News & Resources


Au Sable Partners with Faith and International Development Conference at Calvin College

Nov 28, 2012

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies will partner with the Calvin College 2013 Faith and International Development Conference (FIDC) this February to introduce students and faculty to the concepts and practices of missionary earthkeeping and environmentally sustainable development.

Au Sable will lead a new faculty component to the student-run conference, focusing on assisting faculty directors of Missions and Development Programs at Christian colleges and universities with integrating environmental studies courses and experiences into their program’s curriculum. The Au Sable "mini-conference" is titled Missionary Earthkeeping: Fostering Missions and Development for a Flourishing Earth, Gospel, and People. In addition, Au Sable will serve as a Lead Sponsor for the conference and bring experts working at the intersection of missions, development, and environmental stewardship to lead breakout sessions and discussions on the critical role environmental sustainability plays in social and economic development, protecting God’s earth, and spreading the gospel.

Au Sable Executive Director Fred Van Dyke says, “This partnership offers Au Sable the opportunity to contribute to a terrific missions and development conference that attracts a range of students and faculty across North America, while also advancing Au Sable's work to integrate environmental sustainability into undergraduate missions and development education. We are excited about the opportunity this presents for making explicit the importance of earthkeeping skills and practice for advancing global missions and development.” 

The conference will take place from January 31 to February 2, 2013 at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Anyone wishing to register for the FIDC can do so through the conference website.

Au Sable has been participating as a sponsor of the FIDC and working with missions and development departments at its participating colleges and universities for the past two years. With Au Sable’s new course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), eight Au Sable courses teach interdisciplinary skills for missions and development: Tropical Agriculture and MissionsInternational Development and Environmental SustainabilityWatershed StewardshipEnvironmental HealthEcological AgricultureLand ResourcesEcology of the Indian Tropics, and Applied GIS.

The FIDC is a student-run conference entering its 8th year.  The conference attracts 600 hundred people each year, including students and faculty across North America and Christian missions and development organizations from around the world. The FIDC theme this year is From Here to Shalom: Participating in God’s Plan for Universal Flourishing.

Read more about Au Sable's efforts to integrate environmental studies with missions and development curricula in this blog entry by Au Sable Communications, Development, and Recruitment Coordinator Dieter Bouma.