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Stephen Moshier

Stephen Moshier

Stephen Moshier, Ph.D.

Professor of Geology, Black Hills Science Station Director, Department Chair


  • Geology and Geoarchaeology
  • Earth History
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Natural Disasters
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • Faith-Science Dialogue

Dr. Stephen O. Moshier is a Professor of Geology at Wheaton College, where he also chairs the Department of Geology and Environmental Science. Much of his early research in geology involved describing and interpreting oil reservoir rocks, with published papers on oil fields in North America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. More recently, Dr. Moshier's research efforts are in the field of geoarchaeology, with contributions to Bronze and Iron Age excavations in Sinai, Egypt, and Israel by combining surface geology with satellite imagery to reconstruct the ancient geographic settings of the archaeological sites. Dr. Moshier is responsible for education in the areas of earth history, sedimentary rocks, petroleum geology, and geoarchaeology, as well as popular courses on natural disasters, energy and climate change, and theories of origins.

Louisiana State University
Ph.D., Geology, 1987

SUNY Binghamton
M.A., Geological Sciences, 1979

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.S., Geology, 1977

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists: Member
  • American Scientific Affiliation: Fellow and past Executive Council President
  • Affiliation of Christian Geologists: Member and past President
  • Geological Society of America: Member
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers: Member

Geological Evidence for an Ancient Earth

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The Beauty of Nature and the Divinity of God

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Inside Wheaton: Greg Wheatley interviews Stephen Moshier (Black Hills, Wheaton College history and science, geoarchaeology research, etc.)

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Creationist Suing Grand Canyon, Interior Department Over Research
91.5 KJZZ Radio

The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular sites in the world for tourists to gaze at and take photos of. Its natural wonders have amazed visitors for generations. But the Canyon is also a place that has great religious meaning for people known as young earth creationists, and one man, Andrew Snelling, is suing park officials and the Interior Department. As part of research into the Canyon’s possible connection to the Bible’s account of Earth’s creation, Snelling wanted to take a number of rocks from the park, but he was denied. To learn more, we talked with Stephen Moshier. He’s a geologist and Professor at Wheaton College. He’s also the former president of the Affiliation of Christian Geologists.
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Quoted in "A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination"
The Atlantic

“That’s really a tough question because in science we want to be the type of community where people can bring about ideas that are controversial,” says Stephen Moshier, a geologist at Wheaton, a Christian liberal arts college in Illinois, and a former president of the Affiliation of Christian Geologists. The problem, according to Moshier, who is not a young-Earth creationist, is that they want mainstream geologists to be open to new ideas, but it’s the young-Earth creationists themselves who have proved inflexible in the face of new evidence contradicting their ideas. “Often I read things by young-Earth creationists where I think they really ought to know better. Many of them have excellent training in the geosciences,” he says.
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Young Earth Creationism Makes Life Difficult for Everyone
Christianity Today

Christian evolutionists are the ones really bugged by this movement. "Geology at Wheaton is presented and practiced much the same way as at secular universities," Stephen Moshier, the department chair, says. However, young earth creationists have a lot of influence, Moshier says. "It can get so frustrating," he said. "Many of us at Christian colleges really grieve at what a problem this young-earth creationism makes for the Christian witness. It's almost like they're adding another thing you have to believe to become a Christian. It's like saying, You have to believe the world is flat to be a Christian, and that's absolutely unreasonable."...
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Rock of Ages, Ages of Rock
The New York Times

The statement of faith for Wheaton College in Illinois, Billy Graham’s alma mater, for example, says that Scripture is “inerrant in the original writing” and that “God directly created Adam and Eve,” but when it comes to pinning down the age of the earth, the school balks. Wheaton has a strong geology department. Its professors argue that the Bible makes no specific mention of the age of the earth. They belong to groups like the Geological Society of America and wring their hands about the “geo-literacy” of the church. “Geology at Wheaton is presented and practiced much the same way as at secular universities,” the department chairman, Stephen Moshier, said in a recent talk. Other professors have issued long tracts comparing the various methods of radiometric dating and showing that they all agree: The earth is over four billion years old.
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  • Dynamic Earth and Environment
  • Humanitarian Disasters and Recovery
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Theories of Origins (co-teacher)
  • Earth History and Stratigraphy
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Sedimentary Geology
  • Field Methods
  • Senior Geology Seminar

Individual Projects

  • Geoarchaeology, Quaternary paleoenvironmental analysis. Study areas: Tel el-Borg, northwest Sinai, Egypt; Tel Ashkelon and Tel Shimorn, Israel.
  • Carbonate petrology (sedimentology and diagenesis): modern and ancient depositional environments, porosity; carbonate petroleum reservoirs.

Research with Students

  • Geoarchaeology (field work, remote sensing and GIS).
  • Watershed analysis for urban planning and community development (previous projects in Chicago suburbs and rural Honduras).