Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS) seeks to resource senior church leaders in their engagement with science.

The entrance to St John's College

Based at St John’s College, Durham University, with team members located at York University and Church House, London, ECLAS equips senior church leaders through five overlapping project strands:

  • Conferences to equip church leaders on topics including artificial intelligence and contemporary cosmology
  •  Original research
  •  Creating theological resources for training through ‘Science for Seminaries’
  •  Grants for science outreach through ‘Scientists in Congregations’
  •  Supporting the work of the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs in questions of science and theology in the public sphere.

The project emerges at a time when the ‘conflict model’ of science and religion pervades much of popular culture. Figures such as the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens) have achieved notable success with their publications criticising religion and promoting science.

This is not the full story.

There are plenty of historical and modern examples of scientists who view the relationship between science and religion as mutually enhancing. Our aim is to allow such voices to be heard, and for church leaders to engage in dialogue with scientists of faith and those of no faith. This is how we aim to challenge the caricature of the conflict model, present a more nuanced account of science and Christianity, and equip the church to celebrate and support science as a calling and a gift.