Eco-Ministry: A New Model for Faith Leadership and Public Service

With the Paris climate agreement in the rearview mirror, the fight to mitigate climate change is, more than ever, reliant on nation and non-state actors. Civil society groups, including religious organizations and people of ethical conviction, have a tremendous role to play in creating a human future on a warming planet.

Through our Eco-Ministry initiative, CEE connects faith leaders within and across traditions with environmental leaders in order to drive change at the local, national and global levels. We also strive to recognize the work of people who tend the earth as ministers: moral leaders full of experiential knowledge, whose voices should be heard by policy-makers and people of conscience.

Our Gospel in the Ecological Crisis summer training for Christian ministers prepares clergy for pastoral and ethical leadership in this historic moment. Drawing from relationships we build over the year, this annual event explores climate science, theology, Biblical scholarship, environmental justice, and practical, contextual skills for the formation of earth-honoring and resilient communities. 

The work of preparing Faith Community Leaders to lead on Climate Initiatives is also critical at the teaching level within seminary.  In December of 2016, CEE was proud to sponsor the first Faith and Ecology in Seminary Education Conference at Union Theological Seminary, along with outstanding partners in the field: Jewish Theological Seminary, The Green Seminary Initiative and the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development.  

At Union, the Center for Earth Ethics has offered two courses: “Indigenous Voices on Colonialization, Ecology and Spirituality” and “Beyond GDP: Ethics, Spirituality and the New UN Development Agenda.” Currently, CEE is co-teaching two additional courses: “Economy, Ecology and Eco-Femininism with Gary Dorrien, the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University; and Eco-Feminism and Earth-Based Spirituality taught with Chung Hyun Kyung, Associate Professor of Ecumenical Studies. The Center has also been engaged in providing guided reading for Indigenous Knowledge studies, and will offer an additional two-credit course in Beyond GDP that will be introduced in the Spring of 2017.

Our 2017 summer ministers training, Ministry in the Time of Climate Change, will be held June 5-7 at Union Theological Seminary. This year will be open to Faith Leaders and Community members of all Faiths and Traditions.  Applications will be available soon.  For more information, email us at [email protected].


Eco-Ministry in Voices

Water Liturgy

Worship and Liturgy