The Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice is for students seeking training and preparation for engaging faithfully in environmental justice work, agricultural production, healthy food access and food systems, creation care ministries, land use issues, policy advocacy, and environmental management. The context of such work might be congregational ministry, nonprofit work, farming, or governmental agencies. It is also for students who may have a more general interest in addressing the array of urgent challenges related to the ecological crisis, rural precariousness, resource conflicts, animal suffering, climate change, environmental racism, and industrial agriculture.

The Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice certificate can be earned as part of the M.Div. and M.T.S. degrees.

Alongside access to some of the leading environmental theologians in the world, the certificate provides opportunities for learning from and engaging with the broader university and the surrounding community. Students can take courses at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke Farm, and the World Food Policy Center at the Sanford School of Public Policy. North Carolina is an ideal location to undertake this kind of formation, as it is not only a vibrant center of the food and faith movement, with numerous farms connected to the Divinity School, it is also the birthplace of the environmental justice movement, with its roots in the rural black church.

Drawing on the resources of Duke Divinity School and Duke University, students have specific coursework requirements, internship opportunities (M.Div. only), and access to North Carolina conferences focused on agriculture and environmental justice issues.

Requirements

M.Div.

  • Core course: one course to be chosen from the following list
    • PARISH 760: Food, Eating, and the Life of Faith
    • PARISH 806: Caring for Creation
    • PARISH 807: The Theology and Spirituality of Place
    • PARISH 808: Agrarian Theology for an Urban World
    • XTIANTHE 812: The Doctrine of Creation and Theological Anthropology
  • One elective course in the Divinity School from the following list of courses, (or a second course selected from those listed above):
    • PREACHING 775: Preaching Place: The Challenge and Promise of a Global Gospel
    • XTIANTHE 813: Listen, Organize, Act
    • XTIANTHE 841: Political Theology
    • XTIANTHE 814: Eschatology
    • XTIANETH 842: Womanist Theological Ethics
    • RELIGION 890: Facing the Anthropocene
    • OLDTEST 951: Creation, Cosmology, and World Order
    • XTIANTHE 830: Theology in Ecological Context
    • PARISH 788: Ethics and Native America: American Indian Literature and Liturgy
    • XTIANEDU 765: Education for Creation Care
    • Other options to be considered (to be approved if the course allows students to direct assignments toward the themes relevant to the Certificate):
      • OLDTEST 806: Biblical Bodies
      • CHURHST 819: The Body in Early Christian Thought and Practice
      • HISTTHEO 808: Patristic Readings of Romans 5-8
      • XTIANTHE 843: Theologies of Liberation in the US
      • XTIANETH 814: Christianity and Capitalism: A Theological Exploration
      • BCS 800: Black Women, Womanist Thought and the Church
      • WXTIAN 764: God’s Ministry of Reconciliation: Explorations in Missiology and Ecclesiology
      • WXTIAN 811: Journeys of Reconciliation
      • CHURCHMIN 762: The Love of God and Neighbor
      • PARISH 787: Power, Inequality, and Reconciliation
      • PARISH 802: Prophetic Ministry: Shaping Communities of Justice
      • PREACHING 802: Principalities, Powers, and Preaching
  • One elective course outside the Divinity School: Electives external to the Divinity School should be drawn from the Nicholas School of the Environment, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke Campus Farm, Sanford World Food Policy Center, Cultural Anthropology or other subject areas that have a clear and identifiable focus on some aspect of environmental, food, or political-ecological theory, policy and practice and be taught at a master’s level. Examples of relevant courses include the following:
    • Community-Based Environmental Management (ENVIRON 755)
    • Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law and Policy (ENVIRON 536)
    • Theorizing Environment (CULANTH 747S)
    • Environmental Health (ENVIRON 537)
    • Global Nutrition (GLHLTH 670)
    • Collective Action, Property Rights, and the Environment (ENVIRON 544S)
    • Climate & Society (ENVIRON 522)
    • Environmental Politics (ENVIRON 577)
    • Water Cooperation and Conflict (PUBPOL 580S)
    • Narrating Nature: Documentaries for Environmental Studies (ENVIRON 590.30)
    • Energy and Environment (ENVIRON 711)
    • Environmental Education and Interpretation (ENVIRON 737)
    • Theories of Environmental Management (ENVIRON 790.50)
    • Conservation Ethics (ENVIRON 820S)
    • Nature/Culture (CULANTH 742S)
  • Either independent environmental engagement/action project OR appropriate Field Education placement that involves some aspect of environmental or socio-ecological witness. In collaboration with the Office of Field Education, students will be directed to relevant field education opportunities or helped to organize independent environmental, food, or related projects. Examples of potential placements include working with Anathoth Community Garden, Resourceful Communities's Faith & Food Program, RAFI Come to the Table Program, Faithlands, Benevolence Farm, NC Interfaith Power & Light, National Farmworker Ministry, Student Action with Farmworkers, Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center, Society of St. Andrew, Southern Alamance Cooperative Parish (Garden of Concord), Warren Plains UMC (Working Landscapes), A Rocha (an international Christian Conservation organization), and NC WARN, as well as international opportunities as they arise.
  • Attendance at either the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's annual EJ Summit or the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference at least once over the duration of their program or an equivalent gathering to be agreed on in advance, as well as participation in at least one action organized by the NC Chapter of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

M.T.S.

  • 3 required courses as described above
  • Thesis on a topic related to the certificate as negotiated with faculty directors
  • Attendance at either the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's annual EJ Summit or the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference at least once over the duration of their program or an equivalent gathering to be agreed on in advance, as well as participation in at least one action organized by the NC Chapter of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

Forms and information for current students »

For more information about the certificate, contact:

Norman Wirzba
Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology
nwirzba@div.duke.edu
(919) 660-3496