Rick Clugston

Rick Clugston

Rick Clugston, Ph.D. directs the Spirituality and Sustainability Project of Forum 21, based in New York City, and is directing an interfaith outreach initiative on worship and sustainability for the Anskar Foundation for Historic Preservation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both projects seek to promote spiritual growth and sustainable community development. He is also the Co-Director of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF).

From 2009 to 2012, Rick directed the Earth Charter Scholarship Project at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE) at Florida Gulf Coast University. He developed Earth Charter based resources for higher education and represented CESE in the preparations for, negotiations at, and follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also called Rio+20).

From 1989 to 2009, Rick served as Executive Director of the Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE) and as Vice President of the Humane Society of the United States, in Washington, DC, where he assisted religious and academic institutions in transforming their teaching and practices to be more compassionate, humane, and sustainable.

Dr. Clugston directed the Earth Charter USA office and participated in the Earth Charter drafting committee meetings, serving on the Earth Charter International Steering Committee and Council from 2000-2012.  He now serves on the board of Earth Charter Associates. He has participated in UN deliberations on sustainable development from 1989 to date, attending the Earth Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development., Rio+20 and many meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

He Co-Directed Theological Education to Meet the Environmental Challenge (1992-1999) and helped found the Forum on Religion and Ecology and the Green Seminaries Initiative. He led many ecospirituality retreats, e.g., in Assisi, Italy; the Ecuadorian Amazon; Whidbey Island, Washington; and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Rick was Publisher and Editor of Earth Ethics: Evolving Values for an Earth Community, the Deputy Editor of The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (MCB University Publications) and served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development (Sage Publications).

Prior to coming to Washington, Rick worked for the University of Minnesota for 11 years, first as a faculty member in the College of Human Ecology, and later as a strategic planner in Academic Affairs, Continuing Education and the Office of the President. He received his doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Minnesota and his masters in Human Development from the University of Chicago . As an undergraduate psychology and biochemistry major, he received the Mayo Foundation Scholarship for Medicine and Medicine Related Fields. His doctoral thesis was selected as dissertation of the year by the American Association of University Administrators.

Selected publications:
Clugston, R. (ed) “Peoples Sustainability Treaty on Ethics and Spiritual Values for Sustainable Development”, Peoples Sustainability Treaties, May 2012, available at http://sustainabilitytreaties.org/draft-treaties/ethical-and-spiritual-values/
Clugston, R., R. Lubbers, B. Mackey, S. Rockefeller, A. Roerrink, and M. Vilela, “Earth Charter International Recommendations for the Zero Draft of the UNCSD “Rio+20 Outcome Document.” UNCSD Website, Compilation Document, November 1, 2011, available at http//www.uncsd2012org/rio+20/index.php?
Clugston, R and S. Holt (eds.). “Faith Values and Education for Sustainable Development.” Education for Sustainable Development in Action: Education for Sustainable Development Policy Dialogue n°2. UNESCO, Paris, September 2011
Clugston,R. “Ethical Framework for a Sustainable World: Earth Charter + 10 Conference and Follow-Up,” in (Eds.) Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Sage, Vol. 5, September 2011.
Clugston,R. “Earth Charter Education for Sustainable Ways of Living,” in R. Clugston and M.Vilela (Eds.) Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Sage, Vol. 4, September 2010.
Clugston, R., and W. Calder, “Industrial Agriculture and Humane Sustainable Food Systems,” in R. Clugston (Ed.) Earth Ethics: Evolving Values for an Earth Community, Vol.12, No.1, Spring 2006.
Clugston, R., “The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development,” SGI Quarterly, Soka Gakkai International, October 20 04
Calder, W. and R. Clugston, “Lighting Many Fires: South Carolina’s Sustainable Universities Initiative,” in Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise, and Practice, Peter Blaze Corcoran and Arjen E.J. Wals, Eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, 2004.
Calder, W. and R. Clugston, “International Efforts to Promote Higher Education for Sustainable Development,” in Planning for Higher Education, Journal of the Society for College and University Planning, Spring 2003.
Clugston, R., and W. Calder. “Critical Dimensions of Sustainability in Higher Education,” in W. Leal Filho (Ed.), Sustainability and University Life, New York, NY: Peter Lang Scientific Publishers, 1999.
Clugston, R. “Transforming Higher Education to Care for Creation,” in R. Peterson and D. Conroy (Eds.), Earth at Risk: Advancing the Environmental Dialogue Between Science and Religion, Prometheus Press, 1999.
Clugston, R., and J. Hoyt. “Environment, Development and Moral Values,” in C. J. Hamelink (Ed.), Ethics and Development: On Making Moral Choices in Development Co- operation, Kampen, Holland: Uitgeverij Kok, 1997.
Clugston, R. “The Praxis of Institutional Greening,” in D.T. Hessel (Ed.), Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996.
Clugston, R. “Higher Education’s Ecological Mission,” in Education for the Earth: The College Guide for Careers in the Environment, 2nd Ed., Princeton, NJ: Peterson’s Guides, Inc., 1995.

Ecology and Religion


Island Press, January 2014 Ecology and Religion is a foundational text for environmental studies and religious ecology. It is a distillation […]