Students at Christian Colleges Have Eyes Opened to Green Movement

While many college students come to campus believing that protecting the environment has little to do with their beliefs, many are having their eyes opened to a greener world when they get there. According to Peter Illyn, the founder of Restoring Eden, a parachurch ministry in La Center, Washington that’s because "Christian campuses … are considered theologically safe places where new ideas can be examined and tested," And when taken in conjunction with the thoughts of Amanda Benavides, a sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego that "I grew up thinking: 'environment, liberal, bad,' ", I think that’s a positive development indeed. She points to her freshman year as a turning point, "When I read the Evangelical Youth Climate Initiative (EYCI), I was encouraged by its message and challenged to act as a Christian for environmental justice issues." Now that was a document presented to lawmakers in Washington D.C. after being signed by a coalition of 1500 students from Christian campuses to help stop the climate crisis, but other positive developments are happening as well. About 40 of 105 North American member schools of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universitites (CCCU) have adopted significant green initiatives. Integrating creation care with academics is a growing emphasis on Christian campuses around the country, and according to Paul Corts, president of the interdenominational Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), about 40 of 105 North American member schools have adopted significant green initiatives. These vary from multimillion-dollar sustainable "villages" and student volunteer programs to majors in environmental studies and recycling programs in school cafeterias, but the overall trend is clearly in the right direction. Let’s hope it continues!

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