December 13th, 2016
Featured Stories
Susquehanna University is Making The Susquehanna River A Cleaner Waterway
 In the spring of 2014, Susquehanna University secured a $2.25 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The money has been used to build a dedicated laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment for river research. Awards of more than $170,000 have been given to partner institutions with funds made possible by the Mellon grant. Most importantly, faculty and students are working collaboratively with a network of nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other academic institutions within the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds to ensure positive long-term impacts.

For example, more than 700 streams have been assessed in Pennsylvania since 2010 under the state's Unassessed Waters Initiative.
The team's goal is to find wild brook trout in the streams and help the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection determine usage and protections for the waterways. More than half of 2015's 104 surveyed streams had wild trout, which can only live in pristine, cool water free of excess sedimentation and sunlight. The presence of wild trout in these streams means their protection becomes a priority, which helps influence overall water and land usage in the area surrounding the stream. For more information, click here.
Texas Lutheran University Hosts A Fair Trade Fair
Texas Lutheran University recently hosted a "Fair Trade and Global Gifts Fair". Fair trade vendors ensure that producers in developing countries receive fair wages for their work. The fair featured a nonprofit, "Mayaworks," which empowers indigenous women in Guatemala to achieve economic security by providing markets for their handcrafted products, access to micro credit loans, and expanded educational opportunities. The "Palestine Online Store" was another featured vendor. They sell a wide selection of products made in Palestine, thus providing economic support to local farmers, artists, and textile producers. For more information on the Fair Trade and Global Gifts Fair, click here. For more information on Mayaworks, click here. For more information on Palestine Online Store, click here.
Wagner College Hosts Young African American Leaders Conference Focused on Environmental and Human Health Issues
 Wagner College recently hosted 25 young African leaders from 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa who are participating in  the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. 
The fifth week of the program focused on civic leadership regarding environmental and public health issues. The participants engaged in a general discussion regarding the effects of responsible citizenry and civic engagement on shaping of corporate policy and management decisions that, in turn, have engendered a mutual respect necessary for sustained improvement for all. To read more, click here.

Several ELCA Colleges Offer An Environmental Science Program In Cooperation With Duke University 
Wittenberg University Students Participating in Duke University's 3-2 Program
The Cooperative College (3-2) Program is a program that offers students the opportunity to proceed directly from three years of undergraduate study to two years of graduate study in forestry or environmental management at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.  

Students in the program typically earn their bachelor's degree after their first year at the Nicholas School and their master's degree after their second year, thus earning both a bachelor's and master's degree in a total of five years.

Augustana College, Gettysburg College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Luther College, Mulenberg College, Newberry College, Thiel College, and Wittenberg University are all ELCA Colleges that participate in the Duke University 3-2 Cooperative Environmental Science program. To learn more about this program, click here. 
Faculty Spotlight: Christina Erickson, Augsburg College
Christina was one of the founders of the environmental studies program at Augsburg College and Chaired the program from 2013-2016.  Christina is the chair of the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the College. She also developed and currently teaches the course Environmental Justice and Social Change, a requirement for environmental studies majors and an elective for social work majors. She is currently the Batalden Faculty Scholar in Applied Ethics where she is focusing on Environmental Ethics.  She also is just finishing up a forthcoming book, Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice, to be published by Oxford University Press. To read more of Christina's bio, click here. 
Welcome back to the newsletter from the Colleges and Universities page of Lutherans Restoring Creation. Our goal is to share information about "care for creation" activities and sustainability initiatives that are taking place at the twenty-six ELCA colleges and universities. 

It is amazing how many different ways ELCA schools are promoting sustainability and creation care on their campuses and in their communities. By sharing information about these initiatives, we hope this newsletter will be a helpful way to share ideas and inspire new projects and practices.  

Please email with any sustainability news you would like to see featured on the website and in this newsletter. 

We look forward to further collaboration with all ELCA colleges and universities. 

Thank you.

This newsletter is provided by the Lutherans Restoring Creation-College and Universities page editors: Jim Martin-Schramm, who is a member of the Religion faculty at Luther College, and Kristina Johnson, who is a student at Luther College. (To read our bios click here.)  We would like to thank you for taking time to read our newsletter. If you have any comments or questions or requests, please feel free to contact us at

Thank you,
Jim Martin-Schramm and Kristina Johnson

Lutherans Restoring Creation: Mission Statement

We seek to empower and equip ELCA congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges and universities, outdoor ministry sites, public policy offices, social ministry organizations, and the ELCA churchwide leadership to embrace caring for creation in more substantive and meaningful ways. 

A Speakers Bureau has been gathered of informed leaders in the ELCA capable of serving as conference speakers, panel participants, and workshop leaders for events sponsored by congregations, synods, seminaries, ministeriums, colleges, and other agencies of the church. To view, 
New Publication

Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope For A Planet In Peril 

 In 2017 Christians around the world will mark the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. In the midst of many appeals for reformation today, a growing number of theologians, scholars, and activists around the world believe Reformation celebrations in 2017 and beyond need to focus now on the urgent need for an Eco-Reformation. 
The conviction at the heart of this collection of essays is that a gospel call for ecological justice belongs at the heart of the five hundredth anniversary observance of the Reformation in 2017 and as a--if not the--central dimension of Christian conversion, faith, and practice into the foreseeable future. Like Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, this volume brings together critical biblical, pastoral, theological, historical, and ethical perspectives that constructively advance the vision of a socially and ecologically flourishing Earth.

To read more about this publication, click here.

Helpful Resources

Valparaiso Provides Green Statistics

-Producing bottled water for the United States market consumes 17 million barrels of oil annually. 
-- United Nations report, 2010

-People spend from 240 to over 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they typically do for tap water. 
--National Resources Defense Council

-80 percent of plastic bottles end up in landfills or are burned in incinerators.
 --Container Recycling Institute

-Americans buy more than 28 billion single serving bottles annually.
 --Container Recycling Institute

-Each American consumes an average of 30 gallons of bottled water annually. 
-- USA Today

To view these statistics, click here. 
Sustainability in Action: Tips for Going Green: 
Top Universities Blog
  1. Stop using disposable items. 
  2. Buy second-hand, buy local, and re-sell
  3. Embrace a minimalist lifestyle
  4. Don't get sucked in by free/discounted offers for students. 
  5. Go digital. 
  6. Get cycling. 
  7. Hold off on the heating/air conditioning
  8. Recycle 
To read this article, click here. 
Contact Information

If you you have a story idea for this newsletter or wish to follow up with us about any of the content, please email us at

Also, please email us with any contact information of those who would like to receive this newsletter in the future. 

LRC's Facebook page has over 800 Likes! 
and join the crowd!