Praise for Michael Dowd's
Programs for Christians

Scroll down to find comments from these groups:

  • United Church of Christ / Congregational
  • Presbyterian
  • Catholic
  • Episcopal
  • Mennonite
  • Christian students
  • Professors of religion
  • Campus ministers
  • Praise for Michael's book


    "Michael Dowd opens our eyes to the holy, stimulates the mind to embrace the innate sacred, and empowers the will to seek the highest good for others." — Rev. Jeff Hamilton, associate minister of First Christian Church, Oklahoma City OK

    "Please accept this small token of thanks on behalf of our congregation for your participation in our 'Worship in the Park' service last Sunday. Everyone I've talked to said that they were enlightened and inspired by your presentation. We wish you every success in your journeys and for your mission to awaken people to The Great Story, and we surely hope to see you again when you are in our area." — Rev. John Alvord, First Congregational Church, Tacoma WA

    "Dear Michael: People are still buzzing here at United Church in Tallahassee since your sermon and forum with us last month. Your presentations were mind-expanding and invigorating, while also being accessible and entertaining — not an easy feat! One mother of two older elementary-age sons was especially glad to have you speak of the positive relationship between evolution and religion. They've been asking lots of questions for the past couple of years, and she hadn't known quite how to talk about it. Your sermon gave her and the boys fruit for lots of juicy conversation! You'll also be interested to know that several of our members attended the workshop you and Connie did on Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, and were inspired to start a Lenten study around your book, Earthspirit. One of the leaders is a botanist, and the other is a counselor with deep experience in spiritual formation; so they will bring wonderful insights from their own lives to the leadership of the group. We feel truly blessed that you "fell into our laps" as a visiting speaker. Thanks for all you do, and God bless you both as you continue!" — Rev. Shelley R. Wagener, United Church of Tallahassee, Florida

    "Thank you, Michael, for your presentations on March 16, preaching at both services, conducting a talk-back time between services and a forum after the second. We worked you hard, but you gave us the gift of a fresh perspective on the ministry of Jesus and hope for Christianity in the future. It was exciting." — Fay Oliver, Director of Adult Education, Foothills Congregational Church, Los Altos, California

    "Bless you, Michael, for answering God's call so fully and whole-heartedly. We look forward to seeing you again in 2005!" — Rev. Ama Zonya Lewis, First Congregational Church, Oakland, California

    "Michael: I enjoyed reading your piece in the Benedictine Bridge, the publication of St. Benedict Center here in Madison. What I most appreciated is the way you framed things within the Christian tradition in fairly specific Christian language. As one who is more of a theologian and less of a scientist, I find it hard sometimes to translate the emerging scientific information into faith language. My concern is that so many are feeling like they have to move out of the Christian tradition to embrace the new science understandings. Your ability to locate this exciting information into our tradition is very helpful. Thanks again for your good work." — Rev. Winton Boyd, Orchard Ridge UCC Church, Madison WI


    "How can I thank you enough? Sunday was phenomenal, and I only wish that more people were able to share the presentation. I have gotten feedback and feedback from people who didn't attend and wish they had based on the feedback! People loved Michael and thought he was smart, charismatic, and thought provoking. A few attendees have been seen toting books around that they got at the presentation." — Lori Nelson, administrator of adult religious education programs at Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco

    "Dear Michael: The work that you and Connie are doing is fantastic! I am a Presbyterian pastor in New Jersey and have been interested in creation spirituality for many years. I listened to your series this winter ["The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity"] as much as I could and am using a couple of your dvds in adult classes now. Keep on the journey, Michael. It's making a difference! And thanks again for helping to equip folk like myself for exciting ministry!" — Blessings! John Monroe

    "Dear Michael: Richard and I couldn't sleep last night. Our heads were reeling! Your presentation clarity and enthusiasm were amazing to watch, extremely effective by my account! Richard and I both spoke of the people that we wished had been there to hear you. Next time!" — Much love and many blessings, Rebecca Nunley (Elder in First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN)

    "Michael, you have a special gift! Your telling of The Great Story touched me on a very deep level yet, strangely, the response which it elicited was a simple, "of course!", "that's it!", "wow!", "yes!!". I am in awe of your ability to communicate this message so powerfully. May your blessings be as immense as the universe." — Harriet Baker, member of First Presybterian Church of Elizabethton, TN

    "Michael, what a great privilege to meet you at First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton and to receive your Good News! As an ecologist I have found myself in despair over the threats to all of Earth's ecosystems in general, and to one spot in particular. I came away from your sessions with inspiration and concrete ideas about how to open a new and exciting conversation with my colleagues, one that holds the promise of giving us the heart and optimism we need to meet bold conservation goals. You gave me the missing piece! Thank you and bless you!" — Judy Murray, Stewardship Director, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy; member of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN

