Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Carole Spencer, PhD

Second Advisor

Dan Brunner, DPhil

Third Advisor

Kevin Bates, DMin


This dissertation claims that a retreat center with an eco-spiritual focus is one way to introduce Christians to the connection between stewardship of God’s creation and relationship with God. For the purposes of this paper the word “creation” is used to identify the natural world: earth, soil, plants, animals, birds, fish, and humans. Many Christians do not steward the earth as God commanded in Genesis, thus missing a spiritual connection with God that can uniquely happen through creation. This dissertation addresses the question, “In what way is care of creation a critical part of a modern Christian’s relationship with God?” Section One addresses the problem of a fast-paced lifestyle and how that pace crowds out time to build an intimate relationship with God and a restorative relationship with creation. Section Two addresses solitude through exploring the lives of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, anchorites, and modern monastics as a way to hear from God. It also touches briefly on the biblical support of ecotheology. In Section Three the connection between soul care through solitude and creation care merge. It also addresses restoration of a person’s soul and the soil by highlighting the intrinsic value of all creation. It makes the connection between humanity and creation. To address godly earth care, this section will propose the incorporation of permaculture principles at a retreat center for an integrative experience. It addresses the retreat center itself, and how it will combine soul care and earth care. Sections Four and Five describe the artifact. The artifact is a short business plan, website, and retreat center. Section Six describes the completed project. Appendix A is a vii short business plan. Appendix B is a representation of the website, it includes screen shots and the uniform resource locator to the website.

Included in

Christianity Commons