Green Seminary Initiative At AAR and SBL

Green Seminary Initiative at AAR and SBL

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Global Climate Action Summit

GSI at the Global Climate Action Summit

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Looking Ahead with Joy

by Liz Lwanga, Executive Assistant to the President at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Thinking back over this last year in the certification process, I feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. Our Green Team at Garrett-Evangelical has successfully undertaken so much, and I know the work we are doing has real, meaningful impact in the lives of students, the larger Garrett-Evangelical community, and in the world.

Through the Green Seminary Initiative certification process, we are building on steps we’ve already taken to act in our vocation as faithful stewards of God’s creation, and using the tools and resources of this program to take that work even further.

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Building the Bridge as We Walk

Robert Quinn’s image of “building the bridge as you walk on it”i is an apt description of the work of Boston University School of Theology in ecological sustainability and justice. Students and faculty have been working on these ends since at least 2005, but I will speak to the momentum that was building when I became Dean and upon which we have been building ever since. In my first semester (spring 2009), I was invited to contribute to a class in Ecological Ethics, and the students shared their “Green Seminary Vision.” I urged them to do more with this than a class project and to submit it to me so we could begin working together – students, faculty, and administration – to study and implement their vision. Within 3 years, we had implemented most of what was proposed in that document, and we have continued to build.

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Curriculum on Worship and Cross-Cultural Experiences

By Heather Elkins, Green Team Member, Drew Theological School, Madison NJ

Drew’s required worship class offers students the opportunity to read and interpret scripture and worship texts with cultural sensitivity, ethical and environmental awareness, and a critical understanding of their histories, interpretations, and applications in church, society, and creation. Each semester’s presentations, practicums, and readings encourage discernment of the holiness of space and time in community and creation through the structures of the life cycles, the Christian Year, the lectionary, and worship environments. Prayer traditions and practice now include the use of Drew’s labyrinth and weekly use of the Psalms that highlight human, nature, holy relationships.

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Reviving Social Justice and Civil Rights Through the Certification Program

By Faith Harris, member of GSI's Advisory Committee and leader of PSOT's Green Team

I was pleased that Virginia Union University’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology (STVU) was selected in the first cohort of the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI) Certification program. STVU’s participation in the certification program with GSI has been a wonderful opportunity to expand and raise the awareness among our faculty and students of the reality and impact of climate change. Our participation in the certification process has been inspiring and is reviving the social justice and civil rights history of Virginia Union University. From the very beginning, I knew that it would be important for our green team to include students as well as faculty and staff. Student members have been integral partners in the certification process, participating in the audit and contributing to the action plan as well as planning and participating in our classes and events thus far.

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Hope for the Movement

On the eve of Green Seminary Initiative's tenth anniversary, co-directors Sarah Macias and Abby Mohaupt reflect on responding to environmental injustice with theological education.

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Ten Years Ago

By Beth Norcross and Laurel Kearns, Green Seminary Initiative Co-Founders

In 2007, at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL) annual meeting, the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI) was launched before a large standing room only crowd of over 300. Six distinguished scholars – John Cobb, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Norman Habel, Sallie McFague, Larry Rasmussen and Cal DeWitt– passionately urged religious educators to take seriously their unique role in confronting the environmental challenge.

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Ecology-Related Sessions at the Annual AAR/SBL meeting

As we do every year, GSI is pleased to share, GSI is pleased to share this guide to ecologically-themed sessions at AAR/SBL.

Download the guide here.

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Seminaries Get Certified to Meet Ecological Crisis of Our Times

Fourteen seminaries across the United States and in Costa Rica have signed on to a rigorous 3-year certification program to integrate environmental care into all aspects of their institutional and community life.

In October Boston University School of Theology, Hebrew College, Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana, Union Presbyterian Seminary at Charlotte, and Columbia Theological Seminary joined the nine theological schools already enrolled in the Seminary Environmental Certification Program an initiative launched in 2016 by the Green Seminary Initiative, a program of Drew Theological School and GreenFaith.

The divinity schools represent over five percent of the 270 seminaries in the United States.

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