How environmental stewardship is viewed and evidenced in the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa: an appraisal of students’, lecturers’ and ministers’ perceptions

Cheryl Sheila Le Roux

Abstract


To care for the environment as part of a Christian believer’s Christian stewardship duty is biblically founded. The Church is consequently well-positioned to make a significant contribution in addressing the environmental crisis by developing, preaching and practising a holistic spirituality that promotes a custodial ethic towards the natural world. The research report discusses how seminary students, lecturers and practicing ministers in the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa perceive and practise this custodial ethic as environmental stewardship. There is consensus amongst respondents that Christian stewardship and environmental stewardship are biblically mandated and should be addressed and practised in the Church. However, the findings provided evidence that the realisation of environmental stewardship is tentative, both within the ministry and within seminary programmes. It is concluded that the teaching and practice of environmental stewardship is generally neglected in the Church. Areas for improvement in the ministry and seminary training curricula to support environmental stewardship are suggested.


Keywords


Christian stewardship; environmental stewardship; Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa; environmental literacy

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