The intersection of faith and science can be confusing to navigate, especially on a college campus where the two rarely come into contact.
So Kory Plockmeyer wasn’t surprised to run into a common misconception.
Michigan State students meet with Dr. Barth Netterfield (far right)
Photo by Kory Plockmeyer
“At a university like Michigan State, there’s often a sense that one cannot be both a Christian and a scientist,” Plockmeyer said. “We want to show that one can be a faithful scientist and a faithful Christian.”
Plockmeyer runs Campus Edge Fellowship, a campus ministry supported by River Terrace Christian Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich. While Michigan State offers a host of ministry opportunities to undergraduates, Plockmeyer discovered that there weren’t nearly as many offerings for graduate students and faculty.
He found that especially in the academic world, the idea that Christianity and science can intersect isn’t widely accepted. Through Campus Edge and funding from the Scientists in Congregations grant program, he established the Scientia et Fides (Knowledge and Faith) Lecture series.
The series includes three lectures by scientists from major universities discussing topics such as string theory and astrophysics.
While Plockmeyer hopes to show that faith and science do intersect, he anticipates that the scientific matter will generate lively discussion.
The first lecture, held in late April, explored the intersection between University of Toronto astrophysicist Dr. Barth Netterfield’s research into the evolution of galaxies and his own Christian faith.
Tim Komarek, a Michigan State graduate student studying applied economics, was impressed with what he heard at the series’ first lecture.
“This is about taking our faith to all aspects of life,” Komarek said. “In academia, the sciences are a huge aspect in a lot of people’s lives, and seeing how our faith informs the work we do—especially for scientists—is a pretty powerful thing.”