Global Ministries EarthKeepers

Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, antiracist, bold and entrepreneurial.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips U.S.-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, antiracism, community organizing and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training.

The next EarthKeepers training will be held completely online in March 2024, designed to support Global Ministries’ commitment to just and equitable net-zero emissions. United Methodist laity and clergy are encouraged to participate. Youth ages 13-18 may participate with an adult parent or guardian.

The spring 2024 application and connection form are now available. Click below to access.

Applications are Due by February 1, 2024.

This training includes 8.5 hours of live online training and up to 24 hours of independent/asynchronous learning.

Live Plenary Sessions on Zoom:

  • Session 1: Friday, March 1, 8-9:30pm ET
  • Session 2: Friday, March 8, 8-9:30pm ET
  • Session 3: Saturday, March 16, 10am-2pm ET

Two small group sessions on Zoom following the first and second plenaries.

Small group Zoom session options are:
A: Tuesdays, March 5 & 12, 10:00-11:15am
B: Tuesdays, March 5 & 12, 2:00-3:15pm
C: Wednesdays March 6 & 13, 1:00-2:15pm
D: Wednesdays March 6 & 13, 7:00-8:15pm.

As a Global Ministries EarthKeeper, you will:
  • Be equipped with United Methodist resources to lead creation care work within your community and congregation.
  • Learn strategies for community organizing, project planning, anti-racism, and climate justice.
  • Have the opportunity to apply for a small grant to support your project.
  • Receive project support and technical guidance through post-training consultation from Global Ministries staff and other EarthKeepers.
  • Join the Global Ministries Creation Care Network, an online community of practice to support United Methodists engaged in environmental ministries.


Plan Your Projects

A core component of the training is to develop a plan for a project that you will implement in a community with which you have a relationship. It should address some aspects of creation care. Through the training, you’ll identify the problem or issue you wish to address and learn to articulate how your project responds to the problem.

You must know what you plan to work on when you apply. The training is designed for people who have an idea and want support in developing it. It can be a new project or a new phase of an existing project. It is okay for your project to change as you develop it during the training. If you apply without a specific project in mind, you will be invited to apply again in the future after you have settled on an idea. If you would like to discuss your idea with a training leader, contact us to schedule a time.

  • Example of an idea that is ready to be developed in this training: The churches in my district are struggling with their budgets. Many of them are not aware of the connections between energy consumption and climate change. I want to develop an energy efficiency education program that will help them reduce their energy expenses and teach them about climate stewardship.
  • Example of an idea that needs further refinement: Climate change is a crisis and my church isn’t doing anything about it. Also, straws are killing turtles. My project is to make my church do something about climate change and/or stop people from putting plastic in the oceans.
  • Ecosystem health—encouraging the flourishing of local ecosystems
  • Efficiency—increasing efficiency of water and energy consumption
  • Environmental justice and anti-racism—addressing the disproportionate burden that climate change and environmental degradation place on people of color, women, children, and people living in poverty
  • Food security—increasing access to healthy, locally produced food
  • Innovation–responding to the needs of creation in new ways
  • Renewable energy—increasing renewable energy access
  • Waste reduction, waste management—ensuring sustainable waste management practices in homes, churches and communities
  • Water—increasing access to clean, safe water and improving wastewater management
  • Membership or active participation in a United Methodist Church in the United States
  • Support from a conference-level leader
  • Age 13+
  • Interest in or experience with environmental issues
  • A specific project idea to be developed during the training
  • Commitment to participate in the entire training
  • Curiousity about environmental justice and anti-racism
  • Positive attitude about learning online
  • Minimum internet bandwidth of 600 kbps
  • Webcam, microphone, and speaker

Each applicant must make a connection with one conference-level leader–bishop, director of connectional ministries, district superintendent, or creation care ministry chairperson. If you don’t know any of the people in these roles, ask your pastor to make an introduction or reach out to one of them via your conference website. Introduce yourself, explaining the training and why you want to go.

Ask if they will complete the connection form and suggest a call following the training to share what you learned.

Both the Application and the Connection Form must be submitted before your application will be considered.

For more information on Environmental Sustainability at Global Ministries, visit Environmental Sustainability.

Have questions? Contact us.