Description A paid research assistantship in the area of faith and science is available to Dordt College students during the 2018-2019 academic year. The research assistant will work under the direction of Dr. Channon Visscher (Chemistry & Planetary Sciences) as part of the SCIO/CCCU Bridging the Two Cultures II program on the project “Creation Stories for Planetary Systems.” This research project explores the interaction of the Christian faith with cosmic & planetary formation theories, and how scientific descriptions of origins behave as creative stories.

Research Assistantship Activities The research assistant will help in finding, collecting and summarizing the relevant scientific, theological, and philosophical literature and play an active role in helping to synthesis and translate these materials for a broader audience.

Tasks include study and reading of the literature sources (getting paid to read), regular discussion meetings, and reflection & responsive writing. The research assistant will also be directly involved in the development, preparation, and dissemination of project results, including opportunities for independent writing or presented talks. Moreover, the outcomes from the assistantship may be applied toward requirements in the Kuyper Scholars Program (KSP).

If the research assistant chooses to study abroad, this position will provide a fee waiver of $2600 to help offset the costs of studying in Oxford, UK. Funding for this Oxford Study grant is conditional on the acceptance of the research assistant to SCIO’s Scholars’ Semester in Oxford (SSO) program in Spring 2019 or the Oxford Summer Programme (OSP) in 2019.

Reimbursement will be based upon the TA scale during the academic year and research intern rates during the summer months. Hours may be negotiated upon selection and acceptance of the assistantship.

Requirements and Qualifications

  • The position is open to all Dordt students with an interest in exploring questions of science & faith and a disposition toward joyful curiosity about the physical creation.
  • Given the interdisciplinary nature of scientific origins stories, this study will draw upon a wide range of sources. Prior undergraduate coursework in theology, history, and a lab-based science is preferred, but not required. Starting resources and any project-specific training and guidance will be provided as needed.
  • The research assistant is expected to play an active role in the Dordt College Science & Faith Club, including helping to expand the participation and impact of the club on campus (marketing) and assisting in leadership development.

To apply, send an email to Dr. Channon Visscher (channon.visscher at briefly describing your interest in the project.

This assistantship is made possible thanks to a grant from the Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II project, offered by Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford with funding from Templeton Religion Trust and The Blankemeyer Foundation.