Finley won a grant in the second round of the Re-Engaging project for his course on the Science and Philosophy of Gender. In 2017, Fr. Robert Spitzer gave the Fifth Annual Glennon Lecture, focused on contemporary faith and science. The Spring 2018 edition of the seminary’s magazine, The Herald, is entirely devoted to faith and science.

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is tentatively planning to conclude the Science for Seminaries project in November 2019 with a day-long conference on how science enhances faith, including the first ever “Gold Mass” in the archdiocese on or near the feast of St. Albert the Great, patron saint of science and scientists. A “Gold Mass” is one of the many “color” Masses that celebrate various professions, such as Blue Mass for emergency responders or a Red Mass for legal professionals. The Gold Mass celebrates the role of science and scientists in the Catholic Church.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science (sciencemag.org) family of journals. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million 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 (aaas.org) 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. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, eurekalert.org, the premier science-news web site, a service of AAAS. Information about the Science for Seminaries project can be found at scienceforseminaries.org.

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