New Program to Develop Science and Religion Storytellers

| By on The President's Notebook

Whenever I feel lost in the details of my work here at BioLogos, or when the issues with which we deal become abstract and impersonal, an email or letter seems to appear from someone who has been profoundly touched by our mission and our resources. It’s a great reminder that our work matters for those who feel caught between science and faith and forced to choose between them. In many cases, these letters are adapted into stories which we publish on our website. The Your Stories page highlights several dozen of our most compelling personal stories from scientists, students, scholars, and pastors (and many others). A full search of our archive returns over 100 of these narratives about coming to understand the harmony between science and faith.

I’ve found that sharing stories—whether my own, or someone else’s—is a fantastic way to diffuse the cultural tension surrounding science/faith issues and open people to a new perspective. If you’ve got a story to share about finding peace between faith and science, of course we’d like to hear from you here at BioLogos, but I recently heard of another new opportunity for you to write creative non-fiction. It’s called Science and Religion: True Stories Well Told, part of the Think-Write-Publish program hosted by Arizona State University and funded by the John Templeton Foundation (which has also helped fund BioLogos). Here’s the brief description of the program from their website:

Science and religion, despite their rich, interwoven history, are too often portrayed as opposites in nearly every way, irreconcilable by definition. Indeed, our increasingly polarized societies seem to encourage the proposition that these two ways of knowing the world cannot productively co-exist, that they encounter each other through conflict and contradiction.

We are building a new community of storytellers who will write, publish, and disseminate engaging and inspiring nonfiction narratives of harmonies, reconciliation, and even productive interaction between science and religion.

Our project advances a different proposition: that science and religion can reinforce each other to allow a more nuanced, profound, and rewarding experience of our world and our place in it. We will use creative nonfiction writing to explore and advance this proposition. We are building a new community of storytellers who will write, publish, and disseminate engaging and inspiring nonfiction narratives of harmonies, reconciliation, and even productive interaction between science and religion.

One of the best ways to foster collective understanding is with a good story. Creative nonfiction–true stories, well told–allows for complexity, novelty, and revelation, and through compelling voice, suspense, character development, and well-chosen details has the potential to engage the widest audiences and change the way they know the world.

If you have a true story that you would like to tell about harmonies between science and religion—drawn from your personal life, your work, your experience, your studies—we want to help you do it.

The Think-Write-Publish Science & Religion project offers several ways for you–scholars, scientists, religious figures, writers, everyday people—to become part of a vibrant new community of storytellers.

The program will select twelve applicants to participate in a two-year effort to improve writing skills and get their stories published. There’s also a $10,000 honorarium for those accepted. The deadline for application is May 15, so if you’re interested, I recommend acting soon. I would love to see some of our followers, particularly young people, be part of this program.

One more time, here’s the link to the program website:




Haarsma, Deborah. "New Program to Develop Science and Religion Storytellers" N.p., 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 18 February 2019.


Haarsma, D. (2016, April 18). New Program to Develop Science and Religion Storytellers
Retrieved February 18, 2019, from /blogs/deborah-haarsma-the-presidents-notebook/new-program-to-develop-science-and-religion-storytellers

About the Author

Deborah Haarsma

Deborah Haarsma serves as the President of BioLogos, a position she has held since January 2013. Previously, she served as professor and chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gifted in interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences, Dr. Haarsma often speaks to churches, colleges, and schools about the relationships between science and Christian faith. She is author (along with her husband Loren Haarsma) of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (2011, 2007), a book presenting the agreements and disagreements of Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. Haarsma is an experienced research scientist, with several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.

More posts by Deborah Haarsma