Psychological science and theology combined will do more to advance spiritual progress than simply the study of theology in isolation from this science. The integration of these two approaches to knowledge will bring about new insights, new questions, and new discoveries. This project is needed because current practice does not focus on the intentional integration of science with theology through the training of theologians with psychological science. The overarching question driving this project is: can engagement with psychological sciences help theologians make new discoveries and contribute to spiritual progress? In terms of specific content, our project is guided by the question: what new insights concerning human nature may be discovered when theology and psychological science are brought together?
We will develop a seminar program on the theme of “Human Natures” using psychological science focused on topics directly relevant to theologians. The themes will be: 1) The Created and Fallen Image of God, 2) Completely Human, Completely Divine, and 3) Restoring Human Nature. We will adapt the seminar material and make it available to a wider audience through online learning modules. In support of both the live and online content, our team will develop a series of resources that frame psychological findings in terms of the three themes and make clear their utility to theology. Lastly, we will hold an awards program to support the further development and work of the program participants. To sum, this project will produce a residential seminar program, a set of online learning modules, a series of resources on psychology for theology, and an awards program.
The likely impact of our project is the development of a network of scholars focused on integrating psychological science with theological research on “Human Natures.” This new theological research will be science-informed, leading to new insights, raising new questions, and stimulating scientific research.