Evolution and Christian Faith supports projects and network building among scholars, church leaders, and parachurch organizations to address theological and philosophical concerns commonly voiced by Christians about evolutionary creation. ECF aims to:
- Address theological and philosophical concerns which certain branches of Christianity have about evolutionary creation. This work might be done in a tradition- or even denomination-specific manner.
- Explore and increase appreciation for how an evolutionary view of creation enriches Christian experience (e.g. worship) and theology (e.g. through an enhanced understanding of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer).
- Explore ways in which a Christian worldview adds new dimensions to our understanding of the evolutionary process. In other words, does evolutionary theory “look different” when examined through the lens of Christian commitments (e.g. altruism, human uniqueness, moral and religious cognition, directionality and purpose)?
- Address means of constructively engaging Christian communities on matters that concern them about the compatibility of evolution and theology.
This grant program is generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Thirty-seven individuals and teams have been granted funds for projects on a wide range of topics. Funds vary from $23,000 to $300,000.
All projects will explore consonance between evolution and Christian faith. Proposals were not considered if they rejected (or at least did not helpfully inform) historic, creedal Christianity (e.g. historical Resurrection, high view of Scripture, etc.) or if they rejected the conclusions of mainstream science (e.g. old earth, common descent, etc.). Please note that this does not mean all grantees are necessarily ardent supporters of evolutionary creation.
How will we ensure the program is relevant for the church, and doesn’t just stay in the ivory tower? First, we gave preference to proposals with high translational potential—potential to make a significant positive impact on the church. In fact, translation was as important as theological and scientific integrity. Second, proposals from teams of scholars and church or parachurch leaders were particularly encouraged. And finally, all grantees will benefit from in-person interaction through a series of three summer workshops. These meetings will not only foster a broader knowledge base among grantees but will build a sustained network of scholars and church leaders, both young and seasoned, who are serious about addressing the concerns of the church around the topic of evolution.
The review process was overseen by a panel of eight highly respected scholars and church leaders with expertise in diverse disciplines. Based on reviews by the panel and outside experts, the panel scored and prioritized proposals. The panel passed along recommendations BioLogos, who notified recipients and will administer the awards.