The purpose of this grant is to continue and expand Science & Religion Initiative (SRI) programming for Catholic secondary educators currently funded by grant #60598. 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 (Outputs 1-3); (2) to mentor participants in the creation and implementation of faith-science resources, modules, and professional development opportunities (Outputs 1-3); (3) to increase engagement of important topics in faith-science integration for diocesan and regional audiences of Catholic educators (Output 4); (4) to assess, develop, and share the results (Output 5); and (5) to cultivate an online resource center through which our participants can collaborate and share resources (Output 6). New features of this programming will include an expanded scope of summer programming promotion inclusive of all U.S. Catholic secondary schools, a 100% increase in the number of day-long events, half of which will be hosted by major conferences for Catholic educators, and the full implementation of the teacher resource-sharing website funded by grant #60598.
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 Catholic 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.