Ecotheology in the Classroom

MTSO offers specializations and classes tailored to the student who envisions a ministry focused on sustainability.

Ecology specializations

Ecology-focused specializations are offered in both the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology programs, as well as the Doctor of Ministry program.

M.Div. Ecology and Justice specialization

MAPT Ecology and Justice specialization

D.Min. Ecology, Justice and Ministry specialization

Ecology courses

Below are MTSO courses that address issues within ecotheology and sustainability. For more information on MTSO courses, including the prerequisites listed for these courses, we invite you to consult the Academic Catalog on the registrar's page.

CE-620 – Resisting Biocide: Environmental Ethics for Discipleship
The environmental crises facing human communities worldwide present a host of difficult moral questions for the Christian life. The overlapping problems of ecological degradation, resource depletion, climate disruption, and more – especially in relation to those already victimized by poverty and other forms of oppression – require critical, systemic reflection as well as transformative changes within each sphere of our personal, economic, ecclesial, and public lives today. This course will survey key thinkers and themes within the field of environmental ethics, examine proposals for faithful Christian action, and challenge students to articulate a hopeful vision for discipleship today that accounts not only for the breadth of sin and evil but also the depth of God's love for the world. Prerequisite: CE-501. 3 credit hours.

ED-640 – Ecological Religious Education
This course explores harmonies and dissonance between models of religious and ecological education. It is designed for individuals who are seeking ways to integrate ecological issues as an aspect of the educational life of a vibrant community. Prerequisite: PT-500 or equivalent. 3 credit hours.

PT-600 – Food, Land and Faith Formation
Through urban gardening, community supported agriculture, farmer's markets or intentional agrarian communities, young people are constructing new relationships with food, land, and community. In doing so, they are exploring understandings of faith and spirituality through ideas and metaphors reflecting their commitments to community and agrarian values. This course explores the ecology of these relationships. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: PT-500 or permission.

PT-700 – Dialogues in Faith and Science
The purpose of this course is to engage in meaningful discourse between science and theology for the purpose of developing a thoughtful, relevant faith conversant with scientific discovery and progress. Contemporary discoveries in neuroscience, cosmology, anthropology, evolutionary theory, genetics and ecological sciences all offer opportunities for engaging understanding of faith. Two or three scientific areas will be chosen for dialogue with the Christian faith traditions. Prerequisites: PT-500 and a 600-level CT course, plus ED-675 or PT-600. 3 credit hours.

Educational Dimensions of the MTSO Sustainability and Land Initiative

This document supports and guides the development of academic programming relative to MTSO's sustainability initiative. It is informed by conversations with an interdepartmental working group of staff and faculty.