Our Team

Staff Leadership Team

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Director

(On sabbatical for 2022-23 academic year)

Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (she/her), Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, holds a joint appointment at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union.

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Dr. Moe-Lobeda has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and many parts of North America in theological ethics addressing matters of moral agency and hope, climate justice as related to race and class, economic globalization, public church, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, eco-feminism, and ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation. She is author or co-author of six volumes and over 50 articles and chapters. Her Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation won a Nautilus Book Award. Moe-Lobeda’s ethical approach weds Earth ethics to liberation theologies including eco-feminist theology.

cmoelobeda@plts.edu

Sarah Berg

Sarah Berg

Acting Director

Sarah Berg (she/her) is serving as the Acting Director for the Center for Climate Justice and Faith at PLTS during Dr. Cyntha Moe-Lobeda’s sabbatical. Prior to joining the team at the Center, Sarah was the Development Director at Interfaith Power & Light for seven years.

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During her time at IPL, Sarah led the communications team, organized in-person and online events, managed institutional giving, and built relationships with major donors.

Sarah got her start in faith-based organizing as an intern at the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy in Oakland, CA and then working with SHARE EL Salvador where she witnessed the devastating impacts of a warming climate firsthand. She is an active member of the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, CA and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two young children.

sarahberg@plts.edu

Phoebe Morad

Phoebe Morad

Coordinator of Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

Phoebe Morad (she/her) serves as Coordinator of the Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith, and as Executive Director of Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC).

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LRC is a grassroots movement of clergy, lay people, campus ministers, outdoor camp staff, students, and seminary professors that connects, empowers, and equips people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) to care for creation.

For the past 2 decades, Phoebe has been inviting various communities to action through the mediums of hands-on science, direct service, and faith-fueled outreach via global and local non-profits including Earthwatch Institute,  Habitat for Humanity, and with her home church; House of Prayer in Massachusetts. 

pmorad@plts.edu

Kelly Marciales

Kelly Marciales

Coordinator of Community Organizing for Climate Justice as Love in Action

Kelly Marciales (she/they) serves as the Coordinator and Lead Instructor for Community Organizing for Climate Justice as Faith Active in Love, a 15-week course offered by the Center for Climate Justice and Faith at PLTS.

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Kelly also serves as Community Organizing Program Coordinator for the ELCA and Director of Organizing For Mission Network (OFMN). OFMN is an ecumenical network of individuals, congregations, synods, non-profit organizations, and community organizers who convene trainings and build cohorts across the United States which support local and statewide grassroots organizing efforts. Their previous appointment was as Executive Director of Valley Interfaith Action (VIA), a faith-based community organization in Alaska. Serving as VIA’s director and lead community organizer for 5 years, they built ecumenical partnerships that addressed statewide issues of affordable housing, senior healthcare, and equitable access to transportation.

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Polytechnic University Pomona, a Master of Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and earned a certificate in Design Thinking from Cornell University. Kelly lives in Palmer, Alaska with their partner and four children. Kelly enjoys science-fiction and fantasy novels, making the perfect karaage, and is currently learning American Sign Language.

kmarciales@plts.edu

Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo

Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo

Coordinator of Spanish-language Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, a Venezuelan-American, is a Presbyterian pastor and eco-theologian who has taught eco-theology at theological seminaries in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.

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For fourteen years Rev. Dr. Astudillo served Parroquia San Jose, a joint ELCA and PCUSA Spanish speaking congregation in Beloit, WI. Rev. Dr. Astudillo co-founded the Angelic Organics Learning Center, a farm-based nonprofit helping urban and rural people build local food systems in northern Illinois. She is the Latinx and Latin America Organizing and Training Coordinator at Greenfaith, a part-time role she will continue as she works part-time for the Center for Climate Justice and Faith. Neddy earned her Doctor of Ministry in “Greening the Church” from Drew University and her Master in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.

nastudillo@plts.edu

Steering Committee for Certificate Programs

Elena Cedillo

Elena Cedillo

Program Executive for Climate Justice
Department for Theology, Mission, and Justice, Lutheran World Federation
Instructor in Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

Phoebe Morad

Phoebe Morad

Coordinator of Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith Executive Director, Lutherans Restoring Creation

Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer

Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer

Program Executive for Identity, Communion, and Formation
Department for Theology, Mission, and Justice, Lutheran World Federation
Instructor in Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, Pacific Lutheran University

Director, Center for Climate Justice and Faith

 

Ryan P. Cumming

Ryan P. Cumming

Program Director for hunger education with ELCA World Hunger

Student Leadership Team

Julie Gerrish

Julie Gerrish

Julie Gerrish is a third-year MDiv student at PLTS. She was born and raised in the desert of Phoenix, AZ and enjoys the way plants seem to thrive all year round in Berkeley. She is grateful to be part of this student team. 

