I am the sole pastor of the Silver Spring (MD) Christian Reformed Church in a suburb of Washington D.C. I have been married to Diane for nearly 29 years. We have three sons, two of whom have graduated from college an done of whom is till a college student in Michigan. I have been in parish ministry for more than 22 years, serving three different churches. Issues of the relationship between science and faith intrigue me from a couple of angles. First I pastor a proportionately large number of physicists, astronomers and other scientists, and virtually everyone in my church is very highly formally educated. Since I was a weak student in the hard sciences, I’m always a bit reluctant to address the intersection of faith and science in my preaching. Secondly, however, my wife is also a science teacher in a Christian middle school, so we have some interesting questions about faith and science’s interaction. I hope to gain from this year a greater confidence and competency in addressing the intersection of faith and science, whether in worship or in daily conversations.
Doug states that it is his joy and privilege to be the Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Bellingham, WA, the city of subdued excitement. He is the husband of Laurie and the father of Zoe, who is a middle-schooler and gymnast. As the son of a high energy physicist, Doug spent his early days playing around a linear accelerator. His major in college was in biology (UC-Berkeley), and organic chemistry lab was his favorite class. Since then science has been a limited hobby, a discussion around medical conditions, and something fun to talk about with those in the church who are on the science front lines. First Presbyterian is adjacent to Western Washington University and has a thriving university ministry, as well as a number of congregants who are scientists.
Brita is married to Sandy and is getting her masters in counseling and psychology from UBC. She works for the Canadian Cancer Society and is active in policy discussions around pesticide exposure and its link to cancer. She received her bachelor degree in science from Simon Fraser University, and hails from the Okanagan area of Canada.
Sandy is the young adult pastor at Peace Portal Alliance Church in Surrey, BC. He engages with adults entering the marketplace who are in science or trying to figure out the ways science and faith meet. As a young pastor himself, Sandy is interested in thinking through this topic at an early stage in his career, so that it forms him as he goes forth. Sandy and his wife, Brita, share the sense of calling to ministry. Sandy is getting an MCS from Regent and received his undergraduate degree from Briercrest College.
Kent Crawford serves as Pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship, a non-affiliated church in Santa Monica CA. He graduated from UCLA and Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Pacifica Christian High School and serves on the board of Partners in Malawi, an organization that established and supports Partners in Hope, an AIDS clinic/hospital in Malawi, Africa. Kent is married to Joan, and they have three daughters Dayna, Amy, and Elise. His interest in the project stems from his involvement in education and the obvious issues that arise in the Christian community over the relationship in the classroom between faith and science. He is also concerned that science is often joined to beliefs and agendas without much recognition or apology, not only in popular culture, but in academia as well.
Apart from 6 and a half years pastoring a church, Ellen Duffield has spent most of her adult life in Christian camping and leadership development. She is currently overseeing the development of an interactive Leadership Studio at Muskoka Woods (muskokawoods.com) in Ontario, Canada and serves on the leadership team of NextLEVEL Leadership (nextlevelleadership.ca). Ellen and her husband, Tim, have 2 grown children and a beautiful little granddaughter. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to retreat to Galiano island and to meet the interesting people who are coming share this portion of our lives together.”
Shaun Dyer lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he is the lead pastor for a congregation called “The Connection”. It is one of three congregations that comprise Emmanuel Baptist Church. Shaun is married to Lisa (13 years) and father to a nine year old son, Luke. He’s interested in this project because he is in community with physicians, scientists, and engineers whose passion for science is fueled by a vision of God’s creative work. Shaun laments the dissonance between faith and science and accepts the invitation to participate in this project with the hope of contributing greater harmony.
Dan studied Physics and Mathematics in university, and has spent the past 14 years working in campus ministry (Chi Alpha) at Central Washington University. As a campus pastor, he works reaching and discipling college students and sending them out as missionaries to the marketplace. At least half of his students have a church background, and the majority of those have a built-in uncertainty about the modern sciences. Most either avoid science majors entirely, or take science classes which have limited exposure to questions of earth and human origins. He is completing an Interdisciplinary MCS at Regent College by developing resources useful for Christian college students trying to figure out what they think about science.
David is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science and Technology at Seton Hall University Law School in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Gordon College, Seton Hall University Law School (J.D.), and New York University Law School (LL.M.), and currently is completing a Certificate in Missional Theology at Biblical Theological Seminary. Prior to entering the academe, he was a Partner in the law firm of McCarter & English, LLP, where he practiced for more than a decade. David has been interested in the interface between Christian faith and the natural sciences for a number of years, and often blogs about faith-science issues on his site, Through a Glass Darkly (http://www.tgdarkly.com/blog). He also blogs on faith-and-culture issues as a guest on Scot McKnight’s “Jesus Creed” blog (http://www.blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed) and as part of a group of law professors on “Law, Religion, and Ethics: A Multi-Faith Dialouge” (http://www.lawreligionethics.net). David lives in New Jersey with his wife of nineteen years, Sue, and children Abigail (15), Connor (11), and Garrett (9), and is a member of Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff, NJ.
