Rebecca Randall


United States

I am a journalist based in the Pacific Northwest writing at intersections of difficult topics. I write on faith and the environment, psychology, and social inequities. I am a 2022-23 fellow with the Religion and Environment Story Project.

For five years I served as science editor at Christianity Today, where I led strategy on coverage for the science section, evaluating and approving pitches, and guiding writers from a first draft to a published final. I also led and organized writers workshops to develop capacity for writers to integrate theology and science in their work.

I’ve explained why some conservative Christians refuse vaccinations amid the measles outbreak in 2019. I’ve illuminated how survivors of sex abuse sought help from biblical counselors, receiving advice that often re-victimized them and veered from the historical practices of psychology. I’ve clarified how science-minded pro-lifers parse the issue of fetal tissue research from the use of older cell lines in drugs.

My career focus on science began during my graduate work on the global discussion on GMOs and then took a turn toward working at the intersection of faith and science. I’m also passionate about improving the inclusion of voices of racial and ethnic minorities and explaining local to global connections.

Professional affiliations: Northwest Science Writers Association, Society of Environmental Journalists, Religion News Association.

The End of International Adoption?

EVANGELICALS AND OTHER Christians involved in adoption and "orphan care" ministries have often evoked Paul's use of adoption as a metaphor: God "adopts" us into the family of God, so we should adopt children as a manifestation of the gospel. But New Testament scholar Erin Heim, a U.S.

Earth Is in Trouble. Can Hymns Help?

In 2020, Taylor Swift released the albums folklore and evermore. The two albums were replete with forest imagery, so much so that Jeff Opperman, a conservation scientist, wrote optimistically about the value of Swift's nature references in her music. "Ms. Swift's songs aren't going to reverse climate change or the decline of wildlife," Opperman wrote for the New York Times.
When Restoration Hurts

In 2002, Amanda sat at a Christian counseling office in Indiana with an assignment in front of her. She was supposed to list the ways she had been blessed by her father, who had been sexually abusing her for years. She was a hopeful 17-year-old looking for help.
Not Worth a Shot: Why Some Christians Refuse Vaccinations on Moral Grounds

For certain Christians, the decision of whether to vaccinate comes down to the origins of the vaccines themselves. Some pro-life parents cite a moral disgust and a deep lament over the use of 58-year-old aborted fetal cell lines in development for several recommended immunizations, including MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and chickenpox.
Understanding God's Control When You're a Climate Scientist

Thomas P. Ackerman navigates a world of difficult questions and tense conversations. A geophysicist at the University of Washington and director of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, he is at the forefront of research on geoengineering, a science that focuses on manipulating the environment to, among other ends, combat climate change.
To Debunk Viral Conspiracies, First Build Trust

In Christian communities, science news on COVID-19 arrives in a landscape already shaped by tricky contours, including not only broader societal skepticism toward science but also unique concerns about whether science conflicts with faith.
Twelve Christian Women in Science You Should Know

Sitting in rows of desks, women from the US and Canada gathered in a basement classroom at Wheaton College last summer to consider what topics they would like the Christian Women in Science (CWiS) group to address. Some men also came, wondering how they could support women.
3 Bioethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the US expands from health care staff to elderly citizens and essential workers, Americans are weighing whether to get the shot when given the chance.