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Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Chosen for the Seminary Environmental Certification Program

August 29, 2017
Chicago Climate March 2017

Under the direction of Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart, Assistant Professor of Theology and Ecology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been chosen by the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI) for the Seminary Environmental Certification Program. A three-year program, this certification will assist Garrett-Evangelical as it integrates care for creation into areas of education and spiritual formation; liturgy, ritual, and worship; building and grounds management; community life; and public leadership. GSI and a team of experts will provide Garrett-Evangelical coaching and a host of resources, including an energy audit, over the duration of the program.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this certification program and look forward to partnering with the Green Seminary Initiative in the years to come,” said Eberhart. “The time is ripe for religious communities to address the overlapping moral crises of our time, including climate pollution, environmental racism, and an unsustainable addiction to fossil-fuel driven economic growth. Garrett-Evangelical has made ecological justice a strategic priority, and we will be expanding and implementing that commitment in a variety of ways in the coming years. We see our participation in this certification program as a means of support to achieve existing goals, while being able to network with similarly committed institutions to share and receive resources along the way.”

The application process for the certification program began earlier this year and will be implemented by a green team consisting of faculty, staff, and students. Working closely with GSI, members of the Green Team are responsible for creating the strategy, planning, and overall organization of the seminary’s involvement in the Seminary Environmental Certification Program. Their work will build upon a number of Garrett-Evangelical’s ecological accomplishments including the achievement of a LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for the renovation of Loder Hall in November 2012, membership in the Seminary Stewardship Alliance, and numerous courses taught on the subjects of ecological theology and environmental justice.

The certification program is organized into a five-step process and includes a series of requirements. Progress reports highlighting Garrett-Evangelical’s efforts in the certification program will be submitted to GSI bi-annually. Once certified, Garrett-Evangelical will submit an annual progress report and participate as needed in the mentoring of seminaries newly entering the program.

Founded in 2007, Green Seminary Initiative encourages schools of theology to be participants in, and keepers of, God’s creation in all its human, biological, geological, and ecological manifestations. To that end, GSI is dedicated to building a nationwide coalition of theological schools that infuse care of the earth into all aspects of theological education. To learn more, go to GreenSeminaries.org.