Opened in 2021, the McClure Faith and Science Center provides space and support for students exploring the relationship between faith and scientific inquiry. Through the center, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences aims to help students lean into their Christian identity and reconcile their understandings of science through discussions, chapels and seminars.
This space, located in McFarland Science Center, is a development of the faith and science initiative launched in 2018. Led by endowed McClure Faith and Science Professor John Lewis, the Center provides resources for students such as study space, the McClure library, break-out chapels and other events.
McClure Faith and Science Center is open and available to all Lipscomb students pursuing the Christian faith and searching for knowledge. Come visit us to discover the intersection of faith and science.
Every year the center holds its flagship event, the McClure Lecture series, which aims to promote constructive dialog around faith and science. This allows students to engage with new ideas on a range of topics. Past speakers include a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor, as well as the chair of the Social Sciences program at Rice University.
The Faith and Science breakout chapel meets weekly in McClure Center to tackle topics on theology, philosophy and the sciences. Led by Endowed Faith and Science Professor John Lewis and Associate Biology Professor Brian Ellis, the group discusses student-generated prompts and invites guest speakers across disciplines to promote constructive, spiritual conversation.
Public Events Sponsored by McClure Center
The McClure Center supports many initiatives for students and faculty on campus. Public events, such as the Ask and Wonder series, are held by the center for Lipscomb students to attend. The center also runs a faith and science book club to encourage further learning among participants.
We regularly sponsor faculty travel to conferences and seminars regarding faith and science, in addition to supporting faculty endeavors like Bible Professor Lee Camp’s Tokens Podcast.
The Christian liberal arts are about freedom, ultimately. The classical liberal arts are about intellectual freedom. The Christian faith is about spiritual freedom.
— David Holmes, Dean of CLAS
The McClure Center for Faith and Science is named in honor of Brenda and Dr. Robert McClure, a gastroenterologist in Columbia, Tennessee, and a Lipscomb alum. After graduating from Lipscomb in 1982, he went on to medical school at Vanderbilt University and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Vanderbilt. Brenda McClure graduated from Lipscomb in 1980 with a degree in mathematics.
In 2008, McClure became interested in the intersection of faith and science when he began to have questions about biblical interpretation. He enrolled in Lipscomb’s Hazelip School of Theology to pursue his Master of Divinity degree, which he completed in 2016. His focus during graduate school and beyond has been at the intersection of biblical languages and exegesis in the context of ancient/modern culture and prescientific/scientific understandings. He is passionate about sharing with future generations of young scientists this focus and has been a significant driving force behind Lipscomb’s faith and science initiative since its inception.
The McClures are known for their civic life in Maury County and for their service to the Graymere Church of Christ. McClure is also known for his service to the medical profession, having served twice as the president of the Maury County Medical Society, a Tennessee Medical Association board member and a past chief of staff at Maury Regional Medical Center among other professional engagements.
John Lewis is associate professor of Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He joined the biology faculty in 2011 and has taught Principles of Biology: Diversity and Ecology, Biology Capstone, Field Zoology, Ornithology, Limnology, Vertebrate Zoology, Desert Ecology and has co-taught Exploring Nature (a general education course integrating literature and science). His current research involves avian ecology through Warner Parks Nature Center where he mentors summer research students and student projects facilitated through the courses he teaches.
Lipscomb University nor the McClure Center for Faith and Science explicitly endorse the views held by the organizations linked above, but welcome the contributions of each to the faith and science dialog.
The center also houses the McClure Library of Faith and Science. This collection of books aims to be a resource for both students and faculty wanting to take a deep dive into literature covering topics in faith and science. Curated with input from faculty from multiple disciplines, the collection includes books on far-reaching topics such as genealogy, physics, sociology, history of science, theology, and more.
Explore the McClure Library of Faith and Science's inventory.