Program Overview 

CIIS’ online Ph.D. in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion is suited for interdisciplinary scholars who wish to engage in rigorous study of ecology and religion with faculty renowned for their cutting-edge approaches.

Students will investigate the interplay of worldviews, philosophies, and religions in understanding and responding to global challenges. Our Ph.D. students strive to not just identify the conditions contributing to ecological crises, but they also use their research to propose creative alternatives.

Using a critical lens, students investigate the current ecological crises from within the perspectives of religions and spiritualities, and analyze various religious and spiritual traditions while incorporating ecological perspectives.

Doctoral students in our program develop advanced research, writing, and inquiry skills to prepare them for roles in higher education and public sector leadership.

Doctor of Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion

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The burgeoning field of Religion and Ecology marshals the power of religions and spiritual traditions to address the global ecological crisis through a purpose-driven lens of love, compassion, justice, and community. This movement is providing a new generation of activists, scholars, and leaders with the skills and insight needed to transform practices, worldviews, and consciousness in service of a more just, sustainable, healthy, and flourishing future.

Our community bridges conversations among academics, activists, spiritual leaders, artists, and social justice organizers. The graduate program in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion at CIIS uniquely contributes to this enlivened discourse through the Religion and Ecology Summit. Convened to explore the many intersections of Religion and Ecology, our transdisciplinary conference assembles cutting-edge scholars, thinkers, and activists to share innovative work rooted in ecologies and traditions from around the world.

Conference presentations investigate the transformational possibilities awakened when ecological concerns inform religious thought and practice. Scholars and practitioners consider the integration of spiritual perspectives into environmental protection and activism. The Religion and Ecology Summit series attracts a cross-sector blend of activists and scholars from the ecological and environmental justice movements, as well as faith and spiritual leaders, all of whom seek to share strategies for moving through the global ecological crisis with consciousness and heart.

Access content from past Religion and Ecology Summits.

Career Paths  

Graduates from the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Ph.D. program work at the forefront of an interdisciplinary field that has grown rapidly over the past two decades. They emerge from the program with a broad understanding of the role of worldviews in the environmental crisis and of the prospects for change, detailed expertise in their individual research foci, and the research, writing, and communication skills necessary to thrive within a variety of professional contexts.

Our graduates go on to:

  • Teach, publish, and conduct research in academic settings
  • Research and publish in non-academic settings (journalism, fiction, and nonfiction)
  • Create or work for nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Integrate the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion knowledge base and skillset into their current careers

Questions? Contact us.

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