Greening The Church?

One outcome of SEI’s work on ‘Greening The Curriculum’ will be, we hope, that our students are helped to think about how they will be engaged in the ‘Greening of the Church’, that is, integrating an engagement with environmental issues and concerns into every aspect of the Church’s life. As part of this, the Revd Dr Richard Tiplady will teach a new module next spring: TMM47510 Focussed Topic: Environmental Theology.

It is impossible to do justice to the breadth and complexity of environmental issues during a short five-week module, and in sufficient depth for those studying at MA level, so the module will instead focus on ‘the communication and exploration of environmental issues within the Church’. Participants – who are SEC clergy in their first incumbency – will be looking at how to engage with and communicate about environmental issues in their churches as part of their ministries.

The participants will be assessed by means of the ‘Resources for Others’ assignment option, producing something for the congregational contexts in which they serve. This might be sermon notes, service liturgies, Bible study notes, or something more activist like gluing themselves to a major road!*

In one session, students will hear the Revd David Coleman, the EcoCongregation Scotland chaplain, talk about what he has learned from his work in helping churches to engage with a variety of environmental issues. Students will hear about what has worked and what hasn’t, and what they might then do in their own churches.

Wendy Lloyd, Communications Manager of the Iona Community and Resource Development Partner for the Guild of Health, will help our students to think about how Christian environmental concern can be expressed through pilgrimage, as an example of a Christian discipline with environmental implications and potential. Her pilgrimage website is called Mull Another Way.

The SEC’s “Net Zero By 2030” pledge is important and is something we need to respond to constructively and quickly. But it’s not the sum total of the environmental issues that we should be engaging with, and this module will help some of our newer church leaders in the SEC to think more broadly and creatively about integrating these concerns into the lives of the communities they serve.

If you want to find out more about SEI’s MA programmes and whether they might be a support to you in your ongoing learning in ministry, visit the MA page on our website. You don’t have to sign up for a full MA; you could do a postgraduate diploma, or even just sign up for a single module (with no assignment), just for its own sake. The next MA module – Preaching In A Ministerial Context – starts on Wednesday 8th February 2023. Use our Contact Form to get in touch if you want to know more about sitting in on that module (a fee will be payable) or to enquire about any of our postgraduate programmes.

*See Grace Thomas and Mark Coleman, Climate Action as Mission: How to Link the Gospel with Safeguarding Creation, for reasons why Christians might want to do this.

Photograph courtesy of Richard Tiplady