Team Science in a Christian Context

Basic information

This research explores how lessons and insights from Christian living communities can inform our approaches to team science.


Team approaches to science are valued in the broader scientific community. As biological problems become more complex and require multidisciplinary approaches, team science offers opportunities to extend the impact of individual scientists. Team science also offers attractive strategies for doing research in a small college environment, prioritizing efficiencies in space, time, and money, increased productivity, and mentoring. A scientist’s approach to doing science is informed by culture, beliefs, and values. As researchers at a Christian college, we wonder what the culture, values, and practices of our faith can add to the team approach to science. Christians have been thinking about how to live and work in community for centuries and we believe that Christian perspectives and established practices can inform conversations about how to do team science well. We are exploring key observations and insights obtained from visits and discussions with Christian living communities across the country and considering their applications to team science conducted at Calvin College.

Purpose Statement for Our Collaborative Project

Our calling is to be a community of scientists whose scholarship prioritizes Christian values in pursuit of authentic community, member well-being, and scientific excellence.

faith in community


We believe that being at Calvin provides up with the unique opportunity to explore how our faith could change the way we think about doing science. We wish to explore how a community of Christian scientists, both faculty and students, can effectively manage group responsibilities to promote individual flourishing as well as community goals. We intend to pursue practices informed by other intentional communities such as shared community vision, purposeful membership, and shared daily (research) life.


We are currently visiting and talking with Christian living communities in the United States and throughout the world. During Summer 2017 we plan to initiate a research project focused on the understanding and treatment of mitochondrial rare diseases through which we can practice doing science in community and implement what we have learned from the Christian living communities.

Acknowledgements and References

Thanks to the following intentional community members for insightful conversations: David Janzen, Greg Clark, Brandon Wencher, John Schwiebert, Linda Naranjo-Huebl, Huw Lewis. Thank you to the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship for funding this project.


Amy Wilstermann

Amy Wilstermann

Associate Professor
Director, Honors and Collegiate Scholars
Full profile


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