Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module THMN42930: The Dialogue of Science and Theology in Mission and Ministry

Department: Theology and Ministry

THMN42930: The Dialogue of Science and Theology in Mission and Ministry

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to explore a number of different aspects of the dialogue between science and Christian theology through key contemporary scientific discoveries and recent theological responses.


  • Structure of Teaching
  • From Hubble to Spirit: Introduction and the nature of the Universe
  • Creator and Creation: Biblical understandings
  • God, time and Stephen Hawking: Cosmic Origins
  • Image, Design and SETI: Human beings in cosmic perspective
  • Quantum theory and chaos: Demolishing the clockwork Universe
  • Gene Therapy, Dolly and AI: Matters of life and death
  • Global warming and ripe tomatoes: Caring for the planet
  • From Huxley to the rise of Creationism: The troubled waters of evolution
  • Accelerating Universes and Comet Impacts: The End of the Universe
  • The Place of the Dialogue of Science and Theology in Christian Apologetics
  • Across these sessions there will be attention to systematic issues such as how the Bible is interpreted and the strengths and weaknesses of models of the relationship of science and religion.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students will:
  • have explored critically aspects of how Christian theology has engaged with current scientific advances in the physical and biological sciences;
  • understand how the dialogue of science and theology affects mission and ministry, in particular in the area of apologetics;
  • have examined research work in the dialogue of science and Christian theology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to identify and explain different models for the relationship of science and theology
Key Skills:
  • be able to identify leading research areas & research questions and be equipped to undertake research in this field;
  • provide clear, effective and appropriate communication on a specified topic and in a relevant context.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The course will be a combination of internet based learning materials including video, audio and text, on-line discussion between the students and course teacher based on the course materials and extensive primary and secondary reading. This will involve students in building an in-depth knowledge base, learning transferable skills in apologetics and appropriate skills for research study in the field.
  • The module would begin in the first week of term on Monday at 12 noon. On that day the first session will be accessible within the Course Centre which can be accessed via the internet.
  • Sessions A new session will be accessible on the internet every Thursday during the term by 12 noon. Upon opening each session, the student will find detailed instructions pertaining to the particular focus of that week of study. These sessions will consistently be found within the Course Centre.
  • In addition to posting each session on Thursday of each week, the course teacher will normally be online for three hours each week to answer any student questions and respond to comments.
  • Each session will consist of teaching material (either text, audio or video), discussion questions and assignments.
  • The assignments will be clearly labelled with dates for completion.
  • Responses to the discussion questions will be expected by a clearly stated time - the time of the end of the session, normally in 10 days time.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Internet-based modules 10 Weekly for one term 3 hours 30

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

The formative assessments will assess the students’ developing comprehension, evaluation, research and communication skills. Feedback will be given within the internet based discussion boards and on formative assessment comprising: Internet based team project Presentation given to local church or other suitable group

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University