Mercer wordmark

McAfee School of Theology to Hold
Ginn Lectures on Christian Faith, Modern Science

September 3, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA — Mercer’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology will hold the second annual D. Perry and Betty Ginn Lecture Series on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10:45 a.m. in the Cecil B. Day Hall on the Atlanta campus. The lecturer will be Dr. Robert J. Russell, an expert on the relationship between faith and science. His topic will be “Scientific Cosmology, Philosophy and Creation Theology: Creative Mutual Interactions.”

“The Ginn Lectures bring leading authorities in the field to McAfee who challenge pastors and students to think about the relationships between science and faith as they explore the implications of each for the other on the frontiers of human knowledge and experience,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of the McAfee School of Theology. “Dr. Russell is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the interaction between theology and science, and his perspective will certainly advance this lecture series.”

Dr. Russell is the founder and director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences and the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. He is the author of Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: Towards the Mutual Creative Interaction of Theology and Science (Fortress Press, 2008).  Dr. Russell serves as co-editor of Theology and Science journal. Dr. Russell co-edited Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments (Eerdmans, 2002) and edited Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy (Ashgate, 2004). He is the winner of a PCRS/Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Engagement of Religions and Science for his proposed book, Time in Eternity: Theology and Science in Mutual Interaction.

He has co-edited a multi-volume series of books focused on scientific perspectives on divine action through an international research conference program co-sponsored by Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences and the Vatican Observatory, including such topics as quantum mechanics, chaos theory, evolutionary and molecular biology, the neurosciences and quantum cosmology.  His current research topics include: resurrection, eschatology and scientific cosmology; quantum mechanics, biological evolution and divine action; evolution, theodicy and Christology; philosophical assumptions in contemporary scientific cosmology and their theological roots; time and eternity from a Trinitarian perspective in relation to time in physics.

Dr. Russell holds a Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.Div. and an M.A. in theology and science from the Pacific School of Religion, an M.S. in physics from the University of California Los Angeles, and he triple-majored in physics, religion and music at Stanford University. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists. His wife, Charlotte, is also a UCC minister.

The D. Perry and Betty H. Ginn Lectures in Christian Faith and Modern Science were endowed by the Rev. Dr. D. Perry Ginn to encourage a deeper understanding by clergy and students of science and how it relates to the Biblical revelation. The former pastor of several Georgia congregations, including First Baptist Church, Gainesville, and Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, he is semi-retired and serves as pastor of the North Clarendon Baptist Church in Avondale Estates.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
— 30 —