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Student Profile: Jorge Grenandos


By Tita Parham

Reconciling science and faith in Texas

Jorge Granados leads a part of 'Imagine What's NEXT,' an event for the United Methodist Student Movement.
Jorge Granados leads a part of 'Imagine What's NEXT,' an event for the United Methodist Student Movement.

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive.

Jorge Granados believes that now, but he didn't always. The 25-year-old remembers sitting in church and thinking, "This doesn't match what Darwin says; it doesn't match with physics or chemistry."

He gradually reconciled having faith in God and believing science. His experience at Texas Wesleyan Universityin Fort Worth, Texas, helped.

Granados will graduate this summer. He began college as an engineering major at Ohio State University, but decided he wanted to teach and to attend a smaller school. His mother was then pastor of a United Methodist church in Texas.

"My time (at Texas Wesleyan) has definitely had its impact on my personal spiritual development," Granados said.

Discussions with United Methodist faculty, particularly math professors, helped him see "how they've been able to incorporate their faith in the academic world."

He appreciated having discussions without any wall between religion and science. "A younger version of me would have thought that was outrageous," he said, "but now it just seems like a very normal thing."

He's having similar conversations with youth at El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church in Fort Worth.

"They say, 'You come to church all the time and play in the worship band, and you teach at Sunday school. How can you do all that and believe in science?'" he said.

He tells them he's learned the two can exist together.

After graduation he plans to teach math and science and then go to graduate school. He's also considering what's next for him as a United Methodist.

Granados helped launch the first "Imagine What's NEXT" event in November 2012. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will sponsor similar events for young adults every two years.

"It begged the question ... what is next?" Granados said. "Next in your local church ... for you personally as a Christian ... for The United Methodist Church. What is next for the world, what is next for all kinds of religions working together in unison?"

"I was tremendously moved ... to know that everyone (there) was in a very similar situation," he said. "They're members of The United Methodist Church, they're youth and young adults, and they're all just trying to figure out what that really means."