Seminar: Christian Grad Students in Paleobiology (2014)

At the 2013 American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) Annual Meetings, several InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (GFM) staff had the privilege not only to meet, but also to have extended conversation(s) with faculty such as Ralph F. Stearley (Ph.D., University of Michigan). Ralph serves as a Professor of Geology in Calvin College’s Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental studies. AND last week he reconnected to share the announcement of Equipping the Next Generation of Christian Paleobiologists: A Seminar for Christian Graduate Students in Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (June 21-29, 2014).

If you are a Christian graduate student in a paleobiological discipline, I encourage you to check out the seminar link. Whether or not you are in a paleobiological discipline, please take a minute to share this post with friends in the paleobiological disciplines.

Below you will find the email announcement Ralph sent me after the call, several links to learn more about his story/research, and bonus material on The Ministry Theorem and the ASA Annual Meetings. Please note that February 28 is the official due date for seminar applications.

I would like to solicit your help in recruiting some young Christian paleobiologists — current graduate students or perhaps recent Ph.D.’s — for an opportunity. This past year, I and Cara Wall-Scheffler (SPU) received a grant through the BioLogos Foundation to run a week-long seminar in June 2014, specifically targeting Christian graduate students in the paleobiological disciplines, including such areas as paleobotany, micropaleontology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, and paleoanthropology. These students will be hosted at Calvin College as part of the Seminars in Christian Scholarship and provided free lodging plus a small stipend plus a travel allowance plus a stack of free books. (What grad student can resist free books?). We are limiting the number of participants to 18.

Mary Schweitzer, Michael Gulker and Ron Numbers are currently signed up as guest speakers. The participants will be required to give a presentation on science and faith relationships to their respective congregations as an outcome of the seminar. Details for applicants can be found here. The official due date for applications is February 10.

I am hoping that this will provide an opportunity for these young scientists to network, to be encouraged, and to grow in their ability to navigate the current cultural minefield surrounding the findings of the historical sciences. Please help us to encourage the next cohort of Christian paleobiologists. Thanks, Ralph Stearley

To receive a glimpse of how Ralph wrestled with the isolation of being a Christian in a paleobiological discipline and has taken constructive next steps, I encourage you to read the seminar announcement on BioLogos (11/11/2013). To review what he offers as evidences for elapsed time in sedimentary and igneous rocks, comments on the fossil record of life, and to why geology matters, I encourage you to read Delight in Creation: Rocks, Fossils and Geologic Time (2010) posted on Calvin Seminary’s The Ministry Theorem.

BONUS: The Ministry Theorem serves to promote an enhanced awareness of contemporary science and to provide resources and encouragement for engaging science in the ministries of congregations everywhere. Andy Crouch’s What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist (The Well), drawing from his journey as the husband of and companion to an experimental physicist, was originally published on The Ministry Theorem. If you have not already read What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist, please take the time to do such today and share with others — maybe in the context of a discussion group  :)

InterVarsity Reception at the 2013 ASA Annual Meetings. What a meeting place! If you are in the sciences, please consider joining us at the 2014 ASA Annual Meetings: From Cosmos to Psyche (McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, July 25-28). Click here for audio/video from the ASA mtgs and here for the ESN blog post on Christian Women in Sciences On the Move. To God be the glory!

Update: 11/18/2013. 8:47 AM; Update: 2/19/2014, 8:18 PM.

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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