The Creation Project

The objective of the Creation Project was to catalyze a field of study around the doctrine of creation that is faithful to Scripture and informed by contemporary scientific research.

    People listening

    Spanning six years and five programs, the Creation Project promoted the doctrine of creation in its exegetical, theological, and historical complexity and as it appeared in light of the claims of modern science. The Project sought to make progress in understanding where the conflict between the current state of scientific inquiry and classical theological positions is real and where it is illusory; to promote rigorous and thoughtful research on the foundational theological questions that remain; to revive the full breadth and importance of the doctrine of creation within the church; and to nurture a posture of intellectual hospitality and commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration.

    • 10+ monographs

    • 3+ edited volumes

    • 30+ articles & book chapters

    • 10+ conferences

    • 50+ public lectures

    • 250+ online articles

    • 30+ congregations

    The Creation Project was more than a think-tank. It provided pastors and churches with a roadmap for how to navigate challenging obstacles when it comes to reading and interpreting Genesis in a scientific age. Most importantly, it has shown that there are ways to do justice to both modern science and Holy Scripture without either sacrificing one's intellect or abandoning biblical authority.Kevin J. Vanhoozer


    Conversations surrounding science and theology often demonstrate more division and hostility than humility and a shared commitment to truth and understanding. This is especially so when the topic is “creation and evolution.”

    Heated public debates and exchanges often heighten this polarization. Some expressions of popular piety among evangelical Christians also contribute to the problem, viewing science as an opponent to faith rather than an ally and interlocutor towards new insights and deeper understanding of reality. Sometimes this mentality is even supported by the perception that orthodox Christian theology (affirming the Bible as definitive and authoritative divine revelation) is fundamentally at odds with the natural sciences.

    The consequences are not merely lack of thoughtful choices; increasingly, political and institutional responses are making it difficult for scholarly engagement or humble pastoral guidance. Increased intellectual humility on both sides of the “science and theology” conversation is needed, as well as greater openness to the claims of scientific inquiry and their potential implications in relation to doctrine and ultimate reality.

    Within an ecclesial and theological context, much of the confusion is at least in part a result of an inadequate understanding of the doctrine of creation. Too often the “creation vs. evolution” controversy immediately takes center stage and crowds out the very theological convictions that should frame and shape further treatment of the controversial issues.

    The Creation Project recognized the need and opportunity for establishing and strengthening this field of inquiry within the evangelical community, both among its thought leaders and the general ecclesial public. We believe that the doctrine of creation provides opportunity for humble and open inquiry and the potential for new insights at the intersection of science and theology.

    While some scholars have begun to wrestle with the difficult issues, much work remains. Gathering the thought leaders throughout the evangelical community —pastors, scholars, administrators, and the like—we wanted to change the tone of discourse, research agendas, and public perception within the evangelical community and make progress towards new insights in the doctrine of creation.

    Project Objectives

    In advancing the doctrine of creation at the intersection of theology and modern science, biblical interpretation and empirical investigation, we sought to make progress within the wider evangelical community in four areas:

    The fundamental assumption of the Creation Project is that much of today’s antagonism between science and theology stems from an underdeveloped doctrine of creation. To remedy that neglect, therefore, the primary objective in all Creation Project activities is to infuse renewed energy and thought in that doctrine, especially as it relates to the current state of scientific evidence.

    The project aims to help stimulate careful and creative scholarly work among both academic and pastoral theologians (as well as budding scholars, ministerial students and other ecclesial leaders) on key issues in the doctrine of creation. It seeks to aid the development of a theological approach to the doctrine of creation that is both faithful to Scripture and classical Christian teaching as well as informed by significant advances in scientific knowledge.

    The project proceeds from the conviction that Christian intellectual endeavors should begin with a steadfast confidence in the utter truthfulness of divine revelation as well as a humble and charitable openness to serious study of God’s creation.

    The project provides an opportunity to clarify the primary questions that need to be addressed, to test which tensions and contradictions between the disciplines are real and which are merely illusory, to stimulate further work on remaining challenges, and to provide a platform for the dissemination of well­-informed evangelical theologies of creation to broader evangelical communities of faith.


    • Henry Resident Fellowship

      Each year, the Creation Project offered residential research fellowships which allowed biblical scholars, theologians and scientists to live on campus and work together to publish articles and books on the doctrine of creation. The Henry Center hosted dozens of fellows from various institutions around the world throughout the duration of the Creation Project.

    • Dabar Conference

      Every Summer, the Creation Project gathered more than 60 evangelical academics from different disciplines, denominations and institutions for a conference where they engaged in honest, humble, and open conversation about the doctrine of creation. Each year had a specific theme, ranging from topics like reading Genesis and theological anthropology to divine action and human personhood.

    • Stott Award for Pastoral Engagement

      Each year, the Creation Project supported six churches who were interested in engaging with issues related to the doctrine of creation. The program involved forming congregational reading groups, gathering each pastor for a weekend consultation with TEDS faculty, and a sermon series.

    • Public Lectures & Events

      The Creation Project’s public lectures and events featured a range of notable biblical scholars and theologians: Al Mohler and Jack Collins debating Scripture’s teaching on the age of the earth; Katherine Sonderegger and Stephen Williams as part of a spring theology conference; Craig Keener on miracles in the New Testament and today. Videos of all of these lectures are still accessible today.

    • Sapientia & Digital Presence

      Through our website in general and Sapientia in particular, the Creation Project was able to provide a hub for all lecture videos, published articles, and other resources from the project, which are still accessible today. Throughout the six years, Sapientia published over 200 articles related to the doctrine of creation; they are all still able to be read.


    Featured Publication

    Retrieving Augustine’s Doctrine of Creation: Ancient Wisdom for Current Controversy

    Gavin Ortlund



    Frequently Asked Questions





    This project was made possible through the support of two generous grants from the Templeton Religion Trust and the John Templeton Foundation. From 2016–19, the Creation Project was funded by a $3.4 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust; from 2019–22, the Creation Project was funded by a $4.2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

    The opinions expressed throughout this project did not necessarily reflect the views of the Templeton Religion Trust or the John Templeton Foundation.