We’ve faced such a dilemma at Reasons To Believe. We are in contact constantly with Christians who are incredible scholars, some of them world-class in their abilities and accomplishments. Often times we’ll dream about what it would be like to add some of these amazing individuals to our full-time staff. How much more effective could our ministry be at providing people with powerful new reasons to believe in Jesus Christ?
A number of hurdles, such as monetary limits and availability, have kept this dream from becoming a reality. And yet God has shown us a way to have our proverbial cake and eat it, too.
This February we launched our new visiting scholar program. The plan is to provide the opportunity for scholars from a range of disciplines who can take a sabbatical or leave of absence from their current position to join us at RTB for an extended period (say 3 to 12 months)., During their stay they would work full-time on specific projects that will benefit RTB and also provide them with ministry experience. Once a visiting scholar finishes his or her tenure with us, that individual can then return to his or her permanent position better equipped to serve in ministry and leave RTB with the benefit of his or her unique contributions.
This program helps the ministry avoid major costs while still allowing us to collaborate with experts in various scientific fields. Thanks to a generous donor, we can provide housing for the visiting scholar and accompanying family members, as well.
Our first visiting scholar arrived at RTB on February 1. Dr. Patricia Fanning is an expert in RNA biochemistry hailing from Austin, Texas. During her months with us, Dr. Fanning will focus on embryology, specifically embryonic development, evolutionary developmental biology, and the stem cell research issue. In my opinion, this is an untapped area for science apologetics that we haven’t had the time or personnel to develop.
We all look forward to Dr. Fanning’s assistance in carrying out our mission to equip and evangelize. You can anticipate her contributions to Today’s New Reason to Believe, outreach events, podcasts, the e-Zine, and more. I hope you will get a chance to meet her in person.