University of Portland: (Portland, OR; Holy Cross)
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Ethics and Policy
This interdisciplinary major is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in environmental science and ecology and the influence these sciences have on the development of political policy, environmental ethics, and recent theological reformulation within the Judeo-Christian tradition. In addition to those required for the core curriculum, students take at least two and as many as six theology courses within the major. Among the courses offered are “Theological Environmental Ethics” and “Theology in Ecological Perspective”. The program culminates in a capstone experience that challenges students to apply their studies to specific issues pertinent to the Pacific Northwest.
Marquette University: (Milwaukee, WI; Jesuit)
Interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Ethics
Marquette’s Interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Ethics looks to provide undergraduate students with the tools needed to reflect on the ethical dimensions of environmental issues. Students take five diverse courses that develop skills and awareness in the natural sciences and the theological and philosophical traditions that will influence ethical decision making. The program culminates in a capstone seminar during which students will identify the ethical questions pertaining to a particular environmental problem and develop approaches to its resolution. A recent capstone group examined different methods of energy generation from scientific, theological, and philosophical perspectives, and offered recommendations for future use based on their examination. Students are also encouraged to serve in private and public organizations, government agencies and businesses that are addressing the problem.
Santa Clara University: (Santa Clara, CA; Jesuit):
Major and Minor in Environmental Studies; Environmental Vocation Internship
Within their Environmental Studies program, Santa Clara offers a number of courses that explore the relationship between Catholic tradition and an environmental ethic. These include “Spirituality and Sustainability” and “Catholic Social Teaching: Balancing the Ethics of Environment, Agriculture and Food”. Santa Clara also engages students through the Faith, Ethics and Vocation Project, a creation of the school’s Environmental Studies Institute. The Project collaborates with community partners to offer an Environmental Vocation Internship to undergraduates, which combines coursework with environmental education in local faith communities. Students participating in the internship develop environmental leadership skills through community action and research, combined with faith formation and personal mentoring.
Courses required during the internship include “Faith, Ethics, and the Biodiversity Crisis” and “Environmental Justice Practicum”, which examines the theological roots and implications of environmental justice, then applies them through participation in an environmental justice education project in the Diocese of Stockton.
Many other Catholic universities offer Environmental Studies programs that incorporate Catholic values and ethical considerations through the inclusion of theology and philosophy courses. These courses often look explicitly at the connections between Catholic tradition and ecological considerations (e.g. “Religion and Ecology”). Schools with programs of this nature include Mount St. Mary’s University, University of San Francisco, Loyola University New Orleans, and Seattle University, among others.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College: (near Terre Haute, IN; Sisters of Providence)
Masters Degree or Certificate in Earth Literacy
The program in Earth Literacy is interdisciplinary and fosters the capacity to understand the world in order to promote sustainability of the planet as a habitat for life. Students take coursework in the natural and social sciences, the humanities, spirituality and the arts, and engage in internships and practica to fulfill a full third of their program requirements. The College partners with Genesis Farm, a 140-acre ecological learning center and located in Blairstown, NJ, to provide students with hands-on experience. Students earn credit for completion of the Farm’s 12 week Residential Program and Bioregional Study. Students can also participate in programs at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, an organic farm and educational center operated near the College by the Sisters of Providence.
St. Thomas University: (Miami, FL; affiliated with archdiocese)
Certificate Program in Pastoral Ministries: Specialization in Ecology and the Human Spirit
In their mission statement, the University states that their “programs emphasize lifelong and value oriented education by sharing concerns for the natural environment and dignity of the person.” A certificate program in Ecology and the Human Spirit is a natural product of such a mission statement. Students in the program take courses such as “Western Cosmology and the Human Experience,” and then complete the program with a Directed Ministerial Project. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, the student identifies, analyzes, and develops a plan of pastoral action and evaluation for a pastoral problem. They then implement the pastoral response and reflect on their experience in light of the courses they have taken.
The School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University: (Seattle, WA; Jesuit)
Post-Master's Certificate in Ecology and Theology
In this certificate program, students study ecological issues and engage in theological reflection upon them. Five courses are required, each of which strongly links ecology with Christian theology. By combining the fields of Christian theology and scripture with knowledge of earth’s ecological systems and ethical principles for relating to God’s creation, students develop leadership capacities for promoting the health and well being of all creation.
St. Thomas More Catholic Campus Ministry - Alibrandi Catholic Center: (Syracuse, NY; associated with Syracuse University and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)
The St. Thomas More Catholic Campus Ministry offers students at Syracuse and SUNY-ESF the opportunity to participate in Franciscan Earth Corps. The Franciscan Earth Corps program is an environmental education program for college students and other young adults. It includes Franciscan eco-spirituality and prayer, social justice and peace, environmental community service projects, and nature arts activities and learning. It is based on a model developed at the Anam Duan Franciscan Ecology Center, also located in Syracuse, and can be disseminated to any Catholic university or ministry center that is interested in starting a group. The St. Thomas More group engages in hands on conservation projects, field trips to local natural areas, training and education in environmental issues and eco-spirituality, nature retreats, environmental leadership and advocacy, and environmental education with high school students. The Anam Duan Center also runs the Franciscan Earth Club program, which is an after school youth program with goals and activities similar to those of the Franciscan Earth Corps.
Graduate Theological Union: (Berkeley, CA; Jesuit, Dominican, Franciscan schools are members of the Union)
TREES (Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality)
TREES is a student-based, inter-religious organization at the Graduate Theological Union. The group seeks to raise awareness of ecological issues through environmental education within the GTU community, including sponsoring a series of forums for students in conjunction with classes that are being offered on special ecological topics every semester for three years. TREES also serves as a clearinghouse for environmental information and provides materials to local faith communities.