National Initiative Trains Religious Leaders for Environmental Leadership

Over the past decade, the religious-environmental movement has grown dramatically, with more and more religious institutions addressing environmental concerns.  One of the engines of that growth has been the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, the world’s only comprehensive education and training program to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for environmental leadership.  Since 2008, GreenFaith has trained over 115 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Unitarian leaders for environmental leadership.

labriolaToday, GreenFaith announced that Madeline C. Labriola has been accepted into the Fellowship Class of 2014.  Madeline will join 22 classmates from religious traditions including Muslim, Hindu, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist.  Members of this class of Fellows work in a wide variety of settings, including congregations, universities, environmental and religious NGO’s, denominational organizations, and businesses  “I’m excited about joining the Fellowship community.  It is a wonderful opportunity to work with faith leadrs from diverse traditions and cultures”, said Madeline. “The state of the world’s environment is of deep concern to us. When we all work together, sharing knowledge and experience I know we can make a difference.  Taking care of the God’s creation is a priority in all traditions and I am looking forward to joining this vibrant Fellowship community.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome these new Fellows into the Program,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  “We look forward to working with them to support their growth as religious-environmental leaders.”

Through three residential retreats, monthly webinars, and extensive reading, the Fellows will receive education and training in eco-theology, “greening” the operation of religious institutions, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice. Each Fellow writes their own eco-theological statement and carries out a leadership project in their community, mobilizing religious leaders in relation to an environmental issue.  Upon graduating, they will join the Fellowship’s alumni/ae network and mentor other emerging leaders in this field.

Harper, directs the Program, with support from a multi-faith and multi-disciplinary faculty.  “This program will offer these leaders the opportunity to become well-trained leaders in religious environmentalism,” said Harper.  “They will help create an environmentally just and sustainable world.”

GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate and mobilize diverse religious communities for environmental leadership.  Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is a leader in the fast-growing religious-environmental movement and has won national and international recognition for its work.  For more information, see www.greenfaith.org.

GreenFaith is grateful to the Kendeda Sustainability Fund for support for the Fellowship Program.  For more information, visit www.greenfaith.org.

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