Larry Herrold

Larry Herrold

Larry Herrold is a seminarian at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in the MDiv programme and in the Climate Justice and Faith Concentration.  

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He is pursuing rostered leadership in the ELCA in Word and Sacrament.  Larry received his BA from Susquehanna University, and his MA from the University of Kent through a Fulbright Scholarship.  Larry is passionate about animal rights, environmental stewardship, and the historical intersections of Christian dissent, food culture, and social justice. 

Tori Valcarcel

Tori Valcarcel

Tori Valcarcel is a second year MDiv student at PLTS and pursuing ordination as a pastor in the ELCA. She has always experienced God in nature and finds peace when outside- feet on the ground and face to the sun.

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She is moved to work for climate justice as an extension of this deep love for Creation, using her background in community health to guide her ministry. 

Instructors in Certificate and Community Organizing Programs

Elena Cedillo

Elena Cedillo

Program Executive for Climate Justice
Department for Theology, Mission, and Justice, Lutheran World Federation
Instructor in Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

Rev. Steve Jerbi

Rev. Steve Jerbi

Minister of Worship and Christian Formation, University Congregational Church, Seattle, WA

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Instructor in Community Organizing for Climate Justice as Faith Active in Love

Before coming to UCUCC, Rev. Jerbi (he/his) served Lana’i Union Church, a congregation blending Micronesian, Hawaiian, Japanese and Anglo cultures in Lana’i City, Hawai’i. He also served as lead pastor of Bethel-Encino in Los Angeles where he helped establish and lead the Interfaith Solidarity Network in the San Fernando Valley. His call before moving to LA was as the senior pastor at All Peoples Church in Milwaukee, WI.   Steve is ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and serves under the full communion agreements of the ELCA and UCC.  

Steve is passionate about the intersection of racial, economic, and environmental justice. He offers training in racial justice work and faith-based community organizing. Youth ministry has been at the center of his congregational work and he loves cultivating experiences where faith comes to life – through worship, study, and play. Steve is also in formation with the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans. 

Kelly Marciales

Kelly Marciales

Coordinator of Certificate in Community Organizing for Climate Justice and Faith

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Kelly Marciales (she/they) serves as the Coordinator and Lead Instructor for Community Organizing for Climate Justice as Faith Active in Love, a 15-week course offered by the Center for Climate Justice and Faith at PLTS.

Kelly also serves as Community Organizing Program Coordinator for the ELCA and Director of Organizing For Mission Network (OFMN). OFMN is an ecumenical network of individuals, congregations, synods, non-profit organizations, and community organizers who convene trainings and build cohorts across the United States which support local and statewide grassroots organizing efforts. Their previous appointment was as Executive Director of Valley Interfaith Action (VIA), a faith-based community organization in Alaska. Serving as VIA’s director and lead community organizer for 5 years, they built ecumenical partnerships that addressed statewide issues of affordable housing, senior healthcare, and equitable access to transportation.

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Polytechnic University Pomona, a Master of Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and earned a certificate in Design Thinking from Cornell University. Kelly lives in Palmer, Alaska with their partner and four children. Kelly enjoys science-fiction and fantasy novels, making the perfect karaage, and is currently learning American Sign Language.

Phoebe Morad

Phoebe Morad

Coordinator of Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

read more

Phoebe Morad (she/her) serves as Coordinator of the Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith, and as Executive Director of Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC). LRC is a grassroots movement of clergy, lay people, campus ministers, outdoor camp staff, students, and seminary professors that connects, empowers, and equips people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) to care for creation.

For the past 2 decades, Phoebe has been inviting various communities to action through the mediums of hands-on science, direct service, and faith-fueled outreach via global and local non-profits including Earthwatch Institute,  Habitat for Humanity, and with her home church; House of Prayer in Massachusetts. 

