The present study attempts to show the value of recent philosophy of science for understanding and reforming theological method. It raises, and answers in the affirmative, the question whether theology is capable of measuring up to standards of scientific reasoning. In particular, it describes philosopher of science Imre Lakato’s theory of scientific rationality, showing that his concept of a scientific research program is useful for reconstructing some of the history of theology. The example considered is that of the Roman Catholic modernist movement at the turn of the century. Furthermore, it is argued that Lakatos’s standards for assessing research programs are as applicable to theology as they are to the natural sciences. Assessment of the scientific status of theological programs requires attention to the data upon which the programs are based. A variety of kinds of facts figure in the support of theological theories. However, a thesis of the present work is that church practices–especially those relating to discernment of God’s action in human affairs–are important though neglected sources of data for scientific knowledge of God. Finally, the new “non-foundationalist” theologies of David Kelsey, Ronald Theimann, and others are explored, showing the compatibility between their work and the research programs approach advocated here.