Close Menu

Academic Minute

Hannah David '21

Major: Mathematical Economics

Kacie Lynn Foster '23

Majors: Psychology and Chemistry (Pre-Med Track)

After we applied for summer math research fellowships, Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science Diana Schepens invited each of us to her office for an interview. She told us to be ready for the summer to change our lives.

OK, Dr. Schepens, whatever you say.

She could not have been more right. Summer 2020 allowed us to view God in a completely different light. Dr. Schepens asked us to gather research and learn about mathematical topics such as infinity, zero and chaos theory. After we acquired an understanding of each topic, we made connections between the math and God's character. The ultimate goal of our research was to aid Dr. Schepens in writing a book on math and faith, but we accomplished so much more.

We first explored infinity, which proved to have countless applications to theology. Infinity is always beyond anything we can dream of and can never be fully understood. Even large numbers can’t come close to infinity because every number is still an infinity away.

Understanding these concepts has shaped the way we interpret Scripture. Psalm 103:12 says, "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." East and west are infinitely far apart, which means our sins are so far away that we could never approach them. God reveals himself to us mathematically, and his word becomes clearer through the lens of mathematics.

Math declares God's beauty but also reveals his incomprehensibility. This leads us to search for him our whole lives. He is an infinite God who speaks meaning and existence from nothing; he reigns beyond what we can see, yet he somehow is still intertwined with our very being. He gives our bodies life and our souls a purpose. He sets eternity in our hearts, so we know there is something bigger – something more – even if we don’t understand this entirely. And above it all, we trust in this mysterious God.

God never belongs within the human constraints we impose on him. God is infinitely higher than us, so who are we to limit him to theology? God created the truth of mathematics just like he formed the laws of the universe or designed a colorful sunset. We study these wonders to seek a fuller picture of our beautiful, rational, creator God.

This story appears in the fall 2020 issue of Whitworth Today magazine.

Read the Magazine


Megan Wynecoop '20

Academic minute

Veronica Scafidi

Academic minute

Nicholas Bratt '19

Major: Chemistry