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Seminaries Take Lead on Creation Care and Sabbath

September 10, 2014

Interest in caring for the environment is cropping up in all kinds of places, including at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. While care for the environment has been a much-debated topic in the political sphere, it is now gaining positive traction in America’s theological training institutions. One example of this growing movement is Blessed Earth’s Seminary Stewardship Alliance, which will be meeting September 11th-13th in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

From September 11th-13th, two representatives from each of the 27 seminaries in the alliance will convene at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem. The purpose of the conference will be equipping seminaries to integrate creation care and Sabbath values into their courses and campus cultures, with the hope that the seminarians who graduate from these institutions will share these values to the churches they pastor. Of the approximately 65 attendees at the gathering, eight are presidents and deans and the remainders are top-level faculty, administrators, and students. Keynote speakers include Bob Russell (retired megachurch pastor, Southeast Christian Church), Dr. Vergel Lattimore (President, Hood Theological Seminary), Dr. Sandra Richter (Old Testament Professor, Wheaton College), Dr. Gail O’Day (Dean, Wake Forest University School of Divinity) and Matthew Sleeth, M.D. (Executive Director, Blessed Earth).

Garrett-Evangelical has been a leader in creation care by helping to found the Seminary Stewardship Alliance and hiring Dr. Timothy Eberhart as assistant professor of theology and ecology. Eberhart and President Lallene Rector are also serving as Garrett-Evangelical’s liasons to the Seminary Stewardship Alliance. Since Eberhart joined the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical, the Seminary has joined in an agreement with Methodist Theological School in Ohio to purposefully teach curriculum that will create ecologically minded leaders for the church and the academy.

Dr. Eberhart and President Rector look forward to attending the conference next week in order to brainstorm new ideas to bolster the Seminary’s creation care and Sabbath efforts. “ Garrett-Evangelical is committed to integrating ecological perspectives and sustainable practices throughout the curriculum, worship and spiritual life, programming, buildings and grounds, and administrative operations of the Seminary. It is important to support the preparation of our graduates for effective leadership in the increasingly urgent matters of sustainable living and creation care,” shared President Rector.

If you have questions on Garrett-Evangelical’s involvement with the Alliance and would like to further engage in creation care at this institution, please contact Dr. Timothy Eberhart at timothy.eberhart@garrett.edu or 847.866.3972.

 To learn more about the Seminary Stewardship Alliance visit our website (http://seminaryalliance.org/). For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura Leavell at Laura@blessedearth.org.