Creation Care Icon



Support the Global Ministries EarthKeepers program!

Global Ministries EarthKeepers

Online Training: November 6-21, 2020

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

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

The next training will be the first online Global Ministries EarthKeepers training. Participation is limited to people who are actively involved in United States churches.

Application Opens: September 10
Application Closes: October 19 or when spaces fill
Training Materials Available: October 30




This training will include live (synchronous) sessions and independent (asynchronous) work. Live sessions will take place on Zoom. Asynchronous sessions and discussion will take place on Teachable and the Global Ministries Creation Care Network.

Participants should expect to spend 8.5 hours in live sessions and meetings and up to 16 hours on independent work over the course of the training. Participants must commit to participating in all live sessions and meetings.

Live Plenary Sessions

  • Session 1: Friday, November 6, 8pm-9:30pm ET
  • Session 2: Friday, November 13, 8pm-9:30pm ET
  • Session 3: Saturday, November 21, 10am-1pm ET
  • Commissioning: Tuesday, December 8, 8pm-8:30pm ET

Small Group Meetings (participants will request preferred meeting time from options below)

  • Group 1 – Tuesday, Nov 10 & 17, 10am-11:15am ET
  • Group 2 – Tuesday, Nov 10 & 17, 7pm-8:15pm ET
  • Group 3 – Wednesday, Nov 11 & 18, 1pm-2:15pm ET
  • Group 4 – Wednesday Nov 11 & 18, 9pm-10:15pm ET

Project Information

We encourage you to engage in a project that connects with your church and/or community. It should address some aspect 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.

EarthKeeper projects tend to fall into the following categories:

  • 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

Program Requirements

  • 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


Part I: Click here for APPLICATION

Part II: Click here for CONNECTION FORM

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 your learned

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

More Details

EarthKeepers photo 4
As a Global Ministries EarthKeeper, you will:
  • Attend a 3.5-day training with a cohort of United Methodists committed to creation care ministries.
  • 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.
  • Engage with a broader network of United Methodists from across the United States who have similar affinities, projects and passions.
  • Connect with your annual conference to support local creation care ministries.

Need help? Contact the Rev. Jenny Phillips, senior technical advisor, Environmental Sustainability.


EarthKeepers propose a project idea when they apply and develop their project plan during the training.

Trained EarthKeepers have the opportunity to apply for small grant funding to support their projects. Participation in the training does not guarantee a grant.
EarthKeepers 2

Most EarthKeeper projects are in the following categories:

  • 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
  • Spiritual growth, religious education and liturgy — developing unique resources at the intersection of faith and creation care
  • 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
EarthKeepers project seeks new life using discarded plastics in downtown Birmingham

Church of the Reconciler UMC in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, uses an EarthKeepers grant to test the viability of increasing community plastic recycling and employment opportunities with a small-scale recycle business within the church.

Emily Burns: Gardening for food equality

Serving at Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Emily Burns works to combat issues of food insecurity in her community as a Global Mission Fellow and EarthKeeper by supporting and developing a community garden and food pantry.

Earth Day and Easter: What Does Resurrection Mean for God’s Creation?

Projects supported by UMCOR are actively caring for the Earth and communities impacted by climate change.

Support Global Ministries EarthKeepers

Global Ministries recognizes the value that each EarthKeeper contributes to the creation care movement and invests robust funding to ensure the program is accessible to a diverse array of participants, representing the membership of The United Methodist Church in the U.S.

Please consider donating to help make this program possible! Your support will enable Global Ministries to support more United Methodists and their communities through the EarthKeepers program.