Scientists in Congregations (SinC), a program established by the John Templeton Foundation in 2010 (Paul Wason and Drew Rick-Miller), resulted in a grant program led by Greg Cootsona and David Wood that distributed approximately $1 million to 37 congregations. Three goals: to increase pastoral engagement with science, to lift up the voices of scientists within local churches, and to test a programmatic model to transform the way North American churches engage science. The purpose of this request is to assess that original program (and perhaps several spin-off programs) and to convene key thought leaders to advise on a future round of grants to congregations. Did the initial programs have lasting power, engaging pastors, scientists, and laity well after the funding period concluded? What were some of the best practices and what are indicators of strong programs? From less effective sites, what lessons can be learned to improve the success rate of the program? What are some trends in U.S. churches that we face, and how do we design a program with maximal chance for success? To find answers, we will evaluate the original congregations, followed by a gathering of 8-12 key thought leaders at Fuller Seminary, hosted by its president Mark Labberton tentatively set for April 2018.
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