Posted by William Nunnelley on 2011-09-14

The Samford University Center for Science and Religion and Dawson Memorial Baptist Church received a $30,000 grant from the Templeton Foundation to implement a program designed to foster dialog and critical thinking among Christians about major issues in science and religion.  The grant was awarded by Templeton’s Scientists in Congregations program.

            A 10-week series of seminars that began Sept. 7 serves as the kickoff event for the new program.  The seminars are being led by fellows in the Center for Science and Religion: Dr. Tom Woolley, whose discipline is statistics; Dr. George Keller, biology; Dr. Wilton Bunch, ethics and physiology; and Dr. Steve Donaldson, computer science.

            “The series seeks to cultivate a richer, deeper engagement between scientific and religious perspectives,” said Dr. Donaldson.  “It will explore what science has to say about big questions of meaning and value.

            “Another goal is to foster relationships with those outside the church who perceive Christian beliefs as scientifically naive,” he added.

            The seminars meet Wednesday from 6 until 7:15 p.m. at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church through Nov. 16.  Anyone may attend, and the sessions are structured to be independent of each other.

            Dr. Gary Fenton is senior minister and Dr. Todd Harrington is minister of spiritual formation at Dawson.

            For information on the program, contact Dr. Donaldson at (205) 726-2447 or  


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.