The purpose of this grant is to continue and expand Science & Religion Initiative (SRI) programming for Catholic secondary educators. The overall purpose is fourfold: (1) to offer high-quality, in-depth learning opportunities to Catholic secondary educators that facilitate science-faith integration in Catholic schools; (2) aid these educators in integrating faith and science in their classrooms through the creation of 8-12 lesson units for use in high school science and religion curricula, utilizing excellent JTF-funded video projects (Wide Angle, Word on Fire, and Purposeful Universe) through a new, public-facing website; (3) to increase engagement of important topics in faith-science integration for diocesan and regional audiences of Catholic educators, including high school students and Catholic Hispanic communities; (4) to assess, develop, and share the results, with particular focus on the effectiveness of the new lesson units.
SRI programming integrates two categories of Big Questions, i.e. Philosophy and Theology and Public Engagement, and fosters Catholic educational communities in which teachers engage young people in science-faith integration and through them, the wider culture. The enhancement of SRI programs will expand their reach and impact at a time when almost six in ten young adult Catholics perceive unresolvable conflicts between science and faith, and when a large majority of Catholic educators are coming to a new awareness of the need for science-faith integration. Recent initiatives undertaken by the USCCB reflect this urgency, as does the increasing recognition of SRI programming by the wider church.