Exploring Human Origins Site Support Notebook for Seminaries: Programming

Table of Contents:

  1. Overview
  2. Scheduling NMNH Programs
  3. NMNH Scientist-Led Programs
  4. Other Required Programs
  5. Additional Programming Resources


The NMNH Human Origins Program’s Broader Social Impacts Committee (BSIC) can help provide seminaries with connections to local networks and groups interested in the science and religion dialogue.

Required programs include the three described below, presented by scientists from the NMNH Human Origins Program and members of the BSIC. Programs, including presentations by scientists from the NMNH Human Origins Program, may be held in-person, virtually, or hybrid.

Scheduling NMNH Programs

Scientists from the NMNH Human Origins Program and members of the BSIC will develop program schedules for their presentations at each seminary. Campus Coordinators should begin scheduling the details for the NMNH scientist-led programs about six months before their scheduled host start date in conjunction with the site visit by members of the NMNH/BSIC Team. Each Campus Coordinator will work with Dr. Jim Miller jmiller1776@gmail.com to schedule the programs and coordinate the travel plans for the NMNH/BSIC Team.

NMNH Scientist-Led Programs

The programs presented by the NMNH staff and BSIC co-chairs are required for each library site to host. These required programs will include the following:

  1. Seminary Community Conversation: "What Does it Mean to Be Human? Preparation for Religious Leadership," led by BSIC co-chairs Drs. Connie Bertka and Jim Miller. Join with other members of seminary community to explore together, in small group discussions, a variety of answers to the question "What does it mean to be human?". As part of these conversations, we will consider how answers to this question might intersect with a scientific understanding of human origins as displayed in the exhibit. They will also provide an opportunity to consider how the discoveries sciences of human might inform preparation for and practice of religious community leadership.

  2. Evening science program. Dr. Rick Potts, the exhibition curator and director of the NMNH Human Origins Program, will give a lecture for the general public about the latest research in human evolution and an overview of exhibition themes and messages. While this program and the others may be scheduled near the start date of the exhibition, it may be better to schedule them a month or so into the exhibition period to allow the seminary community time to visit the exhibit.

  3. Clergy Tour and Conversation: Seminaries are asked to invite religious leaders in their surrounding community to participate in a special tour led by Dr. Rick Potts, Director of the NMNH Human Origins Program and conversation facilitated by the BSIC co-chairs.

Other Possible Programs

In addition to the programs presented by the NMNH Human Origins Program, seminaries have the option to present other public programs throughout the course of their exhibition host period. Programs may be lectures by experts in this area, panel discussions, book discussions (see below for a list of recommended books), readings, performances, or other formats.

Collaborations with K-12 schools (including other universities and community colleges), science centers, and museums in presenting programs are recommended. You can choose to present a free program at a different public venue to help draw different audiences. You can also choose to work with local experts in the science of human origins, religious studies, ethics, philosophy and the arts and humanities in developing these programs.

Additional Programming Resources

See a list of program recommendations for various audiences.

See a list of book recommendations curated by NMNH staff.

See a list of curated film suggestions.

Next page: Publicity