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Master of Arts in Theology & Ecology

Master of Arts in Theology & Ecology (MTE)

Assuming the sacredness and interdependence of all creation, and in recognition of the world’s exhaustion, brokenness, and systemic injustices, the Master of Arts in Theology and Ecology (MTE) forms leaders for service by immersing participants in a community of embodied theological reflection, rooted in Princeton Theological Seminary's Farminary, and by attending to the intimate connections among land, space, justice, soil, place, and neighbor.

MTE Learning Outcomes

In service to the mission of Princeton Theological Seminary, graduates of the Master of Arts in Theology and Ecology program will be able to:

  1. Attain a basic grasp of and proficiency in the theological disciplines (biblical studies, history, practical theology, theology).
  2. Understand the complex history of the relationships among human and nonhuman creatures, with particular attention to the intersections of ecological, economical, racial, and gender injustice.
  3. Wrestle with the church’s varied and occasionally conflicting roles in the aforementioned complex history.
  4. Articulate a provisional vision of justice and flourishing for creation that is rooted in Christ’s creative, salvific, and redemptive love for all creation.

The MTE degree is a 13-month residential degree that requires the completion of 36 credits.

MTE Curriculum (36 credits)

Introduction to the Theology and Ecology Program (3 credits) [first June term]
Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education (6 credits) OR an Independent Study (6 credits) [1]
Four courses focused on Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation (12 credits)
Special Concluding Course at the Farm (3 credits) [2] [second June Term]
Four General Electives (12 credits)
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[1] MTE students with no training in theological education will take the Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education course (6 credits) that will distill foundational concepts from each discipline. Students with prior theological education will take an Independent Study over the summer (6 credits). All students will engage in intensive work at the Farminary during planting/growing seasons.

[2] MTE students concluding their program will mentor students entering the program.


Additional Information

Ashley with goat

This design reflects a one-year (13-month) Master of Arts in Theology and Ecology. The degree requires 36 credit hours.

I am so incredibly grateful for the ways that I have encountered God in the midst of the farm and the people who tend it.

1st June Term
Special 3-week June Term course at the Farm – Intro to the Theology and Ecology Program for new students (3)
Credits - 3

Summer Term
Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education (6) or Independent Study for those with theological education foundation (6)
Credits - 6

Fall Term
2 courses from those listed as fulfilling the Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation (6)
2 electives (6)
Credits - 12

January Term
Optional

Spring Term
2 courses from those listed as fulfilling the Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation (6)
2 electives (6)
Credits - 12

2nd June Term
Special 3-week June Term Course at the Farm – current students serve as a mentors for new students (3)
Credits - 3


Sample Courses

(from the concentration in Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation)

Soil and Sabbath: Roots for a Vital Church (3 credits)
“The industrial economy, by definition, must never rest.” “The logic that led to slavery and segregation in the Americas…is the same one that leads to the exploitation of animals and the ravaging of nature.” With these statements Wendell Berry and James Cone, respectively, describe two sides of the same coin. They describe a situation the byproducts of which are ceaselessness and degraded bodies (human, animal, plant, land). Assuming the interconnectedness of all reality, this course explores ceaselessness and the degradation of creation as intertwined core challenges of contemporary society which demand a practical theological response. Looking to the Sabbath, garden, and table as fruitful possibilities, the course asks what practices and ways of life may restore vitality and justice to the church and world. This course meets at the Farminary, includes an opening dinner, time working the Farminary gardens, and shared potluck meals. All course participants will covenant to practice Sabbath throughout the semester.

Ecologies of Faith Formation (3 credits)
This course explores how people come to faith in community. Using their own faith stories as texts—and using farming practices that cultivate life as metaphors for practices that awaken faith as a “fruit of the spirit”—students will explore the interconnected webs that help faith grow using the lenses of religious socialization, faith development, situated learning, and transformative learning theories. The class itself will be treated as a micro-ecology of faith formation, meeting in 6-hour blocks at the Farminary. Each class will include hands-on farm work, academic reflection, and a potluck dinner, rain or shine. Students will travel by bus to North Carolina; leaving noon on Friday and returning Sunday night.

Text and Terrain: Connecting Scripture, Land, and Interpretation (3 credits)
This course will consider select agrarian Old Testament Scripture passages, their histories of interpretation, the consequences of such interpretations, and implications for contemporary exegesis. Of special interest will be the relationships among text, interpretation, and land. As a way of embodying the curriculum of the course, class time will involve reflection on assigned readings, tending the Farminary garden, and eating together.


Apply

Click below to apply for Princeton Seminary’s MTE degree program. Visit the admissions area of our website for information about important deadlines, scheduling interviews, and more.

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Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Environmental steward at St. Paul’s Christian School

Nick Babladelis, Class of 2015

“The faculty and staff at Princeton Seminary took my interests in science and theology and gave them real direction.”