Cedarville University of Cedarville, Ohio has added a Bachelor of Science in Geology program. From the Cedarville announcement:
Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the formation of the Bachelor of Science in geology degree, set to begin in fall 2009.
Faculty will equip students for lifelong scientific leadership in career fields such as hydrogeology, environmental geology, petroleum geology and numerous other areas of expertise.
“The degree will offer a whole host of new opportunities for graduates,” shares Dr. John Whitmore, associate professor of geology. “Geologists help us find clean drinking water, petroleum, natural gas, coal and valuable minerals.”
The program will be unique in that no other Christian school, that holds to a literal six-day account of Genesis offers geology as a major for undergraduates. The course of study will be taught from both naturalistic and young-earth paradigms of earth history.
This was discussed by e-mail exchanges a week or two ago in a group of Christian geologists I am part of. Most of them were rather skeptical of the the final statement about teaching “both sides” of the age of the Earth and evolution debates.
I wish them well, and I hope the program evolves over time. One question: will they produce geologists who can get jobs in industry or go on to graduate school?
Grace and Peace
P.S. One can also get a B.S. in geology from the following Evangelical Christian schools: Wheaton College, Calvin College, Olivet Nazarene. These schools all have a commitment to the truthfulness (some use the word inerrancy) of Scriptures, and yet see no conflict between the Bible and acceptance of an old Earth.
P.P.S. Why are all of these schools in the Midwest (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan)? Sure, there is some interesting geology there, but not a whole lot in the way of structure or lithologic diversity.
P.P.P.S. How will the science department handle a student who either 1. accepts an old Earth, 2. accepts evolution, or 3. loses his/her faith? How many of the students in this program will have a crisis of faith when they see that young-Earth creationism doesn’t work?
P.P.P.P.S. The Cedarville science department has only one geologist. John Whitmore has an M.S. in geology from the Intitute for Creation Research, and a PhD in biology. This isn’t much of a foundation to build a geology major on.