CRES Certificate Course Details
This two-year Certificate course provides an opportunity to study rural and environmental issues from a Christian viewpoint. It will be of interest to all with a personal or professional concern for the environment and countryside, rural communities and churches. The uniqueness of the course lies in its innovative approach combining the academic expertise of The John Ray Initiative (JRI) with the practical experience of A Rocha UK. There are no entry requirements.
- Teachers in school, college or church – it provides background knowledge and materials on rural and environmental concerns.
- Environmental practitioners – it enables the work situation to be related to Christian faith and commitment.
- Any concerned person – it connects Christian thinking to the environmental and rural context and offers stimulation, resources, and the potential for renewed vision.
Under the guidance of local tutors, students work through 6 of the 12 study modules below. Module 1 is compulsory. Modules 9 and 12 are alternative compulsory modules, and at least one must be taken during the course of study (usually as the 4th module). Students also select four from the remaining modules. Each module represents about 40 hours of activity and study. Students are examined on Study Papers and Work Diaries, one each per Module, and a written Project presented at a Residential Consultation, the topic being chosen in consultation with the tutor and senior tutors.
Module 1: The Living World
Starting with first-hand experiences of nature, this module looks at how the living world testifies to the glory of the Creator. It considers the Biblical relationships between God and the whole creation, a Christian understanding of humanity’s role, and Jesus’ ‘earthing’ of heaven in the life of the Church. (Compulsory Module)
Module 2: Farming and Food
This module concerns the production, distribution and consumption of food. Students are required to compare different modes and contexts, including the contemporary global market, and to evaluate them in the light of a Christian ethic and practice. (Module is from a UK Context and is flagged for updating)
Module 3: Creation Care Integral Mission
This module explores the place of Creation Care within global mission. Examples are drawn from around the world.
Module 4: Globalisation and Faith
Considers the important topic of globalisation. The module first attempts to define globalisation and gives some background to the topic. It then asks what a faith perspective on globalisation might look like.
Module 5: The Physical Environment
This module describes the physical systems underpinning life on earth. Threats of atmospheric pollution and climate change lead to an assessment of adaptation and mitigation. Marine and freshwater systems and soil are considered in the contexts of pollution and erosion.
Module 6: The Biological Environment
This module describes the dynamics of ecological systems. A historic view that the natural world is infinitely bountiful is modified by the knowledge that some ecosystems may be approaching their limits. It outlines human and non-human factors that change or damage biological environments. (Module is flagged for updating)
Module 7: Rural Communities
Rural communities have become more diverse. This module invites local research and urges students to explore the values underlying their activities, the historical background and to consider some current initiatives. (Module is from a UK Context)
Module 8: The Church in the Countryside
This module looks at Christian work and worship in the countryside, including Celtic spirituality, monastic communities, and church structures. It studies the function of holy places, rites of passage and the role of ministers – both ordained and lay volunteers, facing difficult challenges of finances and deployment. (Module is from a UK Context and is flagged for updating)
Module 9: Rural and Environmental Theology
Explains Christian theology, and relates it to today‟s rural and environmental context. This includes basic issues, such as the authority of the Bible, Darwin‟s legacy, Christian environmentalism, and rural spirituality. The aim is to identify theological threads which can be woven into your studies as you progress with the course. (Alternative Compulsory Module that is from a UK Context )
Module 10: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Stabilization, Energy and Climate
This module describes the likely climate changes, and their impacts, over the 21st Century. In particular, it focuses on the control of greenhouse gas emissions, which are the subject of intense international negotiations. (Module 5 is a prerequisite for this module).
Module 11: An Introduction to Biodiversity
Looks at why we should protect biodiversity; the religious mandate for conserving biodiversity; what is happening and why; and solutions.
Module 12: An Introduction to Environmental Ethics
This module will introduce you to ethics, then look at secular and Christian environmental ethics. Finally, it considers how this all works out in practice. The module is based on the Grove booklet of the same name by Martin and Margot Hodson. (Alternative Compulsory Module)
Cost is £790 in total, which includes two residential weekends, payable in two annual instalments We encourage students to seek support from their church or denomination or government provision. CRES has a small bursary fund. Please contact us if you feel this might be helpful. If you wish to enrol then go to the Application Forms page and follow the instructions.