Applications Open for New Eco Spirituality Graduate Certificate

June 1, 2023
Picture of cave looking out into trees and sky
  • How do (or should) religious and spiritual traditions, practices, beliefs, and communities stretch in new ways in the face of the climate and extinction crises we are facing?
  • What kinds of vision and vocation arise from the experience of falling in love with ones place and its incredibly complex networks of relation, all of them permeated with the divine, or mystery, or wildness?
  • How can we care for those profoundly affected already by the catastrophes looming over all life on Earth: young people of all cultures, those in the Global South, front-line scientists and environmental activists?
  • What kinds of community life, economics, and human maturity and courage do present and future generations of life on Earth need for us to be enacting today?

Hartford International University has launched a new graduate certificate program that will serve the growing interest in questions like these.

The Eco Spirituality Graduate Certificate provides a concentrated immersion that will take you into the broadest reaches of science, climate, and global justice questions and into the beauty, relationality, mystery, and interspecies complexity of your particular bioregion and place on this Earth. 

The interreligious nature of this certificate means you will be able to explore in the process how major religious traditions are expanding to address these questions as well as some of the diversity and insight of place-based, indigenous/animist, and other non-, poly-, or pantheistic spiritual traditions.

Dr. Lisa Dahill, Miriam Therese Winter Chair for Transformative Leadership and Spirituality and Director of the Center for Transformative Spirituality, conceived of and runs the new graduate certificate program. “We hope this new certificate program will draw people who are curious about attending to wild voices of all kinds, or in love with Earth’s beauty, or passionate about questions of justice for all creatures (including humans) – and who want to explore spiritual dimensions of these questions," she said. "Whatever your background, we welcome you!”

The certificate consists of four courses (including at least two courses at HIU and up to two course equivalents taken elsewhere).  At HIU, these four courses are:

  • Eco-Care: Chaplaincy in a More-than-Human World
  • Eco-Spirituality
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Contemplative Prayer Practices

Alumni/ae of the Eco-Spirituality or Eco-Ministry program of the Center for Wild Spirituality will automatically receive 6 credits of advanced  standing (2 courses) toward this HIU certificate upon admission.  This leaves two HIU courses to complete to earn HIUs Certificate in Eco-Spirituality.

Students may use this Certificate in a variety of ways.  For instance, those already trained in chaplaincy might use it to gain expertise to equip them for new work in the emerging area of Eco-Chaplaincy.  Others may come in with considerable previous ecological expertise but see the need for grounding in the religious and spiritual questions essential for transformative human responses to ecological crises.  Yet another cohort may be relatively new to ecological questions but aware of their pivotal urgency today, wanting to explore a sense of calling and gain an initial academic credential toward possible future work building on the Certificate. Those engaged in climate activism, environmental justice, land conservation, or other forms of hands-on ecological work may desire attention to spiritual questions of grief, lament, and soul resilience in the midst of these disorienting dynamics.

For more information, visit this link on our website or contact Dr. Dahill at ldahill@hartfordinternational.edu

Dr. Lisa Dahill out doors with trees and flowers

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