Columbia Seminary to Host Lecture on Evolution and Biodiversity

Columbia Seminary to Host Lecture on Evolution and Biodiversity

February 6, 2016—Columbia Theological Seminary has invited Dr. John F. Pilger, the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Biology at Agnes Scott College, to be the next lecturer as part of its “Science for Seminaries” program sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). On March 16 at 11:00 am, Dr. Pliger will present his talk on Evolution and Biodiversity in the Ellis Room on the Columbia Seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA near Atlanta. The event is open to the public.

Dr. Pilger received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, where his research focused on the developmental biology of marine invertebrate animals. After post-doctoral studies at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Florida, he moved to Agnes Scott College where he has taught for over 37 years. He teaches a wide variety of subjects from Integrative Biology to Marine Biology and upper level courses in Invertebrate Biology, Developmental Biology and Cell and Tissues. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Faculty and serves as a co-director of Agnes Scott College’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies program. In addition to his work on campus, he is a practicing Roman Catholic who sees science and religion as complementary and not exclusive.

Columbia Theological Seminary is one of ten Christian Seminaries part of a pilot program by AAAS for integrating science into core theological curricula. Grants totaling $1.5 million were awarded to the schools for integrating science into the curriculum for at least two core theological courses (such as those in systematic theology, biblical studies, church history, and pastoral theology) over the next two years. This integrated approach will bring science into the core of seminary theological education, impacting individual seminaries as well as the ministries in which graduates serve. This AAAS lecture is one of many science-focused, campus-wide activities to complement these courses. Resources from the project will be made available to interested seminaries as the project unfolds, some of which will be archived online at

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine ( and Science Signaling ( AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to “educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information about Columbia Theological Seminary, please visit

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