My Story

As a child I attended a Lutheran church with my parents. I received my undergraduate education at St. Olaf, a Lutheran College. There I majored in physics, but maintained a strong interest in religion. I completed my master’s degree in physics at Wayne University and continued to learn about Christianity in the multicultural city of Detroit. 

In the early 1950’s, after spending two years as a research assistant and part time student
Robert C. Frank
at the University of Michigan, I was hired as a research physicist by the General Motors Research Laboratories in a suburb of Detroit. Much of my research
 was devoted to the study of the movement of hydrogen atoms in metals, glass, and semiconductors and was published in European as well as American journals. As part of that research I finished the work for my doctor’s degree in physics at Wayne State University. 

During those years my wife and I also helped develop a mission congregation for the Lutheran Church in a suburb of Detroit. After ten years at General Motors, mergers had occurred between several Lutheran churches and I became aware of the great need for leadership in the physics department at Augustana College, a Lutheran affiliated institution. 

My wife and I decided that God needed me there so we and our children moved to Rock Island and I became head of the physics department. The department quickly became a strong department with connections to Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois. Later, collaborating with scientists at those institutions, I was able to continue my research. In the later years the research involved mathematical modeling using the super- computer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and experimental work using secondary ion mass spectroscopy.

After my retirement in 1992, I devoted more of my time to studying Christianity. I was guided in my spiritual life by a Roman Catholic nun from whom I learned a great deal about prayer. I also attended a Roman Catholic Cursillo weekend retreat and became so interested in the program, my wife and I helped develop a local branch of Via de Cristo, the Lutheran version of Cursillo. 

We continued to learn about Christianity as we traveled to European countries and the Holy Land. Among the counties visited were Germany, England, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, and Israel. 

In the year 2000 I edited a book about the histories of the 36 Lutheran (ELCA) churches in our area and learned more about the struggles of Christianity in small congregations. These adventures and reading many books of theology, Christian living and Bible studies provided opportunities for me to study Christianity from many different perspectives.

My book, Christ’s Team is an adventure along a road less traveled. As a research scientist, I was looking for an easily understood connection between science and Christianity. I finally saw that the link connecting the two was “teamwork in continuing creation” and that it was this connection between Christianity and science that was producing the rapidly increasing improvement in the quality of human life.
Robert C. Frank