Gustavus Academy for Faith, Science, and Ethics Encourages High School Students to Reflect on Religion’s Role in Today’s World

Posted on March 2nd, 2016 by

chapelGustavus Adolphus College’s first-ever Academy for Faith, Science, and Ethics will take place June 24-30 on the College’s Saint Peter, Minn. campus.

The Gustavus Academy will allow high school youth to explore ethical issues, reflect on their sense of calling, and introduce them to creative alliances between scientists and religious leaders who are addressing a range of global challenges such as climate change, food security, and economic justice.

“My dream for the Gustavus Academy is to provide high school students an opportunity to explore big questions at the intersection of science and faith and to help them construct a way of understanding the world that is grand enough to inspire them in their pursuit of scientific knowledge and their relationship with God,” Gustavus chaplain and academy co-director Siri Erickson said.

Grace Wolf-Chase, an astronomer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and associate at the University of Chicago, will be the academy’s featured scientist. A former National Research Council fellow at NASA, her research centers on protostars, protostellar outflows, and the evolution of molecular clouds. Participants will also work with Gustavus faculty and staff during lab, reflection, and discussion sessions.

“We live in an age when scientific discoveries and technological achievements are rising exponentially. Many questions explored through science today, from Earth’s place in the Universe, to the existence of extra-terrestrial life, have numerous ethical and religious dimensions that impact people around the world,” Wolf-Chase said. “The mission of the Academy could not be more relevant to today’s society — the well-being of our species, and our world, depends upon a future generation equipped with tools to mediate the ‘culture wars’ that present science and faith as enemies, threaten the integrity of science education, and often prevent communities of faith from considering how science might empower them to affect positive changes in their communities and around the world.”

Brian Konkol, Gustavus chaplain and academy co-director, agrees. “At a time when the human community is both globally connected and ideologically divided, this innovative education venture seeks to build creative alliances that respond to some of the world’s most pressing problems. The Academy for Faith, Science, and Ethics will add energy and insight to the various ways in which Gustavus seeks to serve the common good,” he said.

High school students entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade are encouraged to learn more and apply online. Applications are due by March 14, 2016.

The Gustavus Academy for Faith, Science, and Ethics is made possible by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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