Princeton Theological Seminary is offering a unique take on the recent interest in sustainable farming. Their agricultural project, known as the Farminary, is offering students a chance to learn theological concepts and to develop their ministry in the context of farming.
As explained in a recent Christian Century article by Celeste Kennel-Shank, the Farminary is unusual in that it goes beyond the service-oriented mission of providing sustainable food sources. Instead, Princeton has created a curriculum for ministry formation that is embedded in the context of farming.
Among the concepts that the Farminary is seeking to instill: the cultivation of relationships (as opposed to the feelings of competition among students in the traditional classroom model), the connection of human beings to the land as expressed in the Bible, and the patterns of life and death as demonstrated by patterns of sowing and reaping. According to Farminary's director, Nathan Stucky, his exploration of agricultural theory and history has revealed the deep ties between agriculture and race in the United States. He is, therefore, using this opportunity to open up discussion with students about our agricultural system and its systemic connection to the marginalization of people of color.
The people behind the Farminary believe that students are learning these concepts and more in an interesting, collegial environment that offers a different perspective than a traditional curriculum. Do you agree? Have you had any experience with agricultural-based theology programs; if so, how have you seen them work in comparison to traditional models?
To read the full article in The Christian Century, click here.