The Farminary is a place where theological education is integrated with small-scale sustainable agriculture to train faith leaders who are conversant in the areas of ecology, sustainability, and food justice. It is designed to train students to challenge society’s 24–7 culture of productivity by following a different rhythm, one that is governed by the seasons and Sabbath.
Students with different stories, from different theological backgrounds, and from different walks of life come together at the Farminary to understand their beliefs, themselves, and God in a deeper way.
“The project’s main goal is to form leaders by cultivating agrarian sensibilities within them like paying attention to the seasons, understanding the interconnectedness of life and death, and becoming comfortable with failure,” says Nate Stucky, director of the Farminary Project.
On a typical day at the Farminary, students can be seen clad in boots and overalls gently turning rich, dark compost with shovels. Although this isn’t the traditional seminary classroom setting, this is where learning happens. Formerly a Christmas tree farm, the Farminary overlooks a pond and includes a 60-foot by 40-foot garden plot and a barn that is used for discussion and a place for sharing meals.
“Students with different stories, from different theological backgrounds, and from different walks of life come together at the Farminary
to understand their beliefs, themselves, and God in a deeper way,” says
Pearl Quick, MDiv/MACEF ’20, student farm assistant.
“As students work together in the gardens or share meals, space opens
up for humanizing conversations,” Stucky added. “There’s an opportunity to process the content of the curriculum.”
In 2017, the Seminary launched the Certificate in Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation, which is open to all master's-level students. The program trains students to recognize the connections between theology and current ecological issues and how to respond to those challenges.
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