Where Science and Faith Converge

The Lab

June 21-23, 2018

Apply to The Lab

Overview

We believe God has specially gifted some students with a natural aptitude to engage in scientific exploration. These students have a high level of curiosity about the world and enjoy diving deep into complex questions. But, many times, there isn’t adequate instruction and mentoring available to help these students make meaningful connections between their faith and their future vocation.

That’s where The Lab comes in.

Reasons to Believe’s (RTB) scholar team were once college students with big dreams of becoming scientists. Our goal is to harness and encourage the power of bright young Christian minds—future Hugh Rosses and Fuz Ranas—for the kingdom of God.

We will walk students through the process of what it takes to become a Christian working in a science-related field. This event is designed to support students as they envision their future vocation and to help them, in very practical ways, to achieve their educational goals.

The Experience

  • Equipping Lectures: RTB scholars will offer practical training to participants to use when considering a career as a research scientist.
  • Apologetics Lectures: Participants will be separated into groups according to research interest and get introduced to the most common science-faith issues that the scholars have identified which the students need to be conversant about as they enter graduate school.
  • Breakout Sessions: Students will have the chance to meet with the scholars within their desired field for application-oriented discussions.
  • Parent Sessions: Parents can attend parallel sessions with the mentors and receive practical advice about how to support their student’s educational journey.
  • Question-and-Answer Sessions: Students will have opportunities to ask the scholars questions in order to probe deeper into a topic or share science-faith questions.
  • Field Trip: To demonstrate real-world application of the conference concepts, participants will spend an afternoon at the historic, Griffith Observatory. This excursion will be followed by a group discussion time.
  • Hangout with the Scholars: Slots of unstructured time will allow students direct, casual interaction with the RTB scholar team. This will provide students with an opportunity to ask questions about research interests, the scholar’s journey to faith, or questions about the Bible and its connection to science.
  • Group Conversations: The scholars or participants may offer points of view about different subjects. Whether you agree or disagree is your choice. Be willing to discuss and explore your perspective with others in the group. The value will be in getting clear about what you really do believe and testing what you believe. The scholars will speak about things that relate to the dual calling of being a Christian and a research scientist. The main standard to measure how to interact in these realms is 1 Peter 3:16. This will be our starting place, a foundation for us to learn how to explore our world and love others.
  • Sharing: Students will have multiple opportunities to share what you are learning and hearing about others’ experiences. In general, we have found that the more that students choose to participate, the more value they will receive from this experience. The scholars or participants may offer points of view about different subjects. Whether you agree or disagree is your choice. Be willing to discuss and explore your perspective with others in the group. The value will be in getting clear about what you really do believe and testing what you believe. The scholars will speak about things that relate to the dual calling of being a Christian and a research scientist. The main standard to measure how to interact in these realms is 1 Peter 3:16. This will be our starting place, a foundation for us to learn how to explore our world and love others.

Schedule

there will be multiple sessions throughout each day, both for students and accompanying parents. These are meant to equip, encourage and inspire all attendees.

Day 1

9:00 AM

Introductions

9:30 AM

An Invitation to Become a Christian Research Scientist

This session will invite students to consider how science, engineering, mathematics and medical research can be a noble calling for Christians.

Jeff Zweerink

10:30 AM

Morning break

10:45 AM

Apologetics training: A Framework for Science-Faith Integration

How can a Christian simultaneously believe the Bible and scientific theories? How can a credible scientist be Christian? This session will survey the three major approaches to integrating science and faith and then outline the “two books” model for integrating the words of the Bible with the discoveries of modern science.

Jeff Zweerink

11:45 AM

Lunch

1:00 PM

Apologetics training: All Brain and No Mind?

Where does my faith meet science and are they going to play nicely? Building a robust foundation for the scientific method is the basis for quality research and an integrated worldview. This session will survey the philosophical and historical roots of science and examine how science fits in a Christian worldview. Students will examine the foundations and pillars of the scientific method as well as how to differentiate between methodological naturalism and the philosophy of scientism.