The Rev. abby mohaupt

The Rev. abby mohaupt

Director of Education and Training, GreenFaith
Instructor in Community Organizing for Climate Justice as Faith Active in Love

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GreenFaith’s Director of Education & Training

abby (she/her) previously coordinated GreenFaith’s and Drew Theological School’s Green Seminary Initiative, and she coordinates GreenFaith’s relationships with seminaries across the US. She holds a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary, is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in Texas. She is a PhD candidate at Drew Theological School, writing a dissertation called, “Where Your Treasure Is: Climate Change, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and Divestment from Fossil Fuels.”

Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer

Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer

Program Executive for Identity, Communion, and Formation
Department for Theology, Mission, and Justice, Lutheran World Federation
Instructor in Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith

PLTS Faculty

who either teach courses for the Concentration in Climate Justice and Faith or whose courses may be adapted as electives for the concentration

Adam F. Braun, Ph.D

Lecturer in New Testament and Theology

Julian Gonzalez, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Katy Grindberg, M.A

Director of Contextual Education and Lecturer

Shauna Hannan, Ph.D.

Professor of Homiletics

Sheryl Johnson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty in Theological and Social Ethics

Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Ph.D

Professor of Theological and Social Ethics

Moses Penumaka, Th.D

Director, Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM)

Kirsi I. Stjerna, Ph.D.

Professor of Lutheran History and Theology

Alicia Vargas, Ph.D

Dean

Leslie Veen, D.Min.

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

PLTS Staff and Administrators

supporting the Center for Climate Justice and Faith

Raymond Pickett, Ph.D

Rector

Alicia Vargas, Ph.D

Dean

Leslie Veen, D.Min.

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

Jill Dillbro

Director of Admissions

Aaron Grieg

Accounting Technician II

Katy Grindberg, M.A

Director of Contextual Education and Lecturer

Katie Kirby

Admissions and Residential Life Coordinator

Moses Penumaka, Th.D

Director, Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM)

Rev. Sara Wilson

Associate Director of Seminary Relations

Description

This certificate program offers a cohort-based, contextually-rooted online curriculum for Spanish-speaking people in Latin American, the Caribbean, and North America. The curriculum equips participants with moral, spiritual, and practical power for leadership in the work of climate justice in communities of faith and in collaboration with others. Topics covered include theology, ethics, and spirituality related to climate justice; climate change knowledge; and social change practices that connect ecological well-being with racial, economic, and gender justice.

Completing this program earns participants six Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. Participants will spend 2-3 hours per week in the program including implementing a practical project aimed at climate justice. Long-term collaboration and networking are expected to endure well beyond certificate completion.

The inaugural Spanish-language Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith will launch in February/March 2023.

Partner Organizations

  • Seminario Luterano Augsburgo (SEMLA) in Mexico
  • Universidad Luterana Salvadorena in El Salvador
  • Instituto para la Pastoral Contextual of the Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Unida of Argentina and Uruguay
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Tuition

  • $600 for the entire program (optional resources from outside organizations may request contributions).
  • Scholarships of up to $550 are available based on need.

Interested?

Click here to register your interest and receive applications materials when they are available.

Questions?

For more information please contact:

 

Lee en Español

Working Group (Planning and Advisory):

Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, Coordinator of the Spanish-language Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith at PLTS

Rev. Dr. Mercedes Garcia Bachmann, Director and Professor of Old Testament at the Instituto para la Pastoral Contextual of the Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Unida of Argentina and Uruguay

Elena Cedillo, Program Executive for Climate Justice, Department for Theology, Mission, and Justice, Lutheran World Federation

Rev. Dr. Francisco Javier Goitía Padilla, Director of Theological Formation for Seminaries and Schools of the ELCA

Phoebe Morad, Executive Director for Lutherans Restoring Creation and PLTS Coordinator of Certificates in Climate Justice and Faith

Lic. Fidel Nieto Laínez, Rector of the Universidad Luterana Salvadorena

Rev. Dr. Carmelo Santos, Director for Theological Diversity and Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA

Rev. Dr. Anjela Trejo Haager, Coordinadora of the Seminario Luterano Augsburgo (SEMLA) in Mexico