Green Seminary

As an ecumenical theological seminary devoted to pursuing Scholarship, Piety, and Justice in service to God’s new creation in Jesus Christ, MTS is working to enhance our participation in creation care by joining in the Green Seminary Initiative.

The Green Seminary Initiative is a program organized by Drew Theological School and the interfaith environmental coalition GreenFaith which is premised on two convictions:

1. The religious community has a unique and significant calling to turn back human-caused environmental destruction and to participate in bringing all of creation into health and wholeness.

2. Theological schools should provide clergy and religious leaders with the tools necessary for them to lead their congregations, communities and organizations in meeting their unique call to protect and restore creation.

While this will be a unique process for MTS as it is for any school, we will soon be listed as a “Green Seminary” indicating that we have assembled a Green Team in order to pursue the five areas as outlined by the Green Seminaries Initiative:

Education                                                                     

    • adding more creation care elements to the curriculum
    • hosting lecture series devoted to creation care topics
    • offering practical experiences to students, etc.

Liturgy, Ritual, and Worship

    • organizing chapel and prayer services devoted to creation care, etc.

Buildings and Grounds

    • increasing energy efficiency and recycling
    • reducing carbon footprint and water usage
    • using more environmentally friendly materials
    • developing outdoor green spaces, etc.

Community Life

    • using more eco-friendly foods and materials for refreshments, receptions, and meals on campus
    • keeping consistent communication about ways for the MTS community to engage in creation care and about our progress as a Green Seminary, etc.

Public Leadership

    • developing an environmental mission statement and integrating it throughout the seminary’s work and identity
    • partnering with the larger community as a center of the church’s learning, training, action, and witness, etc.

The MTS Green Team, which will grow to include alumni, current students, and additional faculty/staff, currently comprises: Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Peter Gathje, Coordinator of Academic and Alumni Affairs Nathan Brasfield, Director of Facilities Greg Spencer, Administrative Assistant for Facilities and Safety Victoria Sikes, and faculty members Martha Lyle Ford and Dr. Mitzi Minor.

Ingram/Johns Lectures with Dr. Heber Brown: October 15-16, 2019

  • 6:30 pm – 7:20 pm on Tuesday, October 15: reception with Memphis area partner organizations
  • 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm on Tuesday, October 15: worship and lecture
  • 11:15 am – 1:15 pm on Wednesday, October 16: bring your lunch for a panel discussion with Dr. Brown and Mia Madison of Memphis Tilth

Rev. Dr. Heber M. Brown, III is a community organizer, beginner farmer, social entrepreneur and Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland who launched the Black Church Food Security Network which combats food apartheid by providing seed funding and support to help congregations begin growing food on church-owned land.

See flyer for this event.

Stiles Lectures with The Rev. Fletcher Harper: March 17-18, 2020

  • Events, times, and locations forthcoming

Fletcher is an Episcopal priest and, since 2002, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. Under his leadership, GreenFaith has developed innovative programs linking religious belief and practice to the environment. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he has led multi-faith organizing for the 2014 and 2017 Peoples Climate Marches, played a lead role in the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, and coordinated the development of GreenFaith’s international work. He is author of GreenFaith – Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth.

Todd Lectures (Spring 2021) with Dr. Ellen Davis (days, times, and locations forthcoming)

If you are a current student or alumnus/alumnae of MTS, and you are interested in serving on the Green Team, or if you would like more information about the Green Seminary initiative at MTS, contact Martha Lyle Ford, 334-5856.