In early 2020 the John Ray Initiative, an educational charity bringing together scientific and theological understandings of the environment, secured funding from St Peter’s Saltley Trust for a WM-based consultation around the devleopment of a network of eco-theological educators in UK theological education institutions. JRI’s Theology and Education Director, Revd Margot Hodson, writes:
‘As the 21st century progresses it becomes increasingly clear that we are in the midst of an environmental crisis, with severe effects on the most vulnerable in our world and impacts affecting every community and nation. We need equip churches to be able to minister effectively in this context and ministers to lead discerningly in an uncertain and unstable world. ETEN is seeking to establish a network of theological educators who will help to equip colleges to train ministers to meet these challenges – educators who will inspire their colleges and courses, to build environmental thinking within their teaching and daily living, and enable their students to articulate this as part of the Christian faith.
Our eventual aim is to have at least one theological educator in each institution who joins ETEN and acts as a motivator to support their institution as it adapts their teaching and practice in the light of the environmental crisis.
The first stage of the project is a 24 hour consultation with proven leaders in Eco Theological education and senior leaders in ministerial training. We plan that this will begin to forge a network of collaboration that will gradually expand to all colleges, courses and denomination training departments in the coming years’.