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Welcome to the ELCA seminary section of Lutherans Restoring Creation. Our common goal is to prepare leaders for the ELCA who will offer care-for-creation leadership in ELCA congregations and other institutions and in their communities and the larger world. We seek to:
  1. Provide eco-resources and ideas for the full life and mission of seminaries.
  2. Sponsor an LRC Seminary Networking group.
  3. Offer news, highlights, and stories of seminary events and developments.
  4. Link with other like-minded groups.
Please join us as partners to help to make this happen.  David Rhoads, LRC Director.

NEW Teaching Environmental Ethics: Feeding “The Good Wolf”

Dr. Leah D. Schade

In the Spring of 2016 I taught a course entitled Environmental Ethics at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. Having taught a similar course at a different college the previous semester, I knew that the study of environmental ethics can easily devolve into a spiral of pessimism, given the unprecedented challenges we face regarding the climate crisis and other ecological threats to the well-being of our planet.... [Read More]

Seminary Environmental Certification Program 

The Green Seminary Initiative (GSI), is a program of GreenFaith and Drew Theological School.

During the coming year, GSI will work with 5-7 seminaries which will be the first to undertake this program.

A webinar was held to showcase stories about eco-leadership from several seminaries, and to hear the exciting announcement of GSI’s forthcoming Seminary Environmental Certification Program.

Learn More

A Speakers Bureau has been gathered to represent a number 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. [Learn More]

Reflections on Swedish Bishops' Letter on Climate Change

On May 19, 2015, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Professors Kadi Billman, Barbara Rossing, and Vítor Westhelle, reflected on A Bishops' Letter about Climate Change published by the Church of Sweden in 2014. The Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén, archbishop of the Church of Sweden, concluded the session presented for the LSTC Board of Directors and faculty. Watch the four videos

“Environment and Religion in Northern Appalachia” 
Immersion Course Offered June 12-17, 2016

LRC Seminary Manual: Here is a 23 page manual for ELCA seminaries ro embrace care for creation in the educational program, worship life, building and grounds, lifestyle commitments of the seminary community, and public witness. This manual provides a comprehensive vision for the mission of the seminary along with resources and suggestions for specific actions and programs.
LRC Seminary Checklist: Thumbnail list of items for seminaries to consider when making a comprehensive effort to bring care for creation into the full life and mission of the seminary.

Seminary Course Syllabi: Downloadable copies of syllabi from courses taught at ELCA seminaries.

Worship at Seminary: Worship planners can incorporate care of creation into communal liturgies for every day! See resources at www.letallcreationpraise.org
Care-for-Creation Worship Schedule. Consider a schedule of special care-for-creation services on your annual seminary calendar of worship: Blessing of the Animals; Covenant with Creation; Thanksgiving Service; Epiphany Festival of Light; Greening of the Cross; Earth Day Worship; Rogation Day; and more.

Connections to other creation-care sites relevant to seminaries
Green Seminary Intitiative: www.greenseminaries.org. This is the key site for resources, news, and course plans from an ecumenical and interfaith spectrum of accredited seminaries. Please cooperate with this group in submitting profiles and
GreenFaith: http://greenfaith.org. These interfaith partners for the environment have a certification program for congregations and a certification program for pastors. They are in process of developing a certification program for seminaries. To speak with someone who has completed the two-year certification for pastors, contact Gil Waldkoenig, professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (gwaldkoenig@ltsg).
Faith in Place: www.faithinplace.org. An ecumenical and interfaith organization providing programs and resources for the Chicago area, including workshops for regional seminarians and pastors.
McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago) Eco-Justice Certification Program for pastors and church leaders. Contact Ted Hiebert, faculty at MTS: thiebert@mccormick.edu or Clare Butterfield at Faith in Place: clare@faithinplace.org.
Web of Creation: www.webofcreation.org. This is the parent website for Lutherans Restoring Creation. As the home of the Green Congregation Program, it provides many resources for greening congregations.
Let All Creation Praise: www.letallcreationpraise.org. This is a new companion site that offers ecumenical resources for bringing care for creation into the worship life throughout the year. Also, it provides resources for celebrating an optional, four-week Season of Creation in the common lectionary cycle.
Bible and Ecology: ww.bibleandecology.org. Provides many resources for pastors, congregations, and academic programs, including the home page of the Earth Bible.
Earth Ministry: http://earthministry.org. Excellent resources for congregations and pastors.

John Spangler
LRC Seminary
The LRC Seminary Initiative was launched at a pre-session of the ELCA Teaching Theologians Conference on "Eco-Lutheranism?" on August 13-15 at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH. Lisa Dahill (Trinity) and John Spangler (Gettysburg) are the facilitators of the Initiaitve supported by a steering committee compriseding others representing all the ELCA seminaries.
Launching Event for the Seminary Initiative.  LRC Pre-session at the Teaching Theologians Conference. LRC sponsored a presession on Monday August 15 attended by 25 representatives of ELCA and ELCC seminaries. Click here to see the agenda, attendees, and report of the Seminary Intitiative steering committee.
Steering Committee for the Seminary Initiative. Check here for members, meetings, notes, and updates.

