SEYA engages in the dialogue of theology and science for young adults age 18-30. The goal is to better understand this segment in Protestant America and, after analysis of challenges and opportunities, to design a major grant program (or suite of 4-6 programs) that will help students and emerging young adults to begin to see the possibility of spiritual progress through science. In other words, the goal is to help them understand that science and faith are not inevitably in conflict and begin to show how by engaging science, spiritual progress might be possible.
The four key hypotheses: 1) Science is critical for the religious faith of 18-30 year olds. Inquiry about the religious faith of 18-30 years old (or their resistance to faith) will demonstrate that science is among the 3-5 most important issues. 2) Through trialing science and theology programs with college student and young adult populations, survey feedback will show that they see the benefits to their faith that result from deeper engagement with theology and science and the majority will indicate that engagement has deepened their understanding of God and God’s creation. 3) In order to deliver the science-theology dialogue to this demographic, new methods of engagement such as video and internet resources (rather than books) and small group formats (rather than didactic lectures or courses) will provide the highest impact and thus represent the best format and curriculum. 4) We will need to train translators for this work as current campus and youth ministers will not feel equipped to develop program on their own. College student and young adult culture has a unique ethos and vernacular that requires the translation of scholarly theology and science content. Additionally, campus and young adult ministers are not versed in theology and science. Thus, training and translation of academic material is required emerging young adult ministers can bring it into their highly relational ministries.