CEL's Starting Point In Sustainability

Caring for creation one Christian college at a time

 Sustainability Webspecs No Box
CEL is particulary interested in sustainable and clean energy, water, and air, including their ecological, socio-cultural, and economic linkages.  As a starting point, however, CEL is focusing on sustainability and creation care at Christian colleges and universities.

In 2011 CEL convened the first ever gathering of sustainability coordinators and leaders from evangelical CCCU Christian colleges and universities.  Attending the first annual Symposium for Christian Sustainability Leaders were representatives from Houghton College, George Fox University, Seattle Pacific University, The King’s University College, Messiah College, Taylor University, Creation Care Study Program (CCSP), Mustard Seed Associates, and Renewal (13 attendees total).  Billed as a working event, the symposium exceeded its own high expectations.  A video about the symposium, and a summary of the outcomes produced at this collegial, yet purpose driven leadership symposium, are described below.


 One of the main goals of CEL’s inaugural symposium for sustinability leaders was to produce an agenda of practical ways to advance sustainability and creation care on Christian college campuses.  The participants worked hard to formulate the following agenda.  CEL, the participants who attended the symposium, and others who are joining our cause, are committed to walking this agenda forward.  While we have implemented some of the agenda items listed below, and we have added a few more items to this list over the years, a lot of work remains to be done.  We’re working on this list, and look forward to crossing off our next achievement.


1. Formation of the Association of Christian Sustainability Professionals (ACSP).   ACSP | Logo-Final
Sustainability in higher education is a new profession, and the leaders in attendance at the symposium unanimously agreed that forming an association focused on the concerns and needs of their particular community would make a positive contribution to the development of the profession on Christian college campuses.

As a representative body, the Association of Christian Sustainability Professionals (ACSP) will provide the following benefits:

–  A voice and organizing structure to advance matters concerning the profession.

–  A faith-based community providing support and encouragement for individuals working in the sustainability field.

–  A venue for professional networking.

–  An organization creating professional sustainability standards, policies, and qualifications for member Christian institutions.

–  A training provider for members, or those wanting to move into the profession.

–  A collaborative organization working with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and other likeminded Christian institutions and consortiums of higher learning on sustainability matters.

ACSP is a service provided by the Center for Environmental Leadership (CEL).

CEL and ACSP will seek to collaborate with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and other likeminded Christian institutions and consortiums of higher learning on sustainability matters.

For more information about the ACSP go to theie website at this address:  christiansustainability.org

2. Formation of a new “pracademic” journal focused on sustainability from a Christian perspective published by the Center for Environmental Leadership (CEL).

3. CEL and ACSP will seek funding for:

• A sustainability investment fund.  This fund is intended to provide capital investment for sound projects that members’ institutions would otherwise find difficultly financing.
• A targeted research agenda on sustainability
• Other projects that will advance sustainability on Christian colleges and universities.

4. CEL and ACSP will produce a listserve, blog/online magazine, and other online networking services to help support the Christian sustainability community.

5. Due to the success of the inaugural symposium, CEL decided to hold an annual symposium in conjunction with AASHE’s annual conference.  We have held such a symposium every year since 2011.

6. CEL and ACSP will produce a video highlighting sustainability projects at Christian colleges and universities.

7. CEL and ACSP will develop an inter-CCCU sustainability consultation service as our gift-of-service to the wider CCCU community.

8. CEL and ACSP will produce an aggregate CCCU sustainability dashboard.  That is, a dashboard that measures sustainability indices for an aggregate of CCCU institutions who want to participate in such a project.

9. CEL and ACSP will produce a start-up kit of materials for institutions wanting to implement a sustainability coordinator position. This project includes collating, assessing, and disseminating current job descriptions for sustainability coordinators at CCCU institutions.