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News from the Hill August 24, 2011 | back to index

Shelley Dennis Joins GreenFaith’s National Fellowship Program

Shelley Dennis

National Initiative Trains Religious Leaders for Environmental Leadership

GreenFaith announced on August 21st that Shelley Dennis, Masters of Sustainability Student at NAU has been named a GreenFaith Fellow and will join the 2012 Class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program.  The Fellowship Program is the only US comprehensive education and training program to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for environmental leadership.  “We’re thrilled to welcome Shelley Dennis to the Program,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  “We look forward to working with her to support her growth as a religious-environmental leader.”

Through three residential retreats, monthly webinars, and extensive reading, Shelley Dennis will receive education and training in eco-theology, “greening” the operation of institutions, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice. Each Fellow writes their own eco-theological statement and carries out a leadership project in their community, mobilizing religious leaders in relation to an environmental issue.  Upon graduating, they will join the Fellowship’s alumni/ae network and mentor other emerging leaders in this field.

Shelley Dennis is pursuing her Master of Theological Research at Andover Newton Theological School, with a focus on environmental implications of theology.  She has been interning at the Green Sanctuaries program of the Unitarian Universalist Association, who will be providing financial support for this fellowship as a testimony to the importance of environmental concerns for Unitarian Universalist spiritual practice and religious life.  The GreenFaith Fellowship is an opportunity to fine-tune her ability to work with people of faith toward the creation of sustainable communities.  Shelley says, “The GreenFaith Fellowship operates on principles advocated at Andover Newton Theological School—the development of collaborative and respectful relationships across boundaries of race, creed, and class in an effort to maximize relational power for positive social change. I am excited to merge my interests in this leading-edge program for religious leaders.”

Shelley Dennis will join a class of 25 Fellows from diverse religious backgrounds.  The Fellows represent over ten religious denominations, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist.  Fellows work in a wide variety of settings, including congregations, universities, campus ministries, NGO’s, and denominational organizations.

GreenFaith’s Executive Director, Rev. Fletcher Harper, directs the Program, with support from a multi-faith and multi-disciplinary faculty.  “This program will offer these leaders the opportunity to become well-trained leaders in religious environmentalism,” said Harper.  “They will help create an environmentally just and sustainable world.”

GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate and mobilize diverse religious communities for environmental leadership.  Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is a leader in the fast-growing religious-environmental movement and has won national and international recognition for its work.  For more information, see http://www.greenfaith.org.

 

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