Grant to LSTC's Zygon Center for Religion and Science will help students integrate science and religion January 4, 2013

The Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS) at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) has received a grant of almost $200,000 from the John Templeton Foundation. It will be used to teach the next generation of religious leaders to relate religious wisdom and scientific knowledge. Under the leadership of Dr. Lea F. Schweitz, director of ZCRS, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will develop new curricula to teach religion and science in existing required courses.

“For 25 years, the Zygon Center has helped religious leaders address questions involving scientific knowledge. We will bring this experience into a renewed partnership with the excellent teaching faculty of LSTC,” said Schweitz.  “Religion and science raise profound questions of reality, meaning, and value, and each addresses those questions in different ways. Religious leaders frequently are called on to address them in faithful, creative ways. Through this partnership, we will help our graduates relate science and religion by bringing scientific questions into required courses in biblical studies, church history, systematic theology, spiritual formation, preaching, and ministry.”

A larger aim of the 30-month “Teaching Religion and Science across the Seminary Curriculum” project is to create resources and a replicable model for other seminaries to use. The project will also contribute to active efforts at LSTC to revise the master’s level curricula.

“This innovative project shows how LSTC is a leader among theological schools in addressing profound questions in religion and science. We are thankful that the John Templeton Foundation has recognized the work of ZCRS in this arena and its promised impact on seminary teaching,” said LSTC President James Nieman. “Through the historic commitments of the Zygon Center, LSTC will be better able to equip its graduates share the gospel in a changing world.”

25 years of yoking religion and science
Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS) has been bringing together scientists, theologians, and other scholars for 25 years to gain insights into the origins, nature and destiny of humans and their environment. It is a partnership of LSTC and the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS). ZCRS offers several lecture-based courses each year. The general public is invited to attend the lectures for free. Master’s level students at LSTC may earn an emphasis in religion and science and the Th.M./Ph.D. program includes a specialization in religion and science.

ZCRS also hosts an Annual Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality, which draws student speakers from universities and seminaries across North America. The topic for the March 2013 symposium is “Science and Spirituality in University and Seminary: Research, Religion, and Institutions of Higher Learning.”

Learn more about Zygon Center for Religion and Science at

About the John Templeton Foundation
Serving as a “philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality,” the John Templeton Foundation provides funding and also shares research and dialogue on those questions. The Foundation’s vision is based on the visionary optimism of its founder, the late Sir John Templeton, who wrote extensively on spirituality and the role that scientific research could play in expanding the spiritual horizons of humankind. Learn more about the John Templeton Foundation at



Lea F. Schweitz
Director, Zygon Center for Religion and Science

Patti DeBias
Assistant to the President


Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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