Seminary Reports: Care for creation commtments, actions,and programs at each of the ELCA seminaries. All updated for 2012.
LRC Seminary Contact People: A list of the care for creation leaders and LRC point persons for each of the ELCA Seminaries.
Contribute a Report Here are several suggestions for ways your seminary can contribute a report or update a report for this site.
ELCA Seminary Faculty: Here is a list of faculty teaching courses related to ecology at ELCA seminaries. Please add your name to the list by answering these questions:
  • How has your faith been shaped by place, location, landscape or environment?
  • What difference does ecology/environment make in your teaching?
  • Please list any of your courses, publications, or presentations that address environment

Send your information for posting to drhoads@lstc.edu


"Stirring the Waters: Faith, Science and Action" was the theme  for two days of worship, service, learning and advocacy April 17-18, 2016, sponsored by LAMPa, ELCA Global Mission and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.The event was an official part of the seminary’s Spring Academy Week. [Read More]

Trinity Seminary Seeks 
GreenFaith Certification

Over the years, students and faculty have become more involved in recycling, energy conservation, gardening and other activities that demonstrate a faithful commitment to the care of creation. in the fall of 2014, Trinity Seminary formally kicked off a three-year process to become a GreenFaith certified seminary.

Closing the circle - composting at LSTC

by Erin Koster, M.Div., middler

Two years ago, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago decided to take on an ambitious project. It wanted to expand its composting program, which began in student housing in 2010, to its refectory. The scale of the initiative would be a challenge, but would also offer the seminary a chance to live out its theology of caring for creation. [Read More]

A Bright idea: LSTC begins large-scale energy conservation project

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago is making some serious changes. The seminary is undertaking extensive building improvements that will conserve 172,000 kilowatt hours per year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this is the same as taking 25 cars off the road or planting 3,041 trees.  [Read More]

LSTC professor links Christian worship and care for creation

Eco-theologians and lay readers alike have a new, paperless way to learn about ecology and Christian worship. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin M. Stewart’s book A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology is now available in a Kindle edition. A Watered Garden links worship with God’s creation, drawing connections between the natural world and ecumenical patterns of worship.

Chicago Table Talks

In January, Trinity Seminary studentDelaney Schlake was blessed with the opportunity to take a class on “Community Organizing: Leadership for Public Life” at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  

While there, she sat down with members of the faculty and staff to talk about their passions and hopes for the present and future of creation care at LSTC.  [Read More]

Congregations Turn to Compost for Lessons on Life,
Death and the Environment 
by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

"[The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago] produces 400 cubic feet of compost each year for its vegetable and landscape gardens, diverting more than 800 cubic feet of waste from the landfill, said Jim Schaal, sustainability coordinator.  [Read the full RNS story]

Click here for more information about and pictures of composting at LSTC.

Recycling in Philadelphia: Extending the Philos of the City to the Earth

Following a process that sought the ecological resources of the Philadelphia community, M.Div. student Dustin Wright and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Green Team discerned that recycling would be a faithful way to engage their setting and respond to what the Holy Spirit was calling them to do in caring for creation. [Read More]

Geothermal Comes to the Battlefield

150 years ago, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG) figured prominently in the Civil War. Now, LSTG is making history again--this time, through a literally groundbreaking installation of geothermal technology on their historic campus. [Read More]

LSTC Class Gifts Lead to Large Grants for Energy Efficiency Improvements

Gifts for environmental sustainability from the classes of 2008, 2010, and 2013 have catalyzed grants of over $185,000 for energy efficiency improvements at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). The classes raised and donated nearly $10,000 toward the enhancements, which will be completed by September 2013. [Read More]

Between Economy and Ecology Offers ELCA Leaders Practical Information
A stewardship workshop for seminarians, pastors and leaders in ELCA congregations, was held April 6 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  Dr. Jim Martin-Schramm, Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, began by reminding participants that this is the century of climate change--the social justice issue which will eclipse and umbrella all other social justice issues of our time.  [Read More]  
HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE? Manifesting Lives of Eco-Justice, Faith and Love with Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Johan Bergh, Lisa Dahill and others, March 17-18, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH More information

Gettysburg Seminary Spring Convocation.

April 17 & 18, 2012 "Getting Green Faithfully" presenters include Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith; David Rhoads, Professor of New Testament, Emeritus the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Seattle University Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Theology and Religious Studies; and Gilson Waldkoenig, Professor of Church in Society, B.B. Maurer Chair for Town and Country Church Ministry and Director of the Town and Country Church Institute (TCCI). This event is past, but click here to learn more about the program and presenters.

Research Project by Cameron Harder, Lutheran Theological Seminary of Saskatoon: “Identifying Core Values of Under-represented Stakeholders in Resource-based Industries and Communities”  
Gettysburg Seminary: Rehabilitation of Schmucker Hall Certified as LEED Project (January 2014) and 
Gettysburg Seminary Goes Geothermal (June 2011). Gettysburg Joins Wartburg as the second ELCA Seminary to embrace geothermal energy sources.
Earth Year at LSTC (2009-2010): Events and resources related to the environmental theme year at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Peter Bakken,
Jun 3, 2015, 1:24 PM