Supporting Structures: overview

Supporting StructuresInnovative Collaborations to Enhance STEM Research at CCCU Member Institutions is a multi-faceted project run by CCCU and SCIO, and generously supported by the John Templeton Foundation and MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.

The goal of the project is to support CCCU member institutions to advance their engagement with science through either a 2-year grant worth up to $133,000, or a 3-year grant worth up to $192,000.

These grants provide financial assistance to colleges wanting to maintain their historic commitments amid current economic and cultural challenges, but who are also keen to invest in the future of their institution by enhancing their engagement with science and scientific researchEspecially in the context of COVID-19, there is a clear need not only to help these critically vital educational institutions recover, but also to take advantage of the opportunities these recent challenges have presented to develop new and innovative solutions to contemporary crises. While contributing toward the alleviation of short-term needs, the project goes beyond being simply reactionaryoffering opportunities for renewal, renovation and expansion. 

The grants are designed to enhance campus-wide cultures of constructive engagement with and investment in scientific research, in conversation with important questions and opportunities raised by the field of science and religion, and with attention to broader issues of science and society. The centerpiece of each grant is salary support and research support for two or three Faculty Fellows. Each Fellow will carry out research through collaboration with a nearby research-intensive institution, and will conduct their research at that institution. This approach supports and advances scientific engagement at Christian higher education institutions by drawing on existing infrastructure 

Faculty Fellows, along with faculty colleagues from the humanities and social sciences, will also be provided training to deepen their understanding of and engagement with issues pertaining to science, religion, and society. Grant funds will also help to establish or enhance student science and religion clubssupport undergraduate student researchers in STEM fields, provide opportunities for campus leaders and other campus-connected communities to engage science, religion, and society issuesfund activities to enhance diversity in STEM on campus, and fund public engagement of science. 

SCIO Staff

Senior Consultants

  • Joel Carpenter
    Senior Research Fellow, Nagel Institute, Calvin University;
    Provost Emeritus, Calvin University, MI
  • Dorothy F. Chappell
    Professor Emeritus Biology, Wheaton College;
    Former Academic Dean, Gordon College, MA;
    Former Dean of Natural and Social Sciences, Wheaton College, IL
  • Bruce Congdon
    Professor Emeritus Biology, Seattle Pacific University;
    Former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Interim Provost, Seattle Pacific University, WA
  • Mark Sargent
    Senior Fellow, CCCU;
    Former Provost, Westmont College, CA and Gordon College, MA


  • Channon Visscher
    Associate Professor Chemistry & Planetary Sciences;
    Director, Andreas Center for Scholarship and Service,
    Dordt University, IA
  • Christopher B. Newman
    Associate Professor, Department of Higher Education,
    School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences,
    Azusa Pacific University, CA
  • Amanda Nichols
    Chair, Division of Natural and Health Sciences
    College of Professional Studies
    Professor of Chemistry
    Oklahoma Christian University

More information 

[email protected] 

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