Science & Education

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 359–386

Clergy’s Views of the Relationship between Science and Religious Faith and the Implications for Science Education

  • Daniel L. Dickerson
  • Karen R. Dawkins
  • John E. Penick

DOI: 10.1007/s11191-007-9099-1

Cite this article as:
Dickerson, D.L., Dawkins, K.R. & Penick, J.E. Sci & Educ (2008) 17: 359. doi:10.1007/s11191-007-9099-1


Since many teachers and students recognize other kinds of knowledge (faith) based on other ways of knowing, consideration of these realities is appropriate for the science education community. Understanding the multitude of ways that clergy view relationships between science and faith (i.e. alternative ways of knowing) would assist in understanding various ways that people address complex issues arising from ideas about science and faith. We administered a questionnaire composed of multiple-choice and short answer items to 63 United Methodist ministers. Findings included (1) that formal, organized faith contexts (e.g. church services) serve as informal science education opportunities, (2) participants demonstrated considerable diversity regarding the types of relationships developed between science and faith, and (3) participants recognized a need exists for better understandings of science and its relationship to faith for them, their colleagues, and their congregations.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel L. Dickerson
    • 1
  • Karen R. Dawkins
    • 2
  • John E. Penick
    • 3
  1. 1.Educational Curriculum and InstructionOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology EducationEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Mathematics, Science & Technology EducationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA