PhD: Rel Thght
PhD: Rel & Sc
ThD: Theology

R&S Green Book

Theol Red Book

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Weird Wild Web


Boston University Graduate School
Division of Religious and Theological Studies

PhD and MA in Religion & Science (Track 4)


General Information
Guiding Principles for the Program
Degree Requirements
(also see the requirements page)
Religion & Science Faculty Resources
A Sampling of Courses
Associated Program Resources
Appendix A: The Administration of the Religion & Science Program
Appendix B: The Religion & Science Doctoral Marketplace in the USA (also see the advertised SPR-related positions page)
Appendix C: Placement of Religion & Science Graduates
Appendix D: Applications and Further Information

NOTE: The "Green Book" is the Prospectus for the PhD Program in Religion & Science. It includes the qualifying examination reading lists.

NOTE: The "Virtual Red Book" contains basic information about requirements for all programs within the Division of Religious and Theological Studies, including the Religion & Science programs. It also includes information about how to stretch your dollars.

General Information



Boston University has for some years offered MA and PhD degrees investigating the interface of Science, Philosophy, and Religion. This program was initiated by Bob Cohen, from the Department of Philosophy within what is now known as the College of Arts and Sciences, and Harry Oliver, from the School of Theology. Both have retired and the program is now carried on by Wesley Wildman, Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Alisa Bokulich, James Burns, Christopher Lehrich, Robert Neville, Jon Roberts, Chris Schlauch, and a large group of affiliated faculty from departments across the university.

The characteristic emphases of the Boston University Religion & Science program are described on this page, especially under Guiding Principles and Degree Requirements. If you are wondering whether you are ready for this program, see the discussion of Prerequisites. For a list of the core faculty and faculty associated with the Religion & Science program, see Faculty Resources. The Boston University Religion & Science program is enriched by the academic environment in Boston. There are links to these and other resources under Associated Program Resources.

For an indication of how the Religion & Science program fits into Boston University administrative structures, see Appendix A. For a brief description of the Religion & Science program's place in the doctoral educational marketplace of the United States, see Appendix B. For an assessment of placement realities for graduates of the Religion & Science program, see Appendix C. If you have further questions or would like to request application forms, see the information under Appendix D.

drts_MLK_statue.jpg (12715 bytes)
The Martin Luther King Memorial Statue in front of the building
housing the Division of Religion and Theological Studies

Guiding Principles for the Religion & Science Program

The Religion & Science program has several guiding principles.

Constructive Emphasis

First, the Religion & Science program holds that the point of exploring the interface of religious philosophy and the various sciences is to forge an intellectual viewpoint that can profit from the insights of, and exposure to correction from, many different disciplines. Thus, the program emphasizes the importance of constructive intellectual work that is informed by detailed knowledge of science, philosophy, and religious thought. Such constructive work is directed to the solving of problems that arise in two main spheres:

  • the theoretical, including questions in philosophy of nature, metaphysics, theology, and philosophical anthropology; and
  • the practical, including the questions in social ethics, distributive justice, and social policy implied in such critical issues as environmental survival and biodiversity, population expansion and economic fairness, ecological sustainability and energy, reproductive technologies and end-of-life care, gene technology and cloning.

Grounding in Historical Knowledge

Second, the Religion & Science program emphasizes the importance of placing contemporary constructive efforts within the context of a solid understanding of the history of other such attempts. This involves knowledge of the history of science, the history of philosophy, and the history of constructive religious thought. It also involves knowledge of the history of relations among science, philosophy, and religious thought, including both important recent works and the older literatures especially in the modern period dealing with problems at the junction of science, philosophy, and religion.

Cross-Cultural Approach

Third, the Religion & Science program approaches topics at the interface of science, philosophy, and religion from a cross-cultural perspective. We support dialogue between science, philosophy, and religion that is prompted by the concerns of specific confessional and theological traditions and we endeavor to train students in this type of work. We also seek to furnish a cross-cultural context for such work that is attentive to the great religious, philosophical, and (in a variety of senses) scientific traditions of the world.

High Standards

Fourth, to these constructive, historical, and cross-cultural dimensions must be added the general point that the program emphasizes solid training in the individual fields, including rigorous qualifying examinations read by specialists who apply the standards applicable within their home fields to Religion & Science students.

Degree Requirements

The Religion & Science specialization is one of several in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies (DRTS) within the BU Graduate School. Three degrees are offered: the MA, the post-Bachelors PhD, and the post-Masters PhD degree.

For basic information about degree requirements, see Track IV: Religion & Science at the DRTS site. For more detailed information, review the requirements page.

Note that the MA program has the same course credit and research competency requirements as the post-Masters PhD, but no required lab placement, qualifying examinations, or dissertation, and only one language.


Are you ready for this doctoral program?

For basic information about admissions requirements, see Track IV: Religion & Science.

It is a daunting program. Prerequisites for the post-masters PhD include serious background in two of science, philosophy, and religion with good reason to think that the third is within reach. A little more flexibility may be possible for MA and post-bachelors Ph.D. applicants. When the background is almost but not quite what is needed, extra prerequisites or corequisites may be stipulated.

For more details, review the appropriate section on the requirements page.

SPR Faculty Resources

Core Faculty

The core faculty members of the SPR Specialization are:

  • Linda Barnes, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and Division of Religious and Theological Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Directory of the Boston Healing Landscape Project; medical anthropology; religion and health, world religions
  • Alisa Bokulich, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame); philosophy of science; philosophy of physics; science, technology and values; history of science
  • Lance Laird, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (ThD in Comparative Religion, Harvard Divinity School); medical anthropology, religion and health; Islamic studies, Christian-Muslim relations
  • Christopher Lehrich, Assistant Professor Religion, Department of Religion (PhD, University of Chicago); early modern European intellectual, scientific, and religious history; ancient and medieval China; analytical theory and method; comparison; the history of magic and occultism; ritual and music
  • Robert C. Neville, Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology, Department of Philosophy, Department of Religion, School of Theology (Ph.D., Yale University); metaphysics, philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, ethics, political theory, American philosophy, modern philosophy, Chinese philosophy, comparative philosophy and religion
  • Jon H. Roberts, Professor of History, Department of History; U.S. intellectual history, Anglo-American religion, history of science, history of religion and science, Darwinism and Protestant religion, psychology and Protestant religion
  • Chris Schlauch, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Religion, Psychology of Religion, School of Theology (PhD, University of Chicago); counseling psychology of religion, psychology of religion
  • Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Assistant Professor Theology, School of Theology (Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union); Christian theology; philosophy of science
  • Wesley J. Wildman, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics, School of Theology, DRTS Religion & Science track coordinator; you are currently in his website (PhD, Graduate Theological Union); philosophy of religion; religion and science, constructive theology, philosophical theology, philosophical ethics, scientific study of religion

Associated Faculty

The list of faculty associated with the program is growing and includes experts from many parts of Boston University. Some of those currently involved in teaching or advising Religion & Science students, along with their fields of expertise, are:

  • Peter Berger, Professor of Sociology and Theology (Ph.D., New School for Social Research); study of economic culture, sociology of religion; Director, Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs
  • John H. Berthrong, Associate Professor of Comparative Theology (Ph.D., University of Chicago); interfaith dialogue, Chinese religion and philosophy, comparative theology and philosophy
  • Mark Bitensky, Research Professor, Biomedical Engineering (M.D., Yale University); G Protein Signal Transduction; Erythrocyte Biology; Macromolecular Ensembles
  • Tian Yu Cao, Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Cambridge); Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy and History of Science, Science and Society, Epistemology, Philosophy of Marxism
  • Juliet Floyd, Associate Professor (Ph.D., Harvard University); Analytic Philosophy, Wittgenstein, Kant, Philosophy of Mathematics and of Logic
  • Sucharita Gopal, Associate Professor of Geography (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara); neural networks, computational modeling of behavior, geographical information systems, fuzzy sets, spatial cognition
  • Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Associate Professor of Psychology (Ph.D., University of California, San Diego); human cognition, neuropsychology of personality variation, bilingualism
  • Ray L. Hart, Professor of Religion and Theology (Ph.D., Yale University); philosophical theology; medieval mystical theology
  • Jaakko Hintikka, Professor of Philosophy (Ph.D., University of Helsinki); Philosophy of Language, Logic, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science (including Cognitive Science), Philosophy of Mathematics, History of Philosophy (Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Peirce, Wittgenstein)
  • Alan Marscher, Professor of Astronomy (Ph.D., University of Virginia); Quasars, active galaxies; high energy astrophysics; interstellar clouds; galactic and extragalactic astronomy; radio; infrared; x-ray; and gamma-ray astronomy
  • Patrick McNamara, Associate Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine
  • David I. Mostofsky, Professor of Psychology (Ph.D., Boston University); behavioral medicine, operant conditioning, psychoimmunology, fatty acid biochemistry
  • Alan M. Olson, Professor of Religion, Professor of Philosophy (Ph.D., Boston University); Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology, Hermeneutics
  • Alfred I. Tauber, Professor of Philosophy; Professor of Medicine; Affiliate Faculty, Law, Medicine and Ethics Program; Director, Center for Philosophy and History of Science (M.D., Tufts Medical School); Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, History of Science and of Medicine

For a fuller list of available faculty, see the faculty profiles for the following departments, each of which is closely associated with the Religion & Science program on the humanities side:

Also see the list of faculty associated with the Division of Religious and Theological Studies.

A Sampling of Courses

The SPR program at Boston University is supported by a wide range of courses in the individual, contributing disciplines (science, philosophy, religion) as well as multidisciplinary courses on a wide range of topics. Many of these courses are at Boston University but many more are available to SPR students thanks to cross-registration agreements with schools in the Boston Theological Institute (Boston College, Harvard Divinity School, Andover-Newton Theological School, and many others).

Even within Boston University, considering that courses throughout the various schools and departments are available to SPR students, there are vastly more potentially relevant courses than can possibly be listed here. Advisors guide each student to the best courses for his or her particular program. For an abbreviated list of course offerings, see the "Courses" section in the Green Book.

Associated Program Resources

One important associated program is the MA in philosophy of science. This degree and the programs in Science, Philosophy, and Religion have overlapping goals, especially as far as the philosophy and history of science are concerned. For more information about the MA degree in philosophy of science, visit the site describing it:

The following Boston University programs are especially relevant to the SPR program and have been important resources for SPR students:

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Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower, Boston

Nearby in the Boston Area are a vast array of resources for Religion & Science students. Those listed here have already had some connection with the Religion & Science program but there are many more.

For a sense of what the Boston Area has to offer the inquiring mind--just in a few of the universities, mind you--here are a few important links:

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The Athens of America from the water

Appendix A: The Administration of the Program

The Religion & Science programs are administered by a specialization within the Division of Religious and Theological Studies (DRTS) of Boston University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. DRTS is not associated exclusively with any one of the schools or departments of the university. Rather, its core faculty members are appointed from many university departments and schools, including especially the Departments of Religion, Philosophy, Sociology, and History within the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Theology. Numerous other faculty are associated with DRTS. This is especially so in the Religion & Science program, which draws heavily on science faculty. The administrative location of the Religion & Science program can be represented as follows, with more encompassing administrative units toward the top of the table:

Administrative Unit

Unit Director

Boston University

David Campbell, Provost

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Virginia Sapiro, Dean

Division of Religious and Theological Studies

Jonathan Klawans, Director

Religion & Science (Track 4)

Wesley J. Wildman, Coordinator

Appendix B: The Educational Marketplace in Religion & Science

The "Field" of Religion & Science


In the last three or four decades, a distinctive literature in science, philosophy, and religion has appeared, primarily in English, with some books in German and Dutch. This literature really begins with Ian Barbour’s Issues in Religion and Science (1966), building on the many books before this time with a concern to analyze the respective cognitive claims of the natural sciences and intellectual work in religion (theology). The recent literature is usually more refined in its handling of methodological questions than these earlier works and a series of relatively stable typologies and distinctions have become widely used in the recent literature as a result. There is a sense of progress in this literature, albeit in most cases progress associated with increasing clarity of organization rather than with problems solved and discoveries made.

An functional canon of literature in religion and science has been established by the International Society for Science and Religion through its Library Project. This selection of 250 books is a foundational library spanning all important areas and disciplines as well as key international and multicultural voices.


Several journals are devoted to the area, again primarily in English. Arguably the most important is Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science (est. 1966), now published out of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science with Philip Hefner at the editorial helm. This journal arose from the work of Ralph Wendell Burhoe, its founding editor, and continues to publish diverse articles examining the interface of many religious viewpoints with many aspects of the natural and social sciences. Other important periodicals of extremely diverse kinds include:


A number of centers with research and educational missions in science, philosophy, and religion have been created in the last two decades. One of the most productive of these is the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (CTNS), founded in Berkeley in 1981 by Robert John Russell. There are also established centers of various sorts in Boston, Chicago, New York, Notre Dame, Philadelphia, Princeton, Oxford, Leeds, Cambridge, and elsewhere; and a slew of new centers have begun in the last couple of years. In addition to these, there are a number of organizations with a chiefly public mission, strong web presences, and a concern to sponsor events in a variety of places. Especially notable among these are Counterbalance and Metanexus.

Other Signs of an Emerging Field

These are all markers of what can fairly be called a field, providing that this designation is understood in terms of a set of characteristic questions loosely bounded by the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion, rather than in any more exact sense. Other signs of this field include the following.

  • the International Society for Science and Religion (founded 2002), administered from Cambridge, England, under the guidance of founding president Sir John Polkinghorne.
  • international research projects, such as that on the ethical and religious impact of Human Genome Initiative and the ten-year project focusing on the meaning of religious language about divine action in relation to contemporary scientific accounts of nature, both initiatives involving CTNS (see the Publications page of CTNS and the Interdisciplinary Studies page of the Vatican Observatory);
  • a section devoted to research in science and religion within the sprawling American Academy of Religion, which sponsors several sessions each year at the annual meeting of the Academy;
  • the "Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion" under the auspices of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (headed up by Audrey Chapman) that sponsors consultations, publications, conferences, and public awareness;
  • academic appointments and professorial chairs in various aspects of science and religion, including positions of various sorts at the Graduate Theological Union (Russell), Princeton Seminary (van Huyssteen), Cambridge University (Watts), and Oxford University (Brooke);
  • numerous longstanding courses taught in the area by faculty with a spontaneous fascination with the area, such as the courses taught over the years here at Boston University (see the Science and Religion Course Program at CTNS for a longer list);
  • an intense investigation of the history of relations between science, philosophy, and religion that has led to the abandonment among informed scholars of the inadequate "conflict" model that has dominated historiography in science and religion until thirty years ago; and
  • in recent years, sponsorship by the John Templeton Foundation of a number of initiatives, including student essay contests, scholarly book and essay prizes, and a science and religion course program involving competition and workshop components.

For these and other reasons, the academic leaders of science, philosophy, and religion, located primarily in the centers mentioned above, tend to argue that a new field has been born, one they usually refer to as "science and religion." They promote the literature described above as the contemporary canon of this new field and argue that familiarity with this literature is necessary to avoid naïve reinventing of wheels in specific inquiries. In this they are quite correct, for the naïveté of some popular books in religion and science relative to this new body of literature is painfully obvious.

A Wider View

As impressive as these considerations are, I would urge that the so-called "new field" of religion and science be interpreted against the background of the long history in the West of explicit reflection on questions for which solid knowledge of each of science, philosophy, and religion are essential. This tradition of interdisciplinary inquiry has been especially in evidence since the seventeenth century but it extends back to antiquity in a variety of forms. With that caveat, and tolerating a rather vague usage of the word "field", it is appropriate so to call the area of science, philosophy, and religion. Nonetheless, I shall avoid using the word "field" and speak of an interdisciplinary area of inquiry.

Undergraduate Education in Science, Philosophy, and Religion

Undergraduate majors in Science and Religion are not common but they are coming on line, one by one, across the United States and elsewhere. One of the best organized is that of Columbia University in New York, where Dr. Bob Pollack leads the way with considerable administrative ingenuity. After all, it is difficult to pull together both the teaching resources and the administrative support necessary to make an new undergraduate major in a large university. For more information about the Columbia venture, see Bob Pollack's web site, as well as the site for the Center for the Study of Science and Religion.

Graduate Education in Science, Philosophy, and Religion

There are a number of institutions of graduate education that offer programs with some connection to the interdisciplinary confluence of science, philosophy, and religion. Typically these programs are in one of the contributing disciplines—usually theology or the philosophy of religion, sometimes in philosophy or history of science, and in no case (to my knowledge) in the sciences. Under these circumstances, interested students are able to take advantage of courses in science, philosophy, and religion offered by faculty. In the majority of cases where this procedure is effective, faculty members are active in a Center whose focus is science and religion and have appointments in the relevant graduate school. In some cases, students in such degree programs proceed to write dissertations on topics in science, philosophy, and religion, even though the qualifying examinations and other requirements are those of the specialized, non-interdisciplinary degree program itself. In spite of the lack of interdisciplinary degree requirements, this procedure has produced impressive results when the students themselves have the initiative and previous background necessary to undertake serious interdisciplinary inquiry. Most of the younger scholars currently publishing in the field came through programs of this kind.

Excellent resources for programs of this kind exist at a number of graduate schools in the United States and abroad. Here is a sampling, including location, institution, and affiliated center. Note that there are other doctoral programs with less formally organized resources (such as the one in Cambridge University, England, led by Fraser Watts) not listed here. Likewise, programs not offering a doctoral degree (such as the MA from the Division of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University and the MA in Religion and Science at Leeds University, UK) are also not listed here.


Institution & Programs

Affiliated Center

Berkeley, California Graduate Theological Union, MA, PhD; Seminaries in the GTU Consortium, MDiv, ThD Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (est. 1981)
Boston, Massachusetts Institutions affiliated with the Boston Theological Institute; an affiliation of Boston-area seminaries permitting cross-registration; degree programs are those of the member institutions, MDiv, MA, MTh, MTS, STM, DMin, ThD, PhD. Boston University is one of these institutions. Boston Theological Institute sponsors a variety of programs in Religion and Science (est. 1967)

New England Center for Faith & Science Exchange (est. 1989)

Cambridge, United Kingdom Cambridge University  
Chicago, Illinois Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, MDiv, MA, MTh, DMin, PhD; seminaries elsewhere in the Chicago cluster, MDiv, ThD Chicago Center for Religion and Science (est. 1988)

Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (est. 1964)

Notre Dame, Indiana Notre Dame University Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, MA, PhD John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values (est. 1986) has a concern with the history and methods of science and religion
Oxford, United Kingdom Oxford University Ian Ramsay Center (est. 1985)
Princeton, New Jersey Princeton Theological Seminary, MDiv, MA, MTh, DMin, PhD Center for Theological Inquiry, which often has a science and religion component (est. 1978)

For some time now, there have been two main routes to research and publishing within areas related to science, philosophy, and religion. One begins from the science side, in which a working scientist with religious connections explicitly engages in religious training at some point during his or her career, often though not always with the aim of becoming a priest. This phenomenon lies at the root of the formation by Arthur Peacocke of the Society of Ordained Scientists and describes the path of many of the leading figures in science and religion research and publishing (the Albrights, Barbour, Gingrich, Haas, Peacocke, Polkinghorne, Rolston, Russell, Smith-Moran, …).

The other route begins from the humanities side—usually theology, sometimes philosophy—and involves people with humanities doctorates finding engagement with the sciences necessary to pursue their research interests responsibly. Some of these already have first degrees in science. The existing educational process described above continues to produce scholars of this kind. This path has been followed by most of the rest of the leading figures in science and religion but also by a diverse group of scholars interested less in the recent "field" of science and religion than in more classical research concerns. It is a mixed bunch, as a result (Andresen, Bokulich, Cole-Turner, Hefner, Howell, Murphy, Neville, Pannenberg, Peters, Richardson, Roberts, van Huyssteen, Wildman, …).

These two routes account for almost everyone working in the field today. The rare exception is the person with two doctorates, one in the humanities and one in the sciences. Partial examples are Kevin Sharpe, a graduate of the Boston University SPR program, who had a PhD in applied mathematics prior to entering the interdisciplinary program here; and Nancey Murphy, whose first doctorate was chiefly in the philosophy of science before completing a doctorate in philosophical theology.

Boston University’s Strategic Position

The Boston University Religion & Science program adopts a strategy that assures it a distinctive place in the doctoral educational marketplace. The strategy is simple: intense and even-handed interdisciplinary training and examinations. This is hard to arrange and execute, both because of the demands it makes of students and because of the necessity for close cooperation across university departments and their faculty.

Boston University has the right combination of characteristics for housing such a program, including the following:

  • longstanding habits of interdisciplinary cooperation and more permeable boundaries between departments and guilds than is usual in American universities;
  • good relations among the religion department, the philosophy department (both within the College of Arts and Sciences) and the School of Theology—rare among research universities in the USA—including cross appointments and shared participation in graduate school programs;
  • rich faculty resources, including the three core Religion & Science faculty who publish in science, philosophy, and religion (Neville, Wegter-McNelly, Wildman) and the involvement of many other faculty members from both the humanities and sciences (see below);
  • interdisciplinary research programs, including those in theology and physics(Wegter-McNelly); science, philosophy, and religion (Wildman); and the philosophy and history of science (Tauber);
  • specialized research centers, including the Institute for Philosophy of Religion (Rouner); the Center for Congregational Research and Development (Stone); and the Center for Judaic Studies (Katz); and
  • an established history of cross-cultural and inter-religious investigation, including ventures such as the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture (Berger), the Institute for Religion and World Affairs (Berger), the Institute for Comparative Religion (Berthrong), the Institute for Race and Social Division (Loury); and the Cross-Cultural Comparative Religious Ideas Project (Neville).

