God, Country, and Climate Change: A Christian perspective on a global problem

Perhaps more than ever before, we need Christian leaders with the boldness to confront global challenges with knowledge and integrity. 

Few issues are more complicated, more controversial, or more important than the threats to our global climate.  But what does the science actually say, and can we trust the data?  How should scripture inform our perspectives on climate change?  Why is it so politically divisive?  And how do I respond to Uncle Bob’s snarky comments about the weather?

We will address these and many other questions, as we delve into the complex intersections between faith, science, and politics around the topic of global climate change.  This course prepares students to develop a scientifically grounded and biblically centered perspective on the climate.  We will also critique the social, psychological and political factors influencing climate beliefs in American culture.  Students will learn to interpret competing narratives based on data and evidence while developing the tools to communicate about climate change clearly and effectively.

Starting March 15, 2021

This 8-week course will run through May 5.

What will you learn?

Class lectures will feature a wide variety of global experts—many among the top leaders in their field—who will help us explore these issues together.  During online class sessions, students will:

  • Learn about climate science from Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s top atmospheric scientists, a professor at Texas Tech University, and a lead author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
  • Study scripture with Dr. Jonathan Moo, a New Testament scholar at Whitworth University and the author of numerous books exploring the biblical connections between faith and stewardship.
  • Explore innovative climate solutions with Chad Frischmann, the Senior Director of Research and Technology at Project Drawdown, which is the global leader in quantifying climate solutions.
  • Discuss the complex psychology behind climate beliefs and denial with Dr. John Cook, a Research Assistant Professor at George Mason University and the founder of skepticalscience.com
  • Learn about the intersections between climate change and social justice from Rev. James Bhagwan, the General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Discuss climate change as a public health issue with Dr. Edward Maibach, the Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University

In addition to the online classroom sessions, credit and audit students gain access to supplementary lectures that dig more deeply into the issue, as well as forum discussions where they can unpack these topics with their peers.


Course Cost

  • For Credit: $392/credit-hour
  • Audit: $150/course
  • Webinar: Free access to live-sessions

 

For Credit Audit Webinar
Cost $392/Credit Hour $150/Course Free
View Live or On-Demand Yes Yes Yes
Readings Access Yes Yes Yes
Moodle Access (Online Learning Platform) Yes Yes No
Transcript Available Yes Yes No
Graded Assignments Required Yes No No
Counts toward Degree Requirements Yes No No

Course Topics

  • Creation Care Theology
  • Climate Science & Impacts
  • People, Poverty, and the Climate Crisis
  • Climate Solutions
  • The Psychology of Climate Denial
  • The Politics of Climate Change
  • Climate Justice and Climate Action
  • Charting a Path Forward

Professor Brian Webb

Meet the Professor

Professor Brian Webb serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainability at Houghton College, where he leads the college’s efforts to promote environmental stewardship at an institutional level. This includes planning creation care events and programs, working to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum, partnering with facilities to reduce energy usage, and coordinating the college’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.  Under Brian’s leadership, the college has achieved a 32% carbon footprint reduction in just ten years.  Brian also teaches in the newly formed Environmental Studies program, which he helped launch in fall 2020.

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