A new online survey supported by the World Council of Churches (WCC) aims to promote the study of issues such as the environment, climate change and food security as part of the training of future pastors, priests and other Christian leaders.
“Activities organized by the WCC in various parts of the world in regard to climate change, environment and ecological justice have highlighted the need to have an assessment of what is being done, share good practices and provide theological insights on climate, environment and the wider creation,” said Guillermo Kerber, WCC program executive for climate justice.
The “Global Survey on Ecotheology, Climate Justice and Food Security in Theological Education and Christian Leadership Development” aims to map the current situation of training, teaching and research on these matters, as well as the resources and examples of good practice that are available.
The survey is open until the end of February 2015 and is aimed at teachers, lecturers and students in theological education institutions of all kinds, such as university theology faculties, church-linked theological colleges and seminaries, Bible schools, lay academies and distance-learning courses.
It is also aimed at people in faith-based organizations, specialized ministries and NGOs that have resources that could be used in programs of theological education, formation and leadership development.
Following earlier discussions this year at the meeting of the WCC Working Group on Climate Change, the survey also will be presented during the Lima Climate Change Conference to be held in December. In June 2015, at a WCC-sponsored conference at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, findings of the survey will help to prepare a handbook on green churches, based on a proposal coming from the Ecumenical Institute seminar held in Bossey this year.
Issues such as ecology and climate justice are among the key elements of the emphasis on “pilgrimage of justice and peace” coming from the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, 2013.
The results of the survey will contribute to an online collection of resources within the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) which is hosting the survey.
GlobeTheoLib is a joint project of the WCC and Globethics.net, a Geneva-based global ethics network. In September, under the title Religions for Climate Justice, Globethics.net published a collection of international interfaith statements on climate change, in cooperation with the WCC.
Stephen Brown, program executive for GlobeTheoLib at Globethics.net, said: “We look to the results of this survey to promote the genuine sharing of resources between North and South on one of the most crucial issues for the future of humanity, and of creation itself.”
In addition to the WCC, the survey is supported by Globethics.net, the German development agency, Bread for the World and the United Evangelical Mission in association with the Orthodox Academy of Crete and Volos Academy for Theological Studies.