Katie Galloway

Parent session: Building a Solid Foundation for Your Student’s Faith

Often during college a student’s knowledge of a scientific discipline exceeds that of the parent’s. How do you prepare your student for this inevitable time and continue to help build their faith? This session will explore principles that enable you to maintain an active role in mentoring your student to a growing and mature faith.

Jeff Zweerink

2:00 PM

Afternoon break

2:15 PM

Small group conversation/Open Q&A
Scholar Team

Parent-to-parent connection

3:15 PM

30-minute break

3:45 PM

Physics/Astronomy: How do we know the universe has a beginning?

Is there an emerging body of evidence that threatens the idea that the universe had a beginning? Does this threaten a foundational tenant of the Christian worldview?

Jeff Zweerink

Life Sciences: Evolution: Should Christians Accept or Reject It?

Processes of mutation and natural selection for species' adaptation to changing environments (evolution) permeate the biosphere. But is evolution a theory that accounts for all of life’s history and diversity? We’ll look at five kinds of evolution and at the evidence (or lack of evidence) for each in answering this question.

A.J. Roberts

Parent Session: Entering the World of Academia

"What's graduate school and academia really like?" Going to graduate school means entering into the world of academia. Academia has its own unique culture full of challenges and opportunities for career development and ministry. From qualifying exams to candidacy, thesis committees and tenure committees, understanding the path and the landscape can help you appreciate what your student is experiencing as they go through challenges and trials.

Katie Galloway

5:00 PM

Concluding thoughts
Katie Galloway

6:00 PM

End of Day 1

6:15 PM

Optional: Dinner together at In-N-Out

7:00 PM

Optional evening activity: Lazer tag

Day 2

9:00 AM

Day 2 Check-In
Jeff Zweerink

9:30 AM

Apologetics training: Genesis 1 and the Age of the Earth

This session will give students a paradigm for interpreting Genesis 1 in a way that is faithful to the authority Scripture and the record of nature.

Fazale Rana

10:30 AM

Morning break

10:45 AM

Load up the vans/leave for Griffith Observatory

12:00 PM

Arrive at Griffith Observatory.

Planetarium show

2:30 PM

Head back to RTB

3:30 PM

Afternoon break

4:00 PM

Field trip debrief
Jeff Zweerink

4:30 PM

Physics/Astronomy: Is the earth rare or common?

Does the emerging research about exoplanets undermine our confidence in the uniqueness and rarity of our planet?

Jeff Zweerink

Life Sciences: Interpreting Human Fossils

Paleontologists are constantly making new discoveries related to human origins. In recent years, scientists have found several new species of hominids, such as A. sediba, H. naledi, and H. georgicus. Often this requires researchers to re-think how to classify previous fossil specimens and redraw the evolutionary tree. In this talk, we will consider key challenges with the standard evolutionary explanation for human origins.

Sue Dykes

Parent session: Connecting Your Student with a Campus Support Network

Every campus has organizations that want to engage your student. Some for the good and some not? How do you discern which is which? What will your student do when crisis hits and who will be there to support them when they are away from home? We’ll discuss resources and plans of action to help you help your student find the support that is critical for their spiritual and academic well-being.

A.J. Roberts

6:00 PM

Dinner

7:00 PM

Vision session: Becoming an Embedded Missionary

Scientists have certain core beliefs that lie at the foundation of their profession. Knowledge of this scientific culture is critical for effective outreach. This session will help students develop a missional mindset to bridge the cultural divide between scientists and Christ.

Katie Galloway

8:00 PM

Concluding thoughts
Jeff Zweerink

8:30 PM

End of Day 2

Day 3

9:00 AM

Day 3 Check-In
Katie Galloway

9:30 AM

Apologetics training: Dealing with Challenges

How can students deal with challenges to their faith in an academic context? This session will equip students with a strategy for thinking through challenges and how to deal respectfully with colleagues and mentors.

