Faculty, administrators and graduate students from schools in 17 states, Canada and Israel are gathering on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio Oct. 17 and 18 for the Midwest Symposium on Ecologically Informed Theological Education: Implications for Teaching, Learning and Seminary Life. Representing 15 faith traditions, the 70 participants are exploring how theological education can address today’s ecological reality.
The symposium is being organized by MTSO, the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, and the Green Seminary Initiative. It is funded through a generous grant from the Luce Fund for Theological Education with additional support from the Julia Burke Foundation.
The Ohio State University’s Lonnie Thompson, one of the world’s premier climate scientists, delivers the keynote addressat 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. The address is free and open to the public. Thompson is a distinguished university professor in the School of Earth Sciences and senior research scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State.
Valerie Bridgeman, MTSO’s interim academic dean and associate professor of homiletics and Hebrew Bible, delivers the plenary address, “Ground Game: Cultivating Food, Cultivating Communities,” at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 18.
Both addresses are being streamed live and archived, as are panel discussions covering pedagogy, interreligious matters, and science and religion. All streams are available here.
“An increasing number of Americans are turning to their clergy and spiritual leaders for wisdom and guidance regarding ecological sustainability,” said MTSO Associate Professor Timothy Van Meter, an organizer of the symposium. “This event offers resources to explore how theological schools can address these ecological concerns from a theological and educational perspective.”
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.