Developments with regard to research activities at the GCRI Tabor
In a joint application with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge University in the UK, the Graeme Clark Research Institute (GCRI) received an award from the John Templeton Foundation for a grant of approximately $AU20,000 to assist in the costs associated with the Tabor-Faraday conference on Science and Faith, which was held on 30th August – 1st September 2011.
The GCRI was awarded a grant of $AU44,606 from the UK for a scoping study on the history of science with a special focus on the rise of modern medicine.
The GCRI was awarded a grant of $US53,000 for the funding of a project involving a series of regional science and faith conferences in capital cities in Australia. The meetings – which were held in March 2012 – offered an opportunity for Christian pastors, leaders and school teachers to meet specifically to reflect together on the relationship between science and faith in a spirit of openness and charity.
The GCRI was selected by the International Society for Science & Religion as an ISSR Library awardee. The application was reviewed under a competitive judging process and the college will join a select group of only 150 institutions worldwide – and the only institution in Australasia – to receive a full set of the ISSR Library, which consists of 224 volumes spanning all areas of the interface between science and spirituality. These volumes are now housed in the new Graeme Clark Research Institute Resource Centre, which will be officially launched on Tuesday 29th May 2012 at 6.30pm.
The institute has been awarded the research rights to the question of attitudes toward science among Australian churchgoers in the recent (September 2011) National Church Life Survey (NCLS), which is the most comprehensive research into national church life and religious attitudes done anywhere in the world. The college is also working with the National Church Life Survey Inc. to investigate the attitudes to other faiths by Australian Christians based on the 2011 NCLS survey.
The GCRI has received a $4,000 grant from the Australian Research Theology Foundation Inc for a research project investigating the value of Sunday school education for the development and maintenance of spirituality.
The GCRI has recently been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Collier Charitable Fund to undertake an ecumenical research-based programme investigating church-based Christian education programs and the retention of young people in Australian Churches.
The GCRI has been commissioned to write a biography of Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor of the multi-channel cochlear implant ('bionic ear').
Tabor has recently been named as the first international participant in the Seminary Stewardship Alliance (SSA), a consortium of theological schools dedicated to reconnecting Christians with the biblical call to care for God's creation, with the goal of teaching, preaching, living and inspiring good stewardship practices (see http://www.blessedearth.org/seminary-stewardship-alliance/). The institute is now facilitating the development of an Australian cohort of the SSA.
The GCRI is currently taking a lead role in a two-year collaborative OLT (Office of Learning and Teaching) project with a number of other Christian Private Higher Education Providers (HEPs), seeking to develop appropriate benchmarking processes and procedures.
The institute is involved in a project in collaboration with the Graeme Clark Foundation, working on the development and evaluation of speech education and programs for cochlear implantees.
The GCRI is participating in a project seeking to develop a virtual speech therapist system to support the language learning of cochlear implantees. It will primarily consist of supervision of postgraduate students in conjunction with other academics from Melbourne.
The GCRI is consulting with a local college interested in finding out about the Finnish Education system in order to apply good ideas from there to improve their primary reading program.
A full proposal has recently been submitted to the John Templeton Foundation with the aim of exploring over a period of two years the role of liturgy in public worship as a means of both reflecting and celebrating scientific insights that celebrate the wonder and mystery of creation. The project is planned to culminate in an international conference on the topic, in which a number of world-renowned ecotheology scholars have agreed to participate.
The GCRI continues to identify other research projects that accord with its stated mission to engage in a range of activities that concern the harmonious relationship between science and faith, and (more broadly) the role of spirituality in family, society, education, culture and politics. Collaboration with other research institutes in the fulfilment of this mission is currently under discussion.
Tabor was established in 1979 and is a dual sector educational institution. This means we offer Higher Education degrees from Bachelor to Doctorates, as well as Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. Tabor prides itself on providing academic excellence and a personalized learning environment.