Science for Seminaries

What is Science for Seminaries?

Science for Seminaries (SfS) is an exciting initiative from Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS), funded by Templeton Religion Trust (TRT), which aims to foster engagement between those training for ordained ministry and the sciences. The SfS project at Wycliffe Hall will provide an exciting interface that enables theological students to engage with questions about God, the universe, and the place of human beings in it that are thrown up by advances in modern science and technology. Oxford is a place with a rich history of engagement with these questions, and the SfS project at Wycliffe Hall will aim to further this dialogue along various avenues, including lectures by practising scientists three times per term at our Principal’s Hour slot, enriching our existing teaching with more content focussed on the science and religion dialogue, opportunities for students to visit science laboratories and other research sites, and a three-day summer workshop in 2022 centred on the theme of Science and the Human Person.


Principal's Hour Talks

28th October 2021

Professor Nigel Crook

Rise of the Moral Machines (VIDEO)

4th November 2021

Jessica Pointing

Quantum Computing (VIDEO)

25th November 2021

Dr Max Baker-Hytch

Artificial Intelligence and the Image of God (VIDEO)


27th January 2022

Ariel Dempsey Beyond quality vs quantity of life

10th February 2022

Dr James Sheppard

Should we stop taking blood pressure pills when we get old?

17th February 2022

Dr Zachary Ardern

Natural Theology and recent development in Evolutionary Theory

19th May 2022

Dr Bethany Sollereder

God, Evolution, and Animal Suffering: The Goodness of God in Nature's Violence

26th May 2022

Sam Speight

Natural Theology and recent development in Evolutionary Theory

2nd June 2022

Dr Max Baker-Hytch



Science Visits

26th November

CRIPSR/Cas9 gene editing facility at Oxford Brookes University

8th February

Remote Access in Challenging Environments robotics facility at Culham laboratories

28th April Genome Project at Wytham Woods


'Science and the Human Person' - 28th April 2023

Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford

09:00   Keynote 1


10:00   Keynote 2


11:00   Break

11:30   Short papers


12:30   Lunch


13:30   Keynote 3


14:30   Group discussion


15:30   Break

16:00   Keynote 4



Biographies of the Science for Seminaries team at Wycliffe Hall

Project lead

Max Baker-Hytch received his doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University in 2014, and held two postdoctoral research fellowships, one at Oxford (2014-15) and one at the University of Notre Dame (2015-16), before taking up his current position. He is currently Tutor in Philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and is a member of the Philosophy Faculty at Oxford University. Max has published scholarly articles on various topics at the intersection of analytic philosophy of religion and epistemology and is currently working on a book on God and evidential ambiguity as part of Cambridge University Press’s Elements series. 

Scientist in Residence

Nigel Crook is Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Professor of AI and Robotics at Oxford Brookes University. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute for Ethical AI ( He graduated from Lancaster University with a BSc (hons) in Computing and Philosophy in 1982 and was awarded his PhD at Oxford Brookes (CNAA) in explainable AI in 1991. He has over 30 years of experience as a lecturer and a researcher in AI. His research interests include machine learning, embodied conversational agents, social robotics and autonomous moral machines. He is author of the forthcoming book “Rise of the Moral Machines: An exploration of moral agency in humans and machines” (SPCK/Lion-hudson)

Project Co-ordinator

Sam Speight is a DPhil Candidate in Computer Science at Oriel College, University of Oxford. Prior to this, he obtained an MS in Logic, Computation and Methodology from Carnegie Mellon University (2015-17) and a MSci in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Bristol (2011-15). Sam’s research lies in the intersection of computer science and mathematics. He is interested in type theory (formal languages for doing mathematics and programming), category theory (the mathematics of structure) and logic (the mathematics of inference).