April 5, 2017


Scholars gather at MTSO for Seminary Hill Colloquy

Scholars, ecologists, religious leaders and theologians from eight states are gathering on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio for the Seminary Hill Colloquy April 5 and 6.

Food security, sustainability, climate change and alternative market economies are among the topics that will be covered. In addition, the group is touring MTSO’s Seminary Hill Farm and attending a Theological Commons lecture by Brian Snyder, executive director of the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation at Ohio State University, titled “Agricultural Sustainability, Food Security and Spirituality – a Necessary Alignment.”

The colloquy participants are:

  • Fred Bahnson, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • Swasti Bhattacharyya, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa
  • Valerie Bridgeman, MTSO, Delaware, Ohio
  • Forrest Clingerman, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio
  • Brittany Davis, Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Timothy Eberhart, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois
  • Melanie L. Harris, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Greg Hitzhusen, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Betty W. Holley, Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Casey Hoy, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Laurel Kearns, Drew Theological School, Madison, New Jersey
  • Gail Myers, Farms to Grow, Oakland, California
  • Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, MTSO, Delaware, Ohio
  • Samantha Noll, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania
  • Timothy Van Meter, MTSO, Delaware, Ohio
  • Sarah Werner, independent scholar, Columbus, Ohio
  • Yvonne Zimmerman, MTSO, Delaware, Ohio

Among the questions the colloquy will engage are:

  • How can we take forward the work of those who have challenged underlying colonialist, racist and gender-biased assumptions in ecological thinking and practice through ecological theology, religion, ethics, philosophy and activism?
  • How might religious studies and theological education offer a place for making meaning in relationship within the intersectionality of ecology, race, economics and gender?
  • How can Christianity and other contemporary expressions of religious faith move beyond expressions of dominance and control and live into an appreciative relationship with indigenous ecological knowledge?

“With this gathering, we’re seeking insights and new practices moving toward sustainable justice in each of our institutions, in higher education, and our particular bio-regions,” said MTSO Associate Professor Timothy Van Meter, who organized the colloquy. “We’ll continue to invite wider circles of discussion among peers, activists, farmers and others who are interested in contributing to this network.”

Following the colloquy, a number of participants are staying at MTSO to participate in Listening Circles for Communal Life April 7 and 8. Facilitated by Melanie Harris and Jennifer Harvey, the retreat experience brings together African-American and white faith communities to connect with each other's stories and the desire for racial healing and enhancing our shared commitment to a deep connection with Earth and all of God's creatures. MTSO is presenting Listening Circles in partnership with Ohio Interfaith Power and Light.

See a gallery of photos from the Seminary Hill Colloquy on MTSO's Facebook page.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just and sustainable world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.

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Danny Russell, communications director
drussell@mtso.edu, 740-362-3322