Hedgerow Initiative | Conscious Living and Eating: Bridging Spirit, Earth Ethics and Practice

The Hedgerow Initiative offers sustained, systematic programming in feminist theological education, spiritual integration, and leadership for a just and holy world. In a particular way, the Initiative highlights the scholarship of women who since the 1950s have worked to reclaim women’s presence and significance in scripture, church, history, theology and culture. The Initiative takes its name from the hedgerow schools in Ireland that kept alive the language, faith, culture and community of the people during the time of the British penal codes. A hedgerow is a biosphere and a haven.

Mondays, February 8 - April 25, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Download Hedgerow Syllabus

What I (and we) eat matters.  How can we help prevent further climate change just by changing the way we eat?  How will getting my hands dirty in the garden affect my grip on life, my stake in repairing our planet home?  What changes in my personal lifestyle and that of my family can I make?  Who will benefit? How do spiritual insights from various faith traditions inform and inspire this work?  What practices will put me more in touch with the divine and anchor me more deeply in the Sacred Earth Community? 

Participants will engage these questions together and in collaboration with three local organizations committed to social and ecological justice and putting spiritual, ethical principles into practice.  Come share stories and network with others seeking to align values and action.

  • Appetite for Change is more than a restaurant; it “uses food as a tool for building health, wealth and social change in North Minneapolis.”
  • Gandhi Mahal Restaurant grows food for its menus; it is “dedicated to bringing peace by pleasing the palate.”
  • HOPE Community offers an “innovative nonprofit model for urban transformation.”

As one concrete outcome for the course, each participant will contribute to and receive a class portfolio of sustainable practices and resources.

Download Hedgerow Syllabus

See photos from class field trips!

View Hedgerow Class Participant Portfolio

Required Texts:

Bread, Body, Spirit: Finding the Sacred in Food, edited by Alice Peck

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, Anna Blythe Lappé

*Both available at Wisdom Ways

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter (available online)

Supplemental articles provided will highlight authors such as Vandana Shiva, Wendell Berry, Joanna Macy, Thomas Berry, and Mary Evelyn Tucker.


Joan Pauly Schneider, MA, MDiv; Cathy Steffens, CSJ, MA, MEd; Jennifer Tacheny, MA

Guest instructors:
Jeff Johnson, PhD Philosophy and teaches Environmental Ethics at St. Catherine University (February 22)
Paula Westmorland, Owner of Ecological Designs  & founder of Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate (March 21)
Dylan Bradford Kesti, Community Based Food Systems Urban Ag Organizer, Land Stewardship Project (March 28)

WHEN: Mondays, February 8 to April 25, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Carondelet Center (unless otherwise listed as “field trip” evening)
Field Trip Evenings: February 15 (Appetite for Change), March 7 (Gandhi Mahal), April 4 (Hope Community), April 18* (Saint Catherine University)

COST: $240.00 for the twelve-week series, $75.00 for any three-week series (see below for three-week registration options); $30.00 for indidivual sessions.

*On April 18, the Hedgerow class will be attending the The Kelly Distinguished Scholars-in-Residence Lecture featuring Ann Bancroft with Liv Arnesen at SCU.  You will be provided with a ticket.
Meet at the Carondelet Center at 6:30 pm. 

Three-week series options: Choose one series for $75.00.
Dinner included at each field trip site.

Series 1: February 15, 22, 29, includes field trip to Appetite for Change
Field Trip Evening: February 15

Series 2: March 7, 14, 21, includes field trip to Gandhi Mahal
Field Trip Evening: March 7

Series 3: March 28, April 4, 11, includes field trip to HOPE Community
Field Trip Evening: April 4