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What’s the Role of Christian Colleges in Sustainability?

Today’s Chronicle features an interview with Chris Doran, an assistant professor of religion at Pepperdine University, who argues that Christian colleges have a unique role to play in sustainability education.

“Many public institutions bristle at the idea that they can play a role in moral development of their students,” he says on a linked podcast. “Christian schools don’t generally shy away from the notion that they are shaping the morals of their student body.”

Mr. Doran was one of the more eloquent speakers I heard at the annual meeting for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, which convened in Denver from Sunday through Tuesday. He spoke not only about Christianity and sustainability, but also about frugality as the missing component of sustainability education.

He has pushed his students to consider taking a frugal approach to life—to live much the way that his grandparents’ generation lived. But this generation of students is so accustomed to consumption, he said, that it might be difficult for them to adjust to a different way of living.

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