Three faculty members from Christian colleges share their thoughts on teaching evolutionary science to Christian undergraduate students.
Professor Dorothy Boorse, Biology, Gordon College
“There’s an age when you think about your faith and you become a thinking whole person who begins to think about the world and how it relates to your faith, or you choose not to think deeply about those things,” says Boorse. “The world will ask you questions and they will not always be easy to answer. If you think they are easy to answer, then you probably aren’t really looking at them.”
Professor Jim Nichols, Biology, Abilene Christian University
Regarding the instruction of evolutionary science, Nichols suggests that the best approach might be to try and defuse this topic by presenting the science and some opinions—while advising students not to fixate on evolution as a faith issue. Nichols reminds that if people are asked what the most important faith issue is, “[Nobody] is going to say creation and evolution…People instead care about other things that are more fundamental to their growth.” He also emphasizes to students that atheism and belief in evolution are not the same thing.
Provost Claudia Beversluis, Calvin College
Beversluis notes that while Christian parents want their children to emerge from college with a strong belief in Christ, they also want their children to be truth seekers, intellectually honest, competent and credentialed—perhaps even in the sciences. This is possible, suggests Beversluis—but both sides of the equation are important—keeping faith intact and the spirit of inquiry and truth seeking intact.