Jeff Zweerink

10:30 AM

Morning break

10:45 AM

Vision session: College students: Preparing for a Graduate Program

Choosing a good graduate program is a key step in a student’s path to becoming a working professional in science. This session will help students develop a strategy for making this transition.

Katie Galloway

Vision session: High school students: Keeping Your Faith in College

For many students, the transition between high school and college isn’t just about academics. It’s also about figuring out how to walk out their faith for themselves, apart from their parents. This session will encourage students with some practical steps to strengthen their faith during this key season of life.

Jeff Zweerink

11:45 AM

Lunch

Lunch/Hangout for ASD students
Hugh & Kathy Ross

1:00 PM

Physics/Astronomy: Does the multiverse really exist?

Is there evidence for the existence of a multiverse or is it purely a speculative theory? And if it does exist, does it undermine the case for supernatural design?

Jeff Zweerink

Life Sciences: Are we merely the product of our genes?

As our understanding of genetics grows, profound questions are emerging about the intersection between our physical make up and our personal life choices.

Katie Galloway

Parent session: Open Q&A

Hugh and Kathy Ross will host an open question/answer time with parents to address any questions they may have about their child’s future career or educational goals.

Hugh & Kathy Ross

2:00 PM

Short break/Afternoon snack

2:15 PM

Small group conversations/Open Q&A
Scholar Team

Parent-to-parent connection

3:15 PM

30-minute break

3:45 PM

Physics/Astronomy: Building the Case for Astronomical Design (and avoiding bad arguments)

What are some common mistakes that Christian apologists make when arguing for design?

Jeff Zweerink

Life Sciences: Building the Case for Biological Design (and avoiding bad arguments)

What are some common mistakes that Christian apologists make when arguing for design in the biological realm?

Fazale Rana

Parent session: Staying connected: Overview of RTB resources to support you in the future

Overview of the resources RTB offers to help support your student in the next phase of this exciting journey.

Krista Bontrager

4:30 PM

Short break/Afternoon snack

5:00 PM

Prayer & commissioning.

6:00 PM

End of Day 3

There will be multiple sessions throughout each day, both for students and accompanying parents. These are meant to equip, encourage and inspire all attendees.

The Lab will be held at the RTB Headquarters 818 S. Oak Park Rd, Covina, 91724

NEAREST AIRPORTS TO FLY INTO
Ontario Airport (ONT)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Arrival: Plan to arrive on Wednesday afternoon before the conference between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM (hotel check-in is 3:00 PM)

Departure: Please make arrangements to depart on the morning or early afternoon of the Sunday after the conference. Please keep in mind that it is about a 30-minute drive to the Ontario Airport (ONT) and a 2-hour drive (with traffic) to Los Angeles International (LAX) airport.

Note: In order to protect the privacy of our attendees, we cannot offer names or contact information of individuals looking for carpooling options. We suggest you visit the Facebook page for The Lab to connect directly with students flying in from other parts of the country.

We have a small number of nearby host family homes available for you to stay on a first come, first serve basis. These are supporters of RTB who have opened their homes for Lab Participants to stay while attending The Lab. Please notate on your application if you are interested in that for your logging. Otherwise, we encourage you to check out the following hotels, both of which are located one mile from Reasons to Believe.

The Lab will be in session June 21-23, 2018.

The Lab fee is $295 per student. A parent can attend for an additional $100 fee.

This includes tuition, three lunches, one dinner, snacks, transportation to and from our field trip destination, field trip entrance fees, a binder containing lecture notes and related articles, and a gift bag of RTB resources worth over $225.

Through the help and financial support of our constituents, Reasons to Believe is able to offer 10 partial scholarships to the Lab. If you would like to be considered* for one, please apply here.

*As a prerequisite to apply for a scholarship, you will need to have the Lab application fully completed before applying for a partial scholarship.


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RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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