Planting the Seeds…

Guest Writer John Kerr

Professor John Kerr

The seeds of the Kirbas Institute were planted at Oxford University in the year 2000, when a Presbyterian Minister named Paul Kirbas was attending classes under Dr. John Kerr, an ordained Anglican Priest who was also a respected scientist. Realizing Paul’s interest and talents in bringing together theology and science, Dr. Kerr invited Paul into a PhD program under his leadership. Paul finished that degree in the year 2007.

Casting the Vision…

After receiving this degree in theology and science, Paul was in conversation Benwith his long standing mentor, Dr. Ben Johnson of Columbia Seminary. Dr. Johnson gave guidance for Paul to develop a vision for a unique ministry that would bring faith and science together as partners in addressing important issues facing our world. Ben guided Paul in establishing this new ministry, and the Kirbas Institute was born in the year 2009.

Opening the Door…

P1010072Ben Johnson not only guided the birth of the Kirbas Institute, but also opened the door to the first main project that got the institute off the ground. He introduced Paul to the leaders of the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Fezter Institute invited Paul to create and lead a major conference that would bring faith and science together to explore the sanctity of nature. With Fetzer’s support, Paul brought together leading theologians and scientists from all over the world for the conference, which was held at the Fetzer Institute in 2010. This conference led to the development of our first curriculum product, Sacred Place, Sacred Role.

Expanding to TV…

 The Kirbas Institute currently offers a nationally televised weekly TV show called The Exchange, Where Faith and Science Meet. Episodes of the show are now available for group studies. Among currently available series are  Animals in the Kingdom, and Faith and Fear.

The Next Major Step…

 The Kirbas Institute is in the process of merging with the Graduate Theological Foundation, a nonprofit graduate studies institution with over 52 faculty members, 3,000 alumni, and 500 current students. Once the merger is complete, the Kirbas Institute will become the GTF Center for Faith and Science, and will be housed in the Oklahoma City Offices of the Graduate Theological Foundation.