Information About the Fellowship Program
Here you will find a description of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program
What is the Fellowship Program?
Founded in 2007, the GreenFaith Fellowship Program is the only comprehensive education and training program in the US to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for religiously based environmental leadership. Through this program, GreenFaith offers religious leaders a unique opportunity for educational, spiritual and vocational growth and skill development in religious environmentalism.
Using insights gained by successful religious leadership development programs and resources developed through past religious-environmental initiatives, the program educates leaders from diverse backgrounds to become passionate, effective, smart leaders in the field of religious environmentalism.
Over 130 Fellows have completed the program and are part of the ever-growing Senior Fellows community of leadership, learning and mutual support. Fellows have been ordained and lay leaders; Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical; Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Orthodox Jewish; Muslim; Hindu; Buddhist; Unitarian Universalist; and spiritual but not formally religiously affiliated. Fellows range in age from the mid-20's to late 70's, and have come from 35 states, Canada, Europe and Africa. While the program is open to Fellows globally, most Fellows are US-based.
Subject Areas for the Curriculum
The Fellowship curriculum works with an expansive understanding of the "environment" which encompasses suburban, urban and indoor settings as well as wilderness or biodiversity-rich areas that are the focus of much traditional environmental work. The program focuses on providing Fellows with a rich diversity of perspectives on the environment. The curriculum is organized around the themes of eco-spirituality and identity; religious teachings and traditions; stewardship, sustainable consumption and environmental economics; environmental racism and injustice; arts and the environment; and cultural perspectives on the environment.
Key Program Components
A core of the Fellowship Program are three three-day residential sessions in varied settings (one urban, one rural, and one suburban). These retreats explore the themes of Spirituality, Stewardship and Justice in relation to the environment, and include guest speakers and presenters who are leaders in the field of religious-environmentalism. The retreats give Fellows the chance to learn, to bond with each other, and to build relationships which last a lifetime. The retreats take place each May and November.
Eco-Theology Writing Project
When they enter the program, Fellows take part in a carefully guided process to write a 3-stage eco-theological statement. This statement begins with an eco-autobiography, a recollection of Fellows' experiences of the sacred outdoors. Next, Fellows identify sacred texts, teachings, prayers and other formal sources from their own religious or spiritual tradition in relation to the environment. Third, Fellows express themselves publicly through written or spoken word, or through some other form of public expression. Small group discussions among Fellows provide an opportunity for peer learning and support. The writing and thinking that Fellows complete during this process serves as a strong foundation for their future religious-environmental efforts.
Each month, Fellows take part in a webinar through which they learn from leaders in the fields of environmental sciences, theology and activism. Senior Fellows also serve as presenters, describing the environmental work that they are currently carrying out. The webinars serve as a chance for Fellows to stay regularly connected and to broaden their knowledge base and circle of connections.
Each week, Fellows receive a reading on one of the topics addressed in the program curriculum. These readings, which range from 5-30 pages, enable Fellows to develop a regular discipline of study and reflection, a key element in their growth as leaders.
Each Fellow's time in the program culminates with a Leadership Project, a religious-environmental initiative which Fellows design and implement in their own setting. GreenFaith provides a thoughtful, structured process through which Fellows design their projects, including small group discussions in which Fellows share their aspirations and plans for their work.