The amazing academic context for the Boston University Religion & Science program (see Associated Program Resources, above) does not help much, of course, unless the immediate setting for the SPR program at Boston University offers genuinely interdisciplinary training at high levels. That is our ongoing goal.

With such training, the Religion & Science graduates should be a new breed of scholars, able to see old problems in new ways because of their solid interdisciplinary grounding. They should be capable of making significant contributions in both the philosophical-theoretical and the public policy-social ethics dimensions of issues arising at the junction of science, philosophy, and religion. The Religion & Science program will continue to maintain carefully stated standards and aggressive forms of self-evaluation designed to maximize the chances of achieving these worthy aims.

Appendix C: Placement of Graduates

One of the most important dimensions of success of graduate education, and thus a crucial area of program self-evaluation, is student placement. The arguments against interdisciplinary programs are chiefly two: supposedly unavoidably low standards in the individual guild disciplines over which interdisciplinary inquiry arches, and the anticipated difficulty of placing graduates in suitable appointments. While other remarks on this page are directed to the standards issue, this section offers a number of reasons to expect that prospects for placement of graduates should be no worse than for graduates in specialized guilds and perhaps much better in the long run.

  • All DRTS students (including all Religion & Science students) are required to take a one-year course in theories of religion in which they read classics in the field of religious studies. In addition, all Religion & Science students are required to take a one-year course in the core texts and motifs of the world’s religious traditions. Together, these requirements ensure that Religion & Science graduates have the professional preparation required to teach the "Religion 101" course in a Religious Studies Department.
  • Religion & Science students pass examinations in the history and philosophy of science and in the philosophy of religion and philosophical theology at the level of expertise required of students specializing solely in one of those two disciplines. Being able to teach these subjects at the college and university level gives Religion & Science students plausible candidacy for an unusually large range of job searches.
  • Many colleges have general studies departments that often seek to fill positions with people capable of teaching in a number of disciplines. Religion & Science graduates could scarcely be better positioned for winning such positions.
  • Interdisciplinary research appears to be increasingly valued in many university settings. Religion & Science graduates will be well-placed in job searches for which established interdisciplinary skills are sought.
  • The "field" of science and religion is steadily achieving a higher profile to the point that a few recent jobs have even listed it as a sought-after specialty. It is reasonable to assume that Religion & Science graduates should fill the majority of such positions in due course. Kirk Wegter-McNelly has compiled a summary of positions advertised in this interdisciplinary specialty in recent years.

Several strategic planning initiatives for graduate placement are already in place, some to be implemented as soon as possible. Here is a short list:

  • The Division of Religious and Theological Studies has now appointed a senior faculty member specifically responsible for student placement.
  • Religion & Science graduates will have contact with professors from a wide range of disciplines. Students are educated in the importance of cultivating such contacts to the point that informed references can be written on their behalf.
  • The involvement of Religion & Science students in relevant research projects based in Boston University or in the wider Boston region is important for making contact with leaders in the field. To that end, research projects under design usually include a student-support and employment dimension.
  • Solid financial support for students, especially during the coursework phase of their degrees, helps to ensure that students can finish quickly with skills unattenuated by drawn out programs, thereby leaving them better placed to win jobs.

All this focuses on academic placements. We believe that we are entering a new era of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural inquiry oriented to solving problems. If this is so, then other types of intellectual employment are likely to become increasingly important, such as think-tank positions, post-doctoral research positions, consultative careers, and leaders of public policy initiatives. Religion & Science graduates are in a good position to lead the way into filling and even helping to define this new intellectual employment territory.

Appendix D: Applications and Further Information

Applications and financial aid information can be obtained from Karen Nardella ( at the Division of Religious and Theological Studies, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; 617/353-2636. You can also get application forms online. You may request a printed copy of the bulletin/application by contacting the Graduate School Office at 617/353-2696, or by placing a request here.

To obtain more information about this exciting program, or to inquire about your suitability, contact me directly at the feedback email address (in the left column) or Prof. Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University School of Theology, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, 617/353-6788.

The information on this page is copyright ©1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you want to use text or stories from these pages, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.