Center for Spirituality and Sustainability

Center for Spirituality and Sustainability2017-01-31T18:11:54+00:00

Mission

The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability (CSS) at Claremont School of Theology is dedicated to exploring rich and vital overlaps between environmental activism and spiritual motivations.

  • Equips religious leaders and environmental activists in the areas of ecology and sustainability training;
  • fosters spiritual awareness and activities that respond to environmental degradation and restoration; and
  • builds religious understanding of how faith institutions and value-based communities can help heal and transform our world and its ecosystems.

Vision

The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability educates, empowers, and engages environmental and religious leaders to find ways to transform communities and ecosystems in an era of environmental crisis. Rooted in Southern California, we seek to be a visible example of restorative and resilient work in matters of ecological and spiritual activism and justice in our neighborhood, community, and region. We are building a network of partners whose work demonstrates what can be done and is being done to achieve a sustainable and ecological civilization nationally and globally.

Strategies

Ecological Liturgy project: This project promotes ecological activities in alignment with the traditional church calendar through a web-based presence. Eventually, we will add interfaith resources as well. The different articles and blogs will then be compiled so that they are available to download as a resource for faith and value-based communities. Some of these resources already exist, so this is a great opportunity to research and partner with other faith-based environmental activists.

Green Seminary Certification: Through the Green Seminary Initiative (greenseminaries.org/), CSS will spearhead the certification for Claremont School of Theology.

Environmental justice training program for faith leaders: Trainings will be open to priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, and lay people ― to anyone who wishes to be an ecological leader in their religious community. The program will include an in-person training at CST, through which participants will connect with area pastors and religious leaders on issues of environmental degradation, empowerment, and restoration in their communities. Topics to be considered for quarterly classes and workshops will include converting green space, learning how to garden, retrofitting buildings, connecting with local farmers and laborers, policy engagement, and political activism. We will also be restoring the garden at CST as an experimental and training project.

Conferences: CSS will host and sponsor conferences on themes related to the mission. In other cases we will partner with allies in providing activities, guidance on overall directives, and leadership. More information will soon be available on:

  • The Methodist Conference’s Watershed Discipleship workshop/conference.
  • The Ecofeminist Practice conference, in partnership with “Toward Ecological Civilization” EcoCiv.org

 

Executive Director, Kristin Ritzau
kristin.ritzau@cst.edu

Supervising Faculty, Philip Clayton
pclayton@cst.edu