Extending the hope of Jesus

The Eco-Discipleship Program explores the intersection of faith and ecology.

This integrative 12-week program goes beyond the classroom by covering Eco-Literacy, Eco-Theology, Eco-Philosophy & Culture and experiential Eco-Projects.

Because we are called to be disciples to all creation, we must extend the hope of Jesus and His gift of love to the whole world, including the non-human world. Consequently, by engaging in small community-based learning experiences, the Eco-Discipleship program will shape your identity and your faith, and teach you what it means to know your place, to love a city and to care for the world.

Based in the vibrant city of Hamilton, Ontario.

Sign-up now to gain a new perspective on life!

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A Life Changing Experience

9 spaces left. Call us (1.888.953.9275) to learn more.
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Why Eco-Discipleship?

“In the coming decades, the survival of humanity will depend on our ecological literacy – our ability to understand the basic principles of ecology and to live accordingly. This means that ecoliteracy must become a critical skill for politicians, business leaders, and professionals in all spheres, and should be the most important part of education at all levels.”

Fritjof Capra

Program Overview

Community

Participants in the Eco-Discipleship program will enter into a weekly rhythm of learning, practice, and community. Learning will consist of formal instruction and informal discussion. This foundation gives participants the basic principles of eco-theology, eco-literacy, eco-philosophy. The learning component is solidified by hands-on practice in science education and local restoration projects. In addition, participants will be formed in community through times of corporate prayer and meditation, shared meals, and evening gatherings. The ultimate goal of these three aspects (learning, practice, and community) is the formation / transformation of the individual and group.

Curriculum

Eco-literacy encompasses five core themes, laying the ground-work for becoming ‘environmentally-competent’ and a more integrated person.

  1. Principles of living systems leads us to realize our place in the web of life and the inherent interconnectedness of the world and our faith.
  2. Design inspired by nature reminds us all of life is founded on what was created.
  3. Systems thinking helps us break the bounds of traditional binary, siloed approaches to learning and life.
  4. Ecological paradigm and resilency helps us re-frame our beliefs about the future, with an ethic towards a flourishing world.
  5. Collaboration, community building and citizenship solidifies the importance of people moving together as the means for Creation care.
Eco-theology focuses on:

  • The biblical vision of place
  • God the Creator’s relationship to place
  • Humanity’s relationship to place
  • God & humanity’s relationship to each other
  • Ethical considerations that flow from this understanding

In addition, students will have exposure to a variety of perspectives within Christian theology and tradition regarding humanity’s relationship to place and the broader creation.

How do we view ourselves in relation to “the natural world”? Can we find an identity in entire scope of creation? How do we value the earth and other-than-human species in contrast to our own habits and ways of living?

Eco-Philosophy & Culture will explore how society conceives of its place in the natural order. We will read poets and writers, consider art and share ideas, listen to deep thinkers and environmentalists, and engage in personally transformative and culturally important conversation.

Eco-Projects will engage students in practical, hands-on stewardship work in and around the Hamilton area. Students will learn essential conservation skills and gain an awareness of and appreciation for their local environment. Eco-projects will include watershed stewardship, species identification and sustainable food practices.
Learning Outcomes

Program Details

Dates

Your term starts September 17, 2018. As a first step, please fill out an application form and get your foot in the door to be on the waiting list!

Cost

  • Equivalent of 3 university courses (accredited & transferable)
  • 15 hours / week of learning space
  • Accomodation & community meals included
  • Course reader

Please note that living accommodation space is limited.

  • Equivalent university course (accredited & transferable)
  • Weekly community lunches included
  • 15 hours / week of learning space
  • Course reader

$100 refer a friend discounts available. Friend must be fully registered and paid.

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Location

Eco-Discipleships are offered in Hamilton, Ontario. You’ll love the charm of the old churches, stunning escarpment views, unique food/arts culture and amazing biodiversity to explore and study. Please fill out an application form and get your foot in the door to be first in line!

Staff Profiles

Alex Breitkopf

Alex Breitkopf

Program Supervisor (Hamilton, ON)
Alex Breitkopf comes to A Rocha while finishing his doctoral dissertation at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, ON. His research focuses on the Old Testament and Eco-Theology and explores various topics related to humanity’s relationship with the broader creation.

Full bio
Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Ontario Director, MBA
Luke values sustainability and community living, and has a desire to live a life of worship. Luke finished a MBA in Nonprofit Management and is very excited about the Canadian vision for A Rocha’s work.

Full bio
Ben McCullough

Ben McCullough

Cedar Haven Manager
With a background in agriculture and outdoor education, Ben’s mission at Cedar Haven is to facilitate a life-changing experience for all who step onto its grounds and to foster a sense of ecological hope in an often hopeless world. Ben studied English and Philosophy at King’s College University and McMaster University, with a focus on environmental philosophy.

Full bio

Is This Program For Me?

Finally, this program is a good fit for people who find themselves longing to deepen their understanding and experience. Specifically, it focuses on the key relationship between faith and environmental issues. Also, it is applicable to your vocation, family, church and even work life. So, you might fit if you are

  1. A student in transition (gap-year or recent graduates),
  2. Employed part-time and interested in a Christian community learning experience,
  3. Committed to building the relevancy of your church, NGO or para-church ministry,
  4. An international student looking for an environmental overseas experience, or
  5. Recently retired and looking for a new way to engage work-life-faith balance.
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