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Artificial Intelligence in Scholarship and Pastoral Ministry: An Exploration of Possibilities and Perils

Join us as we explore the increasingly overlapping spheres of artificial intelligence (AI) and pastoral ministry. Our discussion uncovers both the promising opportunities and the intricate challenges presented by this cross-disciplinary synthesis, offering listeners a space for thoughtful reflection and critical analysis.

We begin by considering the ways in which AI could influence scholarly and pastoral work, discussing its potential to revolutionize sermon preparation, theological interpretation, and pastoral responsibilities. From enhancing exegesis through computational analysis to automated pastoral care systems, the conversation paints a picture of a possible future in which technology and theology are closely entwined.

However, the integration of AI into such deeply human and nuanced fields raises a multitude of ethical and philosophical concerns. Can an artificial system genuinely contribute to a process so rooted in personal insight and spirituality? Would reliance on AI for intellectual tasks promote laziness or engender a culture of plagiarism within the realm of theological scholarship? Furthermore, we ponder the risk of losing the essence of pastoral care—the human touch—in the wake of automated systems.

We invite you to join a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the role AI could play in scholarship and pastoral ministry. For those curious about the intersection of technology, faith, and ethics, this discussion offers a chance to engage with a deeply fascinating and increasingly relevant topic.


  • 00:07 Thinking about Artificial Intelligence
  • 01:17 Jim’s Course on John 1–10
  • 07:17 Thinking about Artificial Intelligence
  • 13:58 A Laymen’s Understanding of How Large Language Models Work
  • 20:55 Ethical Issues with the Use of AI in Scholarship and Ministry
  • 27:15 How AI Relates to Current Publishing Practices
  • 32:11 The Use of Research Assistants in Scholarship
  • 35:25 Situating AI amongst Other Tools
  • 41:45 AI in Ministry
  • 46:59 AI and Psychology
  • 54:57 Conclusion

Participants: ,

Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.


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