Christian Earthkeeping

There's a new program at George Fox University, just outside of Portland, Oregon - Christian Earthkeeping. The University describes its program by saying, "Christian Earthkeeping is the Church’s response to the ecological crisis and to God’s command to 'keep' the Earth (Genesis 2:15)."

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For too long climate change and sustainable living have been the domain of secular environmentalism, even though there's a biblical basis for why Christians should care for the Earth, the professor who created the course told the Oregonian.

According to the University, the 12-credit Christian Earthkeeping concentration creates a community of learning that utilizes two year-long seminars and summer immersion intensives, and facilitates learning in and from the community, the Earth and Scripture. The program will empower students through theological reflection, spiritual disciplines and community praxis.

This bond between religion and the environment is nothing new, as we saw from a popular post on Planet Forward last year. Groups such as the Evangelical Environmental Network have promoted Creation Care, which "seeks to educate, equip, inspire, and mobilize Christians in their effort to care for God's creation, to be faithful stewards of God's provision, and to advocate for actions and policies that honor God and protect the environment."

Taking ideas like Creation Care into the realm of post-secondary education is an important step. According to the Oregonian, "in a 2009 survey by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, 41 percent of responding campuses reported courses in sustainability, and of those who didn't, 43 percent planned to start one."

What kind of impact do you think schools like George Fox University having programs like Christian Earthkeeping can have? It may be important, but just how important? Will reaching out to and connecting with this demographic have a big impact? Will it have any impact at all?

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