Reasons to Believe

June 7-10, 2017

Welcome to RTB's Student Mentoring Program.

Reasons to Believe has a vision to raise up a new generation of Christian research scientists who can be confident witnesses for Christ.

The Lab is an elite 3-day mentoring program (for ages 16–22) specifically designed for those students who have a vision to pursue a career in science, engineering, or medical research. Our goal is to harness the power of bright young Christian minds—future physicists, astronomers, chemists, biologists, and medical researchers—for the kingdom of God.

During The Lab, we will also hold optional parallel sessions for parents to equip them to support their student’s educational journey.

Conference Locations
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Location

We are excited to partner with Impact 360 Institute to bring The Lab to the east coast. They are hosting The Lab on their beautiful campus in Pine Mountain, GA. Our scholar team has been part of their Gap Year program and we support their vision to bring worldview training to the next generation of Christian students.

The Experience

Here is what you can expect from your experience at The Lab:

  • 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 beautiful Atlanta Aquarium. 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.
  • Homework: Before arriving at the conference, students will be expected to complete some homework. This exercise is designed to prepare and support them in getting the most out of The Lab experience.
  • 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 they 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.

For more details, check out the daily schedule.

Schedule

Here is a general overview of the schedule we’ll be following during our three days together. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend with their student. We will be having parallel coaching sessions each day to help equip parents to support their students in their career goal.

arrival day

day 1

day 2

day 3

4:00 PM Check in
5:00 PM Dinner together
7:00 PM Movie and ice cream social
9:00 AM Introductions
9:30 AM Vision Session: An Invitation to Become a Christian Research Scientist
Jeff Zweerink
X

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.

10:30 AM Morning break
10:45 AM Apologetics training: A Framework for Science-Faith Integration
Jeff Zweerink
X

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.

11:45 AM Lunch
1:00 PM Apologetics training: All Brain and No Mind?
Sue Dykes
X

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.

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

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.

2:00 PM Afternoon break
2:15 PM Small group conversation/Open Q&A
Scholar Team
Parent session: My kid’s going to be a scientist, what does that mean?
Nicholas Leadbeater
X

My kid’s going to be a scientist, what does that mean?

When your son or daughter decides to go to college to study science, that can bring up all sorts of questions in your mind. In this session, we will discuss some of the key things that parents can do to help in the transition to college and beyond, as well as allay some of the fears that you can have when it comes to your children grappling with issues of science and faith. There will also be some time for open discussion and questions from you.

3:15 PM 30-minute break
3:45 PM Physics/Astronomy: How do we know the universe has a beginning?
Jeff Zweerink
X

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?

Life Sciences: Evolution: Should Christians Accept or Reject It?
A.J. Roberts
X

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.

Parent session: Encouraging Students During Difficult Times
Sue Dykes
X

Parent Session: Encouraging Students During Difficult Times

As students navigate through college, they will inevitably encounter challenges to their faith. This session will present some practical strategies to empower parents to encourage students and keep their faith on track.

4:45 PM Concluding thoughts
AJ Roberts
5:00 PM Dinner together
6:00 PM Optional Activity: Ropes Course + Zipline at Callaway Gardens
9:00 AM Day 2 Check-In
Jeff Zweerink
9:30 AM Apologetics Training: Finding a Home in the Science-Faith Landscape
Fazale Rana
X

Apologetics Training: Finding a Home in the Science-Faith Landscape

TBA

10:30 AM Morning break
10:45 AM Load up the vans/leave for field trip
11:45 PM Explore
2:15 PM Head back to Impact 360
3:30 PM Afternoon break
4:00 PM Field trip debrief
Jeff Zweerink
4:45 PM Physics/Astronomy: Is the earth rare or common?
Jeff Zweerink
X

Is the earth rare or common?

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

Life Sciences: Recent Developments in Paleoanthropology: Do the Fossils Point to Common Descent or Common Design?
Sue Dykes
X

Do the Fossils Point to Common Descent or Common Design?

Paleoanthropologists continue to unearth new fossils and new data to add to the human origins story. Many of these discoveries seem to complicate, rather than clarify, the understanding of how modern humans could have evolved from a human-chimpanzee ancestor. If the expectations arising from a reading of scriptures are considered, there is increasing evidence of concordance, strengthening the case for common design.

6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Vision session: Becoming an Embedded Missionary
Mike Strauss
X

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.

8:00 PM Concluding thoughts
Jeff Zweerink
9:00 PM End of Day 2
9:00 AM Day 3 Check-In
AJ Roberts
9:30 AM Apologetics training: Dealing with Challenges
Jeff Zweerink
X

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.

