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The Rev. Michael Dowd, a big integrity / big history / epic of evolution enthusiast, is one of the most inspiring speakers in America today. He is the author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, a book endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, including noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer and family educator, have spoken to more than 1,500 groups, as "America's evolutionary evangelists", since launching their itinerant ministry in 2002. At home in both liberal and conservative settings, and uniquely gifted at building bridges between religious and non-religious people, Michael shares the epic of evolution, our common creation story, in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. An outspoken religious naturalist, his passion is showing how an evolutionary understanding of human nature can inspire and empower each of us to live with greater integrity, joy, and zest for life. New Hampshire Public Television recently aired a 27-minute documentary on Rev. Dowd's ministry.
The Making of an Evolutionary Evangelist
Michael graduated with highest honors from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), where he received a B.A. in biblical studies and philosophy. He also graduated with honors from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (affiliated with the American Baptist Church), where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. Rev. Dowd served as a United Church of Christ minister for nine years, pastoring churches in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan. His 1991 book, EarthSpirit: A Handbook for Nurturing an Ecological Christianity (Twenty-Third Publications) was one of the first attempts to look appreciatively at traditional Christianity from the perspective of a modern cosmology.
In 1995 Rev. Dowd began working with Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Unitarian Universalist, and New Thought leaders across America on social and environmental issues that were coming up for a vote in Congress, as Religious Organizer for the Washington D.C.–based National Environmental Trust. From 1997 to 2000 he headed the first government-funded program designed to produce large-scale voluntary citizen behavior change along stewardship lines in the United States: The Portland Sustainable Lifestyle Campaign, in Portland, Oregon. In 2000 and 2001 he served as Campaign Manager of Global Action Plan's EcoTeam and Livable Neighborhood Programs in Rockland County, New York.
Rev. Dowd has served on the boards of the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology; the Ohio Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) Integrity of Creation, Justice, and Peace task force; and the Hudson Valley Sustainable Communities Network. He has also served on the steering committees of the International Network of Biblical Storytellers and the UCC Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility. Michael’s great joy in life is telling the history of everyone and everything in ways that inspire and empower people of all ages and theological orientations to know real freedom, to live in deepest integrity, and to fulfill their evolutionary mission.