    "Dear Michael: It was great to feel the energy and enthusiasm generated by your presentations at our church. Word-of-mouth brought more attendees to your second workshop than the first! What has been especially exciting is the feedback I'm getting from people, weeks later, telling me that you changed their lives. You and Connie are truly doing Great Work!" — Nancy Barrigar, Co-Moderator of the Peacemaking Committee and Elder of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN

    "My undergraduate degree is in geology, and I am now a Presbyterian pastor. Michael Dowd's presentation was the most remarkable, concise, profound, and easy to understand synthesis of these two backgrounds of understanding our universe and our existence that I have ever experienced. I highly recommend Michael to any and all Presbyterian churches." — Rev. Todd Freeman, College Hill Presbyterian Church, Tulsa OK


    "Thank you for being here, and for the life and energy and presence with which you shared the Great Story! In just one evening you covered so many aspects of how this Story, still so new to us humans, inspires and expands and deepens our sense of who we are, and who God is, and how intimately we are One with all beings in this Sacred Universe. Folks are still talking about the program." — Mary Southard, SSJ, and in behalf of The Well, a spirituality center of the Sisters of St. Joseph, LaGrange IL

    "Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation at the Sophia Center last week. I've attended many Thurday morning Public Forums at the Sophia Center, and yours was unquestionably one of the best. MIL GRACIAS! Continued blessings on your mission/ministry; it is truly of the Spirit. You have a special place in my prayer as you continue on the journey." — Sincerely, Anne Devaney, R.S.M.

    "Michael, I just need to say what a blessing your writings have been to me. Often times you put into words what's in my heart and mind, and say it better than I have been able to thus far. Your writings have also been of comfort to me. And you're right, embracing The Great Story does indeed help one to feel and experience a closer relation to God, Christ, and the Spirit." — John Hoff, Roman Catholic, Cincinnati, Ohio

    "Thank you, Michael, for being with us last evening. Your enthusiasm, knowledge, and wisdom are a real gift and blessing. It's a joy to have someone like you talking about faith in this larger context: planting so many seeds and raising our level of awareness." — Alice MacDonald, Word and Life Study Group, Holy Cross Catholic Church, Santa Barbara CA.

    "Words cannot express the great admiration that I have for you. Thank you for praising the Universe! Sending a big thank you with prayerful gratitude from the Sisters of the Holy Names." — Sr. Evelyn Ferguson

    "Michael - regarding your writings on Christianity and the Universe Story, I am awed by the crispness and 'understandability' of your synthesis!"
    — Paula Gonzalez, SC

  • "The relief you provided for both of my sons" (excerpts from an email following a program by Michael Dowd in 2008 at a Catholic church in southern Wisconsin)
    "Dear Michael: Thank you for the absolutely great talk you gave last night. I am most happy about the relief you provided for both of my sons who attended. They have worried about what will happen to them when they die — perhaps too many fundamentalist views floating around landed on their heads and became fact. I have struggled with helping them. Last night you really helped them to see things differently and gave them a sense of relief about their own salvation.
       "Prior to your talk, my 15 year old son couldn't let himself believe in evolution because he wanted to believe in the biblical teachings. He thought if he believed in evolution he couldn't really believe in God. But now he tells me that evolution makes sense where the biblical teachings were questionable. You helped him to connect the dots. Now he can believe in both. He now feels free to trust his instincts about God and not worry about it anymore.
       "My 13 year old son picked up the Jesus loves Darwin fishes bumper sticker at your book table after your talk. He now has it hanging above his bed. He says he looks up at it at night and smiles because he is not afraid anymore."


    "Michael, the visit you and Connie made here to Christ Church was a time when we all needed reminders of God's love and grace, so eloquently expressed in the diversity of creation. I can still see our children listening with rapt attention to your Great Story telling, and how they simply didn't want you to stop. Thank you for the insights that you enabled us to gain, especially those that reminded us that God's creative activity never ceases and that God is continually being revealed in our midst." — The Rev. Allan E. Belton, Christ Church Episcopal, Hudson, OH

    "Michael does an exquisite job incorporating what we have learned about the universe through modern science into the cosmic story found in scripture and the Christian Tradition. No longer does the Christian mind need to make a choice between Moses and Darwin. The choice has always been for God, and Michael makes this clear using a thorough understanding of scripture and tradition, a depth of appreciation for modern science, and a gift for storytelling and preaching." — The Rev. Stephen Smith, Rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Dublin OH

