New certificate program offered for students with interest in environment

New certificate program offered for students with interest in environment
July 1, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Students with an interest in the environment can now earn a Certificate in Environmental Studies at Benedictine University, the first time the University has offered a certificate program for traditional undergraduate students. A certificate consists of at least 12 credit hours of designated coursework completed at Benedictine University. A student must receive a grade of “C” or better to apply a course to a certificate. Any credit completed for a certificate may be applied to fulfill core major or minor requirements. The certificate program gives students the option of choosing environmental-focused courses from a number of disciplines including Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Geography, Global Studies, Humanities, Literature, Management, Natural Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology and Theology. Among the courses students can apply to the certificate are “Ecology of a Changing Planet,” “General Ethics for the Environmentally-Minded,” “Disease and the Environment,” “The Global Environment,” “Humanity and the Environment,” “The Divine Economy” and “Faith and Science.” “The Certificate in Environmental Studies is intended for students who have an interest in the environment or wish to combine environmental studies with some other major or minor,” said Jean-Marie Kauth, Ph.D., assistant professor in Benedictine’s Humanities program. “Students who pursue a certificate will learn about the scientific, humanistic, educational and business aspects of sustainability.” Last fall, Benedictine University, which embraces the values of St. Benedict including stewardship of the earth, established a three-year initiative, “Years for the Environment,” as part of an effort to move the campus from education and conversation into action. The effort incorporates curriculum, speakers, events and community outreach. A presentation by Elizabeth Kolbert, author of “Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change;” a series of student presentations; and “Sustainable Saturday,” a recycling effort that collected 180,827 pounds of electronics, batteries, scrap metal, paper, ink jet cartridges, worn American flags and cell phones highlighted the 2008-2009 academic year. In addition, an array of environmentally-themed courses are offered each semester and many existing courses – particularly those in biology, humanities, religious studies and anthropology – have incorporated environmental topics into their curriculum. For more information about “Years for the Environment” at Benedictine University, contact Kauth at (630) 829-6272 or by e-mail at jkauth@ben.edu. For more information about the Certificate in Environmental Studies, contact the Enrollment Center at (630) 829-6300 or by e-mail at admissions@ben.edu.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.