Lectures

There will be up to 40 lectures over two summers given by eminent Science and Religion scholars. A 60-minute question-and-answer session follows each 60-minute lecture, allowing participants to ask questions, raise issues, and respond with their own expertise.

Research project

Each participant will choose a Science and Religion topic in her or his area of expertise for a research project. The project will make an original contribution to scholarship in Science and Religion through publication of articles or a book. Together participants will produce a substantial volume of literature relevant to faith-based Christian institutions (although topics will not be limited to this) and will advance rigorous Science and Religion research.
Participants will be given substantial time during the summer programmes for their research and will have access to the University of Oxford’s libraries. They will also work on their projects throughout the year (supported by releases from two courses during the life of the grant). Each participant will present his or her research project as a conference paper to members of the cohort during the summer programme and will receive critical feedback.

Supervisions

Each participant will receive a series of one-to-one supervisions along the lines of an Oxford tutorial, which consists of an hour-long conversation between a supervisor who is engaged in research and a student who has spent time reading for and writing a substantial essay in answer to an assigned question. These supervisions are interdisciplinary (e.g. a historian supervising a natural scientist), designed to coincide with the participant’s research topic, and may contribute to their future publications. They will also enhance the interdisciplinary skills of the participants by exposing them to other relevant disciplines.

Mentor sessions

Each eminent lecturer will be available to provide 30–60-minute mentoring sessions for participants. Participants will be able to discuss their research projects with several of these mentors each summer and receive salient advice about professional and academic advancement. These sessions have been very successful in past programmes, providing critical feedback on the participants’ research and giving them personal connections to senior scholars in their fields and to suitable publication channels.

Workshops

There will be one or two workshops in each week of the summer programme. These sessions will address rhetorical, pedagogical, curricular, cultural, translational, and CCCU-specific issues relating to Science and Religion and will aim to help the participants to shape a positive culture in their home institutions. A specialist advisor (a fellow participant, a lecturer from the programme, or a leader at a CCCU institution) will give a brief presentation on a chosen topic and then lead a 90–120-minute discussion. The cohort may be split as appropriate to facilitate discussion, e.g. according to denomination or academic discipline.

The workshops will allow participants to reflect on how Science and Religion issues are addressed at their own institutions taking into account denomination, size, region, academic discipline, etc. The participants will discuss how they can best reach their constituents while implementing best practice in their teaching and research. The workshops will strengthen the communication between participants from similar institutions and provide support after the completion of the programme. Sample topics of the specialist workshops are listed below.

  • Training young scholars in interdisciplinary skills so that they can engage in Science and Religion skilfully and appropriately
  • Reviewing participants’ curricula in order to enhance interdisciplinarity
  • Approaching Science and Religion issues with institutional leaders and other faculty members
  • Working on Science and Religion issues with other institutional stakeholders, such as parents, leaders, and members of denominational boards and local churches
  • Advancing academic work in Science and Religion in an atmosphere of confrontation or indifference
  • Advancing academic work in Science and Religion in the Christian media industry
  • Establishing a Science and Religion club that is effective in the culture of the individual institution
  • Participating in Science and Religion discussions in an international context

Peer review groups

Participants will present their research to each other for critique and evaluation in peer review groups. The groups may be split up by discipline to facilitate focused and specific discussion and feedback.

Academic excursions

Participants will go on several academic excursions to notable Science and Religion locations, each of which will be led by an expert in the field. Possible excursions include:

  • Newton memorabilia in Trinity College, Cambridge, and other relevant Cambridge collections
  • Down House, Kent, where Darwin lived for 40 years until his death
  • Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
  • Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where the Huxley–Wilberforce debate took place

Cultural activities

The process of enhancing interdisciplinary development involves creating a learning environment which helps participants become more sensitive to cultural concerns, especially in the light of the differences between British and American discussions of Science and Religion. The programme will encourage the faculty participants to attend events and exhibitions put on by the science museums and other cultural institutions. In particular, the seminar will incorporate a commissioned production of Mr Darwin’s Tree (or another play relevant to Science and Religion) by the playwright and director Murray Watts, performed by Andrew Harrison.

Presidents’ Roundtable

To sustain the long-term impact of this programme the President of the CCCU, Dr Shirley Hoogstra, will host a three-day conference in Oxford for presidents from participating institutions. The Roundtable will address how participants might best approach Science and Religion issues in their institutions and be advocates for a supportive atmosphere. The event will overlap with the second summer of the programme so that the faculty members can join both events and converse with senior campus leaders about the situation and initiatives on their campuses. Several of the faculty members will make presentations to the presidents.