Trinity Awarded $3.4 million Templeton Grant
Trinity CommunicationsJune 26, 2015
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust for a multi-year study project that will examine and develop the Christian doctrine of creation within evangelical theology.
The initiative, titled “Evangelical Theology and the Doctrine of Creation Project,” will unfold in three academic years with these theme topics: Reading Genesis in an Age of Science (2015-16), Affirming the Doctrine of Creation in an Age of Science (2016-17), and Reclaiming Theological Anthropology in an Age of Science (2017-18).
It is the largest grant of its kind in Trinity’s 118-year history.
“I want to express deep appreciation to the Templeton Religion Trust for their confidence in the Trinity faculty to provide leadership for this most important project, as well as their appreciation for the ethos of this academic community,” President David S. Dockery said. “The opportunity to explore these important issues is incredibly exciting to consider.”
Dockery added that “we will do so in a way that is faithful to Trinity’s identity and mission and in concert with outstanding scholars from around the globe.”
The grant proposal was submitted by Trinity’s Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, with an intent to “impact the current science and theology conversation within the evangelical community.”
“Proceeding with both deep confidence in the utter truthfulness of divine revelation and commitment to the value of open inquiry, we are hopeful that this project will bear much fruit,” Henry Center Director Thomas H. McCall said.
“Instead of adopting a defensive posture, this project works hard to lay out what Scripture and the rich theological heritage of the church contribute to our understanding of creation,” Research Professor of New Testament D.A. Carson said. “That heritage must be allowed to speak boldly, graciously, and prophetically, to challenge every cultural stance with a different (and usually much narrower) frame of reference.”
Among its many benefits, the grant will fund public lectures and events that will feature a broad array of outstanding biblical scholars, theologians, philosophers, scientists and public intellectuals.
It also will establish four scholar-in-residence grants on the Trinity campus each year, support six pastors (and their congregations) who are willing to focus on the doctrine of creation, and initiate a writing competition for graduate students who research related topics.
“This generous grant makes it possible for evangelical theological scholarship to explore crucial hermeneutical, exegetical, historical, systematic, and pastoral elements of the doctrine of creation, especially as these relate to important developments in scientific inquiry,” McCall said.
An advisory council of about 30 biblical scholars, theologians, scientists and Christian leaders will guide the project.
Dockery praised faculty members McCall, Carson, and Richard E. Averbeck, as well as TEDS Dean Graham A. Cole, for their work on the grant proposal. He added thanks for the leadership of staff members Geoffrey Fulkerson, Jessica Chang and David Hoag.