Science and religion have often seemed at odds with each other, but two biology professors at a local Christian college hope to change that. Craig Story and Justin Topp of Gordon College have received a $200,000 grant from the BioLogos Foundation to help pastors become more scientifically literate.

Justin Topp of the Moving Pastors Toward Scientific Literacy project says pastors are often viewed as the community authority on science matters.

“So we have high school seniors, college freshmen that come into Gordon and what they have been taught about evolution has actually come from their pastors or parents,” Topp said. “And we’d like to give a little bit better scientific education to pastors that really are interested in learning it more.”

The grant will fund week-long seminars, beginning in 2014. The discussions will focus on a variety of topics, including evolution, climate change, and stem cell research.

Topp says that the aim is to help pastors better evaluate issues of science and faith on their scientific merit.

We just want to give them a scientific view to go along with their theological view. We’re not trying to replace any view or change a view. We just want to give them access to the other aspects of truth,” he said.

The project also hopes to establish a network of pastors committed to learning more about science.