MA / MDiv Study Emphasis

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) offers an emphasis on religion and science, which the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS) designs and administers. This curricular concentration enables M.Div. and M.A. students to acquire knowledge and expertise in the field of religion-and-science. It will help students establish competency in various aspects of the dialogue between theology and science.

The emphasis coordinator is director of the Zygon Center. In light of varying levels of background knowledge in science and theology, students are encouraged to plan their studies individually with their advisor. The following five themes serve as guidelines for the planning process: science literacy, theology literacy, philosophical knowledge, ethical knowledge, dialogue and dia-praxis in religion and science.

M.Div. students should elect this option no later than the fall semester of their middler year by (1) contacting the emphasis coordinator and (2) filling out the proper application with the LSTC registrar’s office. M.A. students should elect this option by the end of their first semester.

Goals:

  • To gain knowledge about the history and the current status of the relationship between science and religion with special emphasis on Christian theology
  • To gain knowledge about scientific methodology and scientific theories
  • To gain knowledge about basic concepts and methods of dialogue and the ability to use them in scholarly and popular communication
  • To understand the dynamics and correlation between scientific and religious literacy
  • To grow in personal integration of faith in knowledge and the knowledge of faith and their common responsibility for the world
  • To develop skills to make this a field of life-long learning

The emphasis is comprised of 3 components: Courses, a Field Component, and a Senior Project.

I. COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

  • The Epic of Creation (first year of emphasis)
  • Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science (2nd year of emphasis)
  • One Advanced course in theology pending approval of the instructor
  • Write papers or do projects on religion-and-science issues in two or more classes in the M.Div. or M.A. program, potentially in any of the basic required courses as well as electives. Arrangements will be worked out between the student and instructor in conformity with the nature and goals of the course. (No more than 2 courses in any one division.)

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the course offerings relevant to their emphasis at ACTS schools and at the University of Chicago.

II. FIELD COMPONENT:

One or more of the following options:

  • Active participation in a science and religion conference
  • Conduct a series of adult forums on religion and science
  • For students with backgrounds in theology and philosophy, a practicum in a laboratory (or equivalent) for a minimum of 40 hours is desired

III. SENIOR PROJECT WITH CONCLUDING EVALUATION:

The student is to complete a senior project for course credit (thesis or paper) in accordance with the guidelines established by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Other options may be considered in consultation with the emphasis coordinator.

A concluding evaluation is aimed at helping students integrate the experiences from the different components of their program as well as reflecting on their vocational direction.

Summary:

  • Meet with the coordinator and others in the emphasis every semester
  • Epic of Creation course
  • Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science
  • Write papers or do projects on religion and science in 2 or more regular courses
  • Participate in at least one religion and science conference or symposium
  • Senior project with summative evaluation

There is flexibility in the emphasis for interested students to develop a program designed especially for their backgrounds, needs, and interests.

For more information about the Study Emphasis in Religion and Science, please contact Dr. Lea F. Schweitz, Director of the Zygon Center.

Phone: 773-256-0775
Email: lschweitz@lstc.edu