Ron Scates is the Senior Pastor of the Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Ron has a keen interest in the intersection between faith and science with a BA in pre-veterinary medicine and an MS in cell biology (Trinity University, San Antonio, TX). Before entering the pastorate, he was a research scientist in the area of neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In his career pastoring three churches, all in university communities, the issues of Darwin vs. design, and science vs. scientism continued to assert themselves into his life and ministry. He’s hoping the Science and Ministry cohort will be both informative and challenging, and will equip him to be a better pastor/scientist/evangelical Christian.
Born in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, Dan experienced divergent spiritual influences in his life. In childhood, he experienced the strengths of African-American and Appalachian White Pentecostal worship. In early adulthood, his beliefs were further enriched through his missionary work in Latin America, and among French-Canadian and Haitian people in Quebec.
Raised as a Pentecostal, Pastor Scott found his spiritual life expanded through his studies and growing ties to Christians of all denominations. He is committed to a convergence of the three streams of Christianity: sacramental, evangelical, and Pentecostal. Dan is ordained with the Anglican Mission in America. He is a published songwriter, musician, and author of Faith To Faith, Naked and Not Ashamed, The Emerging American Church, and Between Eden and Pandemonium. Dan holds a BA in Sociology/History, a Masters of Arts in Humanities, a Master of Arts in Psychology and a post-graduate certificate in Trauma and Abuse. He is fluent in Spanish and French and dedicated to racial reconciliation. As both a pastor and mental health worker, Dan is increasingly aware that recent discoveries in neurology have theological implications. He holds that Christian orthodoxy requires Christian leaders to view scientific curiosity as a work of the Holy Spirit.
Nelson Suen is from Vancouver and is a pastor in a local Lutheran church. He was fascinated by science as a young person, and this led him to study engineering and physics at university. He worked as an engineer for a while before returning to graduate studies in nuclear physics. In his ministry, the topic of science rarely comes up and if it does, it’s always a narrow discussion on origins. He is interested in seeing how a broader engagement of this topic can be explored in the church community where he is serving.
John Van Sloten
John is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Reformed Church in Calgary. His passion lies at the intersection of God’s word in the bible and God’s word in creation. For the past five years – mostly through Sunday sermons – he has been exploring how these two books complement, co-illumine and counterbalance one another. Over the years he has preached on many different creation texts; Hollywood films, classical and contemporary music, sport, art, the oil industry, alcohol, Seven Card Texas Hold’em, children’s literature, the body’s immune system, Parkinson’s disease, Sequoia Sempervirens (a Redwood tree), the honey bee, architecture, the city, and several messages on science. John says he’s interested in the Science for Ministry cohort for two reasons: this is the first time he’s ever bumped into a group that actually speaks the two-book language like he does, and he loves exploring what God has to say about himself through science. To him, the thought of spending a week thinking about these things is sublime!
Brent has been the Lead Pastor of RockPointe, Calgary (www.rockpointe.ca) since its inception in 1986. He is an avid learner, family man, sport’s enthusiast and adventure seeker. Brent’s primary responsibilities are to walk closely with God and work closely with the church’s core leaders, elders and pastors. As Lead Pastor, Brent places a priority on sensing God’s direction for our church, providing vision clarity, effectively leading the church toward that vision, leading and participating in our weekend Bible teaching team and holding accountability for the overall health of our church body. In his leisure time, Brent likes to read, visit friends, travel, bargain shop, drink strong coffee and add hot sauce to almost any food (except Jell-O). Brent and his wife Mandy both have Theology degrees from Canadian Bible College in Regina where they met. They married in Mandy’s hometown, Toronto, where Brent continued his education at Tyndale Seminary until they moved to Calgary to launch this new church (then called ‘Bow Valley Alliance’) along with four other founding families. Brent and Mandy love to serve God’s purposes together as a team, each with very unique and complimentary capacities. This year they celebrate their 25th Anniversary. Their greatest joy is at home, enjoying life with their three children (when they are home!) – Rebecca, Stephanie and Michael.
Kristen is an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church of North America, most recently having served at The Falls Church, a historic Anglican parish in Falls Church, Virginia. Kristen holds a B.A. in Biology from The College of William and Mary, a joint MTS/MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and Theological Studies from American University/Wesley Theological Seminary, and an MDiv from Regent College. Over the past decade, Kristen has worked as an environmental consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a Christian mediator, and a youth/young adult pastor. She has also interned at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, taught ESL and science to Saudi diplomatic families and gone on numerous mission trips, including China and Rwanda. Over the years, Kristen has attempted to integrate all her various interests, for example, her master’s paper for AU and Wesley looked at theology underscoring the care of creation and also looked at the intersection of environmental degradation with violent conflict. Kristen is currently in transition but hopes to work with young adults, internationals, and various marginalized peoples in the church to which God calls her to in this next season of her life.