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What is “intellectual formation”? In Rom. 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Col. 3:1-2 reads, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” When asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matt. 22:37-39).
Throughout scripture, we are enjoined to pursue spiritual maturity through the life of the mind. Dr. Pagán created the Institute in recognition of this mandate. In 2014, he initiated a partnership of area church leaders who shared his vision: to establish an innovative program of Christian education that challenges participants to explore a broad range of advanced philosophical concepts, theological doctrines, and scientific theories. His curriculum also includes units of study that focus on issues of contemporary cultural relevance, many of which are taught by a team of adjunct lecturers/speakers. Past module offerings include:
- Liturgy & Laboratory—a Common Ground: Integrative Models of Science and Theology.
- Knowledge of Faith: Epistemological Solutions to Theological Problems
- The Mystery of Volition: Determinism, Free Will, and Moral Agency
- Imago Dei or Imago Natura?: Gender, Family, and Society in the Current Debate
- Competing Perspectives: Navigating Worldviews in the 21st Century
- Who is to Say?: Moral Theory in the Religious and Secular Perspectives
- The Metaphysics of Personhood: Mind, Consciousness, and the Human Soul
- God & Country: Political Orientation, Religious Allegiance, and Social Identity in the National Conversation
Our students typically find the course content to be rigorous, yet rewarding. Through a unified approach to sacred and secular scholarship, they gain a deeper appreciation for God’s revelation in scripture and creative work in the natural world. Moreover, they find themselves better equipped to offer a coherent defense of their own intellectual commitments (Jud. 1:3), further the work of the Gospel throughout the world (Matt. 28:19), and strengthen the foundations of their own congregations (1 Thess. 3:2).
What about “skeptical inquiry”? Atheists, agnostics, and seekers of non-Christian religious traditions are also welcome at The Institute. We believe that the skeptic is deserving of a clear conception of the biblical life-stance. We have therefore “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks” (1 Pet. 3:15) by providing opportunities for the questioner to investigate our beliefs within an academic setting that invites scrutiny, encourages free thought, and promotes fruitful discourse.
What is “intellectual formation”? In Rom. 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”