Seminars

Hi! As a pastor, educator, and science enthusiast, my greatest passion is helping religious communities learn how to navigate this often uncertain world of science and religion. To that end, I’ve put together a number of seminars that I’d like to bring to your community free of charge. Many leaders either feel unqualified to talk about this or worried about the pushback, and that’s why you bring in someone like me to take the heat while others see the light. I’m flexible on timing and content. I can adapt any talk or even develop new ones to suit your community’s needs. I live in Reading, PA but I’m willing to travel, because this work is so important to me.

Please send me an email if you would like to schedule a seminar or if you just want to explore possibilities.

Science and Faith 101:

It’s often framed as the most contentious debate of our times. Has science made God irrelevant? Does believing in God mean that you must deny modern science? This 90 minute seminar will provide you with basic tools for engaging with both science and faith in a way that honors both and opens new and revolutionary avenues of collaboration. All are welcome regardless of religious beliefs or level of scientific literacy.

Demystifying Mental Health:

Every year, at least 20% of all adults in the United States suffers from mental illness. That means that if you do not live with mental illness, you know and love someone who does. Despite its overwhelming presence and sickening mortality rate, many of our faith communities are content to pretend like it doesn’t exist. We treat mental illness like a sickness of the soul and offer only our prayers and Bible verses. To that end, in this 90 minute seminar, we will speak plainly and openly about mental illness, providing tools to destigmatize the topic in your own circles of influence. We will discuss emerging neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapies, spiritual practices, and practical strategies for fighting our most pervasive invisible foe.

Climate Change:

The global climate is changing. Storms are stronger, floods are larger, and no one can seem to agree what the future is going to look like and what is the best path ahead. Are we to blame for this change or is it a natural cycle? Will it be the end of the world or will we simply adapt to a new way of living? What does it mean to be stewards of God’s creation in a global society? What can/should individuals and churches do? This 90 minute seminar will be an interactive, multisensory dialogue that will help you to understand the the history of our planet’s climate as told by the very rocks under our feet. We will provide space for legitimate disagreements among climate scientists and religious leaders while enabling you to bring the grounded and faithful truth back to your communities.

Origins:

This series is designed to help people wrap their minds around our place in the grand narrative of the universe. We will explore scientific theories and observations while also learning more about scriptural origin stories and their meanings. This series can be done in three separate 90 minute sessions, one 2-hour overview, or as separate standalone sessions. If the latter option is chosen, participants would be required to do some homework beforehand so that everyone can start with the same base-level understanding.

Cosmic Origins:

What is the Big Bang and what caused it? Why is there something instead of nothing? How did our Solar System form and why is it so perfect for us? What can astronomy teach us about God?

Life on Earth:

How did life begin? How does evolution work? How do we know it’s true? What about Genesis 1 and 2? Why would a loving God create a system as brutal as natural selection? Can I believe in God and evolution?

Human Origins:

Was there an Adam and an Eve, and if not, how did sin enter the world? Do we really come from apes? Are we any different from other animals? How did societies form? When did religion develop? Where is God in all of this?

Neurotheology:

Modern neuroscience has taught us so much about how the brain works, but we are only in the beginning days of truly understanding it. One of the more interesting fields of study that has emerged is neurotheology. It is essentially the scientific study of the spiritual brain. What can we learn about spiritual experiences through brain scans? Can we use these discoveries to enhance our spiritual lives? Does this field of study threaten our faith or strengthen it? This 90-minute seminar will combine cutting edge neuroscience with ancient spiritual practices to help enhance our experience of the divine and make us more receptive to the voice of God.

The Counterintuitive Reality of the Universe:

Life makes sense while you’re living it, but it gets a whole lot weirder when you try to study it! In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity demonstrated that times doesn’t actually flow at a constant rate and massive objects fundamentally alter nearby objects. Then, breakthroughs in Quantum Physics muddied the waters even further, proving that subatomic particles can be in multiple places at once, can communicate faster than light, and can be affected in the present by their future selves. The universe is more full of wonder and awe than anyone ever dreamed. This 90 minute seminar is a playful examination of all the ways the the universe doesn’t make sense and how its counter-intuitive nature helps us to appreciate our counter-intuitive God even more.

Biblical Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern History:

We read the Bible every week at church and many of us throughout the week as well, but do we really understand it? All of the nations fighting against Israel, the cities that Paul visits, and the deeply interconnected web of politics are mostly lost on us. That’s a shame. The grand narrative of scripture is so much more profound after studying the history of the region. In this 90 minute seminar, we will trace the history of the Hebrew people from Sumeria to Rome. We will use actual archaeological evidence and an energetic narrative style of storytelling to add color to the stories that we all know but don’t really know.