Science and Religion Digital Dialogues

Pastors, Pandemics and Public Health

Building Collaborative Responses to COVID-19

How do pastors and congregations engage science when making public health decisions concerning COVID-19 prevention? How can they keep the faith while keeping congregations and communities safe from COVID-19? Panelists will unpack these questions during the first event of MTSO’s virtual series, Science and Religion Digital Dialogues.

“Pastors, Pandemics and Public Health: Building Collaborative Responses to COVID-19” begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 16. It is free and open to the public. Advance Zoom registration is required and available here.

Here is a printable letter-size PDF poster for the event.

This multi-professional conversation will offer responses to the COVID-19 pandemic through scientific, social and pastoral lenses. Noted experts will discuss responding to immediate pandemic concerns and propose approaches to dealing with longer-term issues.

This event is made possible through the Science for Seminaries project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogues on Science, Ethics, and Religion program.


Emanuel Cleaver III is senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Cleaver is an MTSO trustee and the author of two books, Pastor On Track: Reclaiming Our True Role and What Is the Bible and Who Is It For? A Book for Beginners, Skeptics, and Seekers.

A. Oveta Fuller is associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School and a faculty member in the STEM Initiative of the university’s African Studies Center. Dr. Fuller also serves as adjunct professor at Payne Theological Seminary. She is an ordained itinerant elder and former pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Rachel Schneider is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University. Dr. Schneider serves as co-managing director of projectCURATE, a Houston-based nonprofit social justice and civic engagement organization.


Elonda Clay is director of the John W. Dickhaut Library at MTSO.