    "Michael: My wife and I have attended many presentations in our lifetime, but yours was probably the best one we have experienced. Your manner, material, and magnificent presentation gave us lots to think about. Perhaps the best thing about the message was the fact that you helped us see that it's all o.k. in the big picture and that from what seemingly appears chaotic and out of control in our lives and in this world of ours is just grist for the mill. This is especially appreciated in this time of such unrest." — Ed and Meg Byrne, members of St. John's Episcopal Church, New City NY


    "Michael's telling of The Great Story was immediately engaging. I watched the whole room become riveted with attention and expectation as he donned the Great Story beads and began to recount a mere handful of the 'grace moments' in the 13 billion year epic. I could not have imagined what a powerful tool the beads were. Michael's ability to engage a group's attention is so vital in an age of information fatigue and short attention spans. And his fluency in the Christian tradition, his ability to place it in a cosmological context, was utterly enlivening and inspiring for a group of people for whom the church has become an embarassment." — Doug Hitt, organizer of Great Story workshop for Peace Mennonite Church, Lawrence KS


    "From your presentation I discovered for the first time what was right in front of my face, waiting for me to take hold of: the knowledge of how to incorporate my religious beliefs into everyday life in a meaningful way. I've always believed in God, but like many, I had an image of Him as an old guy floating in the sky, which didn't do much for my understanding of myself and the Story. Michael, I will never forget your heaven and hell explanations, and how when you feel love, that is heaven. That makes so much sense to me, and that helped me to relate to God as what lies within everything. Now I realize that signs of God are everywhere in everything, and it's a really cool feeling. Thank you! You've changed my life." — Matthew Giesfeldt, student in an honors interdisciplinary seminar, Edgewood College, Madison WI

    "I would just like to offer a brief thanks for inviting Michael Dowd to speak for our class. He was very inspiring and opened (at least my) eyes to a way of thinking that I have never been exposed to. It made more sense to me than anything else I have previously been taught about evolution, spirituality, and our personal relationship to each. His website is very informative and interesting as well." — Michelle Slobodzian, student in International Relations class, SUNY Buffalo.

    "Dear Michael: I was in the class at St. Thomas University that you spoke in this morning. I talked with you briefly after the class, but I just wanted to write and tell you again how much I appreciated what you said, and how you went about it this morning. I am a Christian myself, but I have become used to many Christians shoving their opinions down the throat of others. I found you were very confident in what you said, but you weren't offensive or intolerant of other people. That is a ministry in itself!" — Rich Crosby, student at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick.


    "Thank you so much for Michael's stimulating presentation, which gave my students and me an excellent opportunity to see how theologians are exploring new ways of understanding God. Particularly valuable was your discussion of how historical context can shape understandings of God, as well as your provocative arguments about theology and ecology. I also enjoyed visiting with you over lunch. My students seemed to be entirely engaged with your enthusiastic presentation." — Dr. Thomas Leininger, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego, California

    "Michael Dowd's presentation of 'The Great Story' provided provocative food for thought for my undergraduate students in Introduction to the New Testament. Michael adapted his presentation to fit with the themes of the class. He was courteous and thoughtful in responding to skeptical questions and comments." — Prof. George Wiley, Religion Department, Baker University, Ballwin KS


    "We were pleased to help cosponsor a week-long event featuring Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow. I was impressed with (1) the scope and range of their knowledge; (2) their ability to communicate ("popularize") often "technical" matter; (3) the warmth of their personalities; (4) their strong desire to bring their message to university students; their deep commitment to faith, ecology, and a modern cosmology not at odds with either. It has been a delight to host them, and we eagerly look forward to their return. We now count them among our friends. Surely, transformative experiences await others who have the opportunity to hear a Michael Dowd/Connie Barlow presentation or to attend a workshop." — Doug Pierce, Executive Director, The Crossing (formerly Madison Campus Ministry), University of Wisconsin, Madison


    Praise for Michael's 2007 book from NOBEL LAUREATES

    full list of endorsements

  • "The universe took 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing book. I heartily recommend it." — JOHN MATHER, NASA CHIEF SCIENTIST, 2006 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS

  • "The science vs. religion debate is over! Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a world view that celebrates the mysteries of existence and inspires each human being to achieve a higher purpose in life. A must read for all, including scientists." — CRAIG MELLO, 2006 Nobel PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE

  • 19 June 2008 Viking/Penguin released the new hardcover edition of Dowd's Thank God for Evolution. The book website provides links to the news articles about it, including New York Times Magazine and Washington Post.
  • .