Preparing Faith Leaders for Environmental and Climate Action
TWCF Number
Project Duration
September 1 / 2021
- August 31 / 2023
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Dekila Chungyalpa
Institution Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

The Preparing Faith Leaders for Environmental and Climate Action project aims to provide environmental and climate science training that will enable faith leaders to participate as legitimate stakeholders in strategy and decision-making processes related to environmental and climate issues facing their communities.

The expected outputs of this two-year project are the creation of two consecutive online training courses, and an in-person symposium.

During the courses, participants will hear from scientists, scholars, policymakers, project implementers, and faith leaders. They will work with their own faith community on coursework and group projects to create a draft project plan. The classes are designed using the Absorb-Do-Connect model and students will learn, build and reach out through the cumulative 12 weeks so that they are prepared to initiate projects in their communities and adapt what they have learned in class.

The aim of the symposium will be to bring together course graduates with scientists, economists, academics, policy administrators, media trainers, and potential donors to assess progress, continue specialized training (as selected by course participants) and network with the purpose of ensuring the best conditions for project success. There will also be a public forum inviting a discussion with UW students, symposium attendees and the general public, on the convergence of religion and science towards environmental and climate action.

The target audience for this project is faith leaders and members of religious communities whose goal in participating in this project is to gain practical and technical support in order to create and manage faith-led environmental and climate-related projects in situ. The aim of the project is to establish a common understanding of basic earth sciences among participants that can be applied to address challenges within their situational context. Between 10 and 20 participants will be selected for the course.

The main course instructor will be Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative, Center for Healthy Minds and Healthy Minds Innovations at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Additional instructors will include different academics from institutions at UW, guest advisors and experts from external partner organizations, and senior faith leaders who support the course's mission.

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