10:30 AM Morning break
10:45 AM Vision session: An Insider’s Guide to College and Beyond
Nicholas Leadbeater
X

An Insider’s Guide to College and Beyond

So you’re considering going to college, or you’re in college right now; what are some of the important things to be thinking about? In this talk you will get the inside scoop on topics such as how to pick an undergraduate major, how to interact with faculty, networking as a student, and that big question “should I go to graduate school or get a job?”. For those considering either an undergraduate college or a graduate school, we will also talk about how to pick the best one for you, and how to put together the strongest application.

Parent session: TBA
Mike Strauss
X

TBA

11:45 AM Lunch
Lunch with Hugh and Kathy Ross (ASD families)
1:00 PM Physics/Astronomy: TBA
Mike Strauss
X

TBA

Life Sciences: Are our emotions just the result of chemical reactions?
Nicholas Leadbeater
X

Are our emotions just the result of chemical reactions?

Have you ever wondered if our feelings and emotions have something deeper to them than just chemicals being released in our brain or chemical reactions taking place in our body? What is the difference between artificial happiness and true happiness? We will dig in to these and other questions that take us in to the realm of the soul.

Parent session: Open Q&A
Hugh & Kathy Ross
X

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.

2:00 PM Afternoon break
2:15 PM Small group conversation/Open Q&A
Parent session: Focus: Connecting Your Student with a Campus Support Network
AJ Roberts
3:15 PM 30-minute break
3:45 PM Physics/Astronomy: Building the Case for Astronomical Design (and avoiding bad arguments)
Jeff Zweerink
X

Building the Case for Astronomical Design (and avoiding bad arguments)

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

Life Sciences: Theology of Virology
AJ Roberts
X

Theology of Virology

4:45 PM Short break/Afternoon snack
5:15 PM Concluding thoughts
Jeff Zweerink
5:30 PM Dinner together
8:00 PM Camp fire and Prayer service

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my student come to The Lab even though he/she is still in high school?

Yes. The Lab is designed for students between the ages of 16 and 22 who are clear about their vision to pursue a career in science. We've opened it to a select number of high school students because we know that some are ready for that level of engagement.

Do I need to come with my student to The Lab?

We highly recommend at least one parent attend the conference with their student. We will offer separate opportunities for parents to learn how to best support their student in their educational journey.

Parents are required to accompany non-local students under the age of 18 to the conference. There is no after-hours (after 6:00 PM) or overnight supervision.

Will RTB provide transportation to and from the airport?

No. Participants are responsible for their lodging and transportation needs before, and after the conference.

What if my student is on the autism spectrum?

We realize that there are many scientifically gifted students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Hugh Ross is also on the spectrum and so we have an appreciation for this special circumstance. We want to encourage students on the spectrum to apply and be considered to participate at The Lab. We will also have a special time for these students and their parents to hang out with Dr. Ross and his wife Kathy and get practical advice from them about how to acheive their educational goals.

Does RTB offer scholarships for The Lab?

Although we have been careful to set our tuition at a competitive rate, we also recognize that some families have limited financial resources and struggle to make this kind of investment to send their student to The Lab.

We offer the following tuition reduction options to help bring the cost down.**

Discount Description Amount Deadline
Early Acceptance Apply before the early acceptance deadline. $50 off April 23 details
Sibling Discount Save up to $50 per student for each sibling who applies and gets accepted to The Lab. $50 off details
Referral Discount Refer a friend to The Lab. If they get accepted and register to attend, the referring friend will receive a $50 gift card to use in the RTB Webstore $50 off details

**Note: Tuition reduction options can be combined for up to a $100 total discount.

Early Acceptance Discount Details

In order to qualify for the early acceptance discount, the student must apply before April 23.

Upon acceptance, we will email a coupon code to use at checkout when paying the student’s tuition through the RTB web store.

X

Sibling Discount Details

If two or more siblings are accepted for The Lab, the family can qualify for a $50 discount per student.

Each student must apply and be accepted to The Lab individually.

Upon acceptance, we will send you a coupon code to use at checkout when paying the students’ tuition through the RTB web store.

X

Referral Discount Details

The student must include the referring student’s name on their application at the time they apply for The Lab.

Each student must apply and be accepted to The Lab individually.

If the referring student’s friend is accepted to The Lab, the referring student can contact our office and request a $50 gift card per student. Email us at thelab@reasons.org. We will send you the gift card to use in the Webstore.

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Cost

The Lab fee is $345 per student. A parent can attend for an additional $150 fee.

This includes tuition, lodging, food, 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.

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