Southern Nazarene University honored in groundbreaking "Green Awakenings" Campus Report

Southern Nazarene University honored in groundbreaking "Green Awakenings" Campus Report

     BETHANY, OK – Renewal: Students Caring for Creation, a student-led, Christian environmental group, released the groundbreaking Green Awakenings Campus Report chronicling environmental initiatives on 52 Christian colleges across the United States and Canada. The report is a project of Renewal, a growing movement of young Christians dedicated to caring for God’s creation through mobilizing and equipping their campuses to be better stewards of the environment.

“The student generation in particular is stepping up to care for God’s creation, but previously little was known about what this movement practically looked like on Christian campuses,” said Ben Lowe, Renewal’s co-coordinator. “The Green Awakenings Campus Report demonstrates to the world what happens when Christian students and campuses come together to care for Creation. Our two-fold goal is to demonstrate to colleges, churches, and communities how we are working together for the renewal of God’s creation, and inspire others to join us.”

The environmental efforts of Southern Nazarene University (SNU) are featured in the Green Awakenings Campus Report.

“SNU is honored to be featured in this exciting report,” said Dr. Brad Strawn, Dean of the Chapel and Vice President for Spiritual Development at Southern Nazarene University.   “It is exciting to see that SNU shares the theological conviction of Creation Care with so many other fine Christian colleges and Universities. We are also excited that on March 30th, Ben Lowe, the project manager of Green Awakenings and the author of Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation (Inter Varsity Press) will be on the SNU campus to speak.”

Dr. Strawn sees creation care as a movement with a Biblical basis for existence.

"God gave man dominion over the garden," Strawn said, "It is our responsibility to care for it. After all we can't re-create what He designed.... we need to preserve it, said Strawn."

Current "creation care" efforts have gained new momentum on the SNU campus, spear-headed by Strawn and powered by a group of more than 25 committed SNU students. Intense reviews are in process of how SNU can continue to grow as a more sustainable institution of higher learning. The most recent effort places recycling bins in all campus building for paper, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum cans, in hopes of not only stepping up campus recycling, but also to encourage the city of Bethany to launch a more active role in Recycling.

For those unfamiliar with the student creation care movement, the idea of young Christians taking action on the environment may seem odd. However, a growing number of young people believe that Christians have a mandate to care for God’s creation. “As Christians, the students of Renewal seek to follow His example of love, stewardship, and reconciliation. For us, this means taking care of everything that God so lovingly created- the earth and each other. We seek to care for the earth so that all of God's people and creatures, as well as future generations, can have a healthy environment in which to live,” said Ben Lowe. 

“God promises great things for today’s emerging generation of leaders. These young adults are brave, resourceful, independent, and creative. They are interested in important causes, and many aren’t waiting to graduate college to help out -- they are taking action today to leave a better planet to future generations,” said Dr. Matthew Sleeth, bestselling Christian author and speaker. “Through the work of Renewal’s student leaders, a growing number of Christian colleges and universities are, for the first time, thinking about what it means to care for God’s creation in the context of campus settings.”

For more information on Renewal, the Creation Care Movement, and the Green Awakenings Campus Report, please contact Ben Lowe at benlowe@renewingcreation.org or visit www.renewingcreation.org

For more information on Green at SNU, contact the Office of Spiritual Development at Southern Nazarene University located at 6729 N.W. 39th Expressway in Bethany, Oklahoma.  Office Phone #: 405.4916216 or visit http://www.snu.edu/green-at-snu.

Southern Nazarene University is a faith-filled community, educating students for responsible Christian living through its motto; building CHARACTER, shaping CULTURE, and serving CHRIST. Excellence in academics, athletics, a spirit of community and service are encouraged by faculty committed to helping students make a difference in the world.