New Biophysical Sciences program to develop Christian scientists grounded in ethics and humanities
Can scientists and Christians see eye to eye? Questions about life, death, humanity and the place we all call home wedge a deep chasm between what is scientifically theorized and what is faithfully believed. Yet, the marketplace is demanding qualified professionals who possess both scientific knowledge and a strong education in ethics and humanities.
Regent University seeks to help bridge the chasm of science and faith through the new B.S. in Biophysical Sciences degree program, now enrolling students for fall 2014.
“Regent University is committed to offering baccalaureate programs of the highest quality for all students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS),” says CAS dean, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño. “The Biophysical Sciences program attests to the university’s commitment to design and offer excellent and innovative academic programs faithful to its Christian mission and relevant for today’s moral and market needs.”
Regent recognizes the need for Christian scientists in industry, research and healthcare, and is ready to meet that need by shaping well-rounded men and women with a Biblically grounded philosophical, ethical and theological perspective on science and culture.
“The major is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in its approach, exploring the theoretical and applied knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics,” said Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges, in the program’s approval letter.
Early scientists like Isaac Newton, Galileo or Copernicus thought about the world holistically. Not only were they the greatest innovators of their day, but they were also philosophers, theologians, experts in literature and historians.
Moreno-Riaño explains that after the 1800s the academic world lost this holistic approach. “We needed to develop a program that re-introduces the importance of this integrated framework for looking at science, at nature and at all of humankind,” he notes.
“The goal is to produce very broadly educated scientists who are not only proficient in their fields but also have thought deeply and broadly about enduring questions that have classically stimulated discussions and ideas for centuries,” says Dr. Robert Stewart, CAS professor and chair of the new program. “It’s seeing the universe through the mind of God.”
In support of the program, a fully equipped scientific laboratory is currently under construction on campus, set for completion this summer. This state-of-the-art teaching lab will provide the necessary applied learning space and research base for students to complete all their courses and seminars.
“The curriculum is designed so that it meets the most stringent specifications for students applying for medical schools, optometry schools, dental schools and medical technology programs,” Stewart explains. “Eventually we’ll add in more courses that enable students to be fully qualified to also apply to physician’s assistant, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy and physical therapy schools.”
Because of the broad base and the generalized focus in the sciences, students are much more flexible in what they decide to do after graduation. Countless hours logged in and out of the lab with integrated seminars and eventually internships will give students practical experience with the techniques and tools of their fields before moving on to graduate or professional work.
Integrating excellence with Christian character is part of Regent’s mission. It’s where faith and reason thrive together, where today’s learners become tomorrow’s leaders. And now, it’s where science and Scripture, theory and theology, figures and philosophy find common ground.