The Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program equips faith leaders and congregations to become change agents in food security, community health, and resilient food economies. To that end, our academics and continuing education programs focus on a number of interrelated core competencies. Our programs teach faith leaders to:
- Apply a theological frame to today’s pressing problems connected to food—hunger, obesity, diabetes, ecological devastation, energy, global warming—and draw on the core interdisciplinary areas of a theological education curriculum (spirituality, ethics, biblical, historical, and theological studies, ministry and missions) as essential resources for transforming the conversation and practices about food.
- Expand their understanding of vocation to include church-supported agriculture projects, farmworker justice, and other food-related ministries.
- Nurture their own spiritual growth and that of the communities they serve by adopting holistic faith practices that nourish mind, body, and soul.
- Understand the problems with our current food system, while growing in knowledge of regenerative forms of agricultural such as permaculture, biointensive mini-farming, and other ecologically-sound agricultural practices.
- Encourage a global perspective by applying a theological lens to food-related issues in diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic perspectives within both national and international contexts.
- Food and Faith Master of Divinity Concentration
The Wake Forest University School of Divinity offers a concentration within the Master of Divinity degree designed to equip religious leaders with the knowledge, skills, and pastoral habits necessary to guide congregations and other faith-based organizations into creating more redemptive food systems where God’s shalom becomes visible for a hungry world.
Core Courses (6h)
- Foundational course (3 hours): MIN 561 “Food, Faith, and Health: Navigating the Intersections in Community”
- Experiential course (3 hours): A course that combines hands-on learning in organic gardening, food preparation, and preservation with scriptural/theological reflection. The purpose of such a course is to ensure that students have basic skills in growing and preparing food. The pedagogical combination of theological reflection and active creation care mirrors the holistic view of well-being that is at the heart of the concentration.
- MIN 560 “Field, Table, Communion”
- MIN 597 “Roots & Branches: The Jewish Environmental Fellowship for Emerging Christian Leaders”
Elective courses (1h – 3h)
- Elective courses may be taken through the existing School of Divinity curriculum in a variety of biblical, historical, theological or ministerial studies options that include an emphasis on food and faith-related topics or issues. Students must have the approval of the program director in order for an elective to count toward the concentration. Courses outside the School of Divinity can also be used for elective credits.
- BIB 790 “Food & Faith in the World of the Hebrew Bible”
- MIN 790 “The Monastic Impulse Old & New: Prayer, Work, and the Spirituality of Food”
- MIN 790 “Food, Faith, and Justice”
- HIS 630 “Culinary Culture in Black Religious Experience”
Internship experience (3h)
- Students can choose to develop an Art of Ministry II or Art of Ministry III internship experience with a food and faith emphasis. Summer internships or specialized internship completed during the academic year can also count toward this requirement.
Capstone project (3h)
- Students can focus this requirement through the current Art of Ministry III requirement by completing either a senior project or a senior internship.
- Faith and Health of the Public Master of Divinity Concentration
Utilizing partnerships across the university and the region (such as Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Divisions of Public Health Sciences and Faith and Health Ministries), the Faith and Health concentration equips religious leaders with skills to lead congregations and faith-fueled community organizations seeking to embody shalom and healing in community.
- Gateway Course: MIN 561 “Food, Faith, Health, and Community” (3 hours)
- MIN 595 A & B: Multicultural Contexts for Ministry: Nicaragua (3 hours)
- Internship (6 hours)
- MIN 601 A & B in setting focusing on health or
- MIN 635 A & B, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
- Electives: Courses focusing on faith and health (with approval of program director) or Clinical Pastoral Education (1-6 hours)
- Capstone Project: Choose from the following (3 hours):
- MIN 701, Art of Ministry III Integrative Project
- MIN 702 A & B, Art of Ministry Specialized Internship (or Clinical Pastoral Education)