The baseline research of the center consists of three major components, each further described below:
- A large-scale survey of key constituents
- An inventory/exploration of organizations, resources, and practices related to climate change, global warming and creation care currently existing within Mennonite contexts as well as identification of potential strategic partner organizations beyond the “Mennonite world.”
- The first phase of work by theologians at Mennonite educational institutions to articulate the current “state of the art” in Anabaptist thinking about climate change and to propose specific agenda items for constructing an Anabaptist theology to support climate change mitigation.
Taken together, this research work provides to the oversight board and center leadership an essential understanding of the context within which the center operates.
The baseline survey was one of the key activities for year one of the center’s work. This research drew upon existing survey research on attitudes regarding climate change and global warming as well as research on best practices for communicating with diverse constituencies regarding these topics.
This first survey research project focused on U.S. Mennonite persons and leaders. Preliminary findings have been reported here.
Baseline survey instrument: CSCS Baseline Survey 2017
Internships and Fellowships
This year, the Center is starting two summer internships and one year-long fellowship to promote our goal of resourcing student leaders:
Faith Outreach Internship
The Faith Outreach Internship is a full-time summer internship for current students with an interest in Climate Action, Faith outreach within the Mennonite Church, and Coalition building. Students will engage with communities and congregations in the Mennonite church, both in the Great Lakes region and throughout the country, and serve as a bridge for the Center, to create long-term relationships with those communities. The Faith Outreach Internship is based in Goshen, Indiana, and includes housing and a monthly stipend.
Learn more here.
Climate Advocacy Internship
The Climate Advocacy Internship is a full-time summer internship for students with an interest in Climate Action, Domestic Policy, and Advocacy. Students will engage in advocacy, organizing, and lobbying with the MCC Washington office, with a specific focus on mobilizing the Mennonite community around climate issues. The Climate Advocacy Internship is based in Washington, D.C., and includes housing and a monthly stipend.
Learn more here.
Climate Futures Fellowship
The Climate Futures Fellowship Program is a year-long paid fellowship in one of the partner offices of the Center – Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), Goshen College (Goshen, IN), or Mennonite Central Committee (Washington, D.C., or Goshen, IN). Recent graduates have the opportunity to send in proposals based on the needs of each partner, with one proposal being selected for a fellowship. Fellows can focus on anything from media and communications, to climate research, to the theology of creation, based on the immediate needs of the partner institutions and the Center, and the interests of the fellow. The position includes housing, transportation, and a monthly stipend for the year.
Applications are not currently open for the Climate Futures Fellowship. We will open applications for the 2019-20 fellowship in August 2018. If you are interested in being notified when applications open, email Daniel Bellerose at email@example.com.
Congregations and Pastors
This February, the Center announced the support of a new position of Director of Pastoral Ecology, based in Goshen, IN, in partnership with Mennonite Creation Care Network. Doug Kaufman, former conference minister for the Indiana Michigan Mennonite Conference will be stepping into the position this year. His work will focus on developing a curriculum and lead learning experiences that enable church leaders to teach, preach and lead in ways that respond to climate change. More broadly, he hopes to help leaders connect with the theological underpinnings and personal experiences that can help them integrate creation care more fully into the life of the church. Much of this work will be carried out through pastoral learning experiences, or multi-day conferences which Kaufman envisions as a fusion of head and heart, theology, and nature.
To arrange a pastoral learning experience for your region, contact Doug Kaufman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read our press release on the Director of Pastoral Ecology position, click here.
To see other resources for people of faith to engage in climate action, try our Faith and Climate Resources page.
In an effort to promote and research best practices and innovative solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, the Center supports the work of faculty and staff members at its Core Partner institutions. The work that the Center supports is diverse, ranging from sociological survey to discussions of ethics in the Mennonite tradition. Find out more about the most recent project the Center has been supporting here.