woman with large beaded necklace

Office: 736 Wells Hall
Office phone: (517) 353-2930
Email: vanwie12@msu.edu
Associate Professor in Religious Studies


Ph.D., Yale University 2010

Ph.D. dissertation: Restoring Earth, Restored to Earth: Ecological Restoration, Environmental Ethics, and Religion

M.Div., Yale University, May 2001

M.P.S., International Development, Cornell University, May 1998

B.A., Political Science and Sociology, St. Olaf College, May 1993


Environmental ethics, religion and nature, agricultural and food ethics, children and nature, religion and nonprofit organizations


Van Wieren’s courses and research focus on religion, ethics, and the environment.  She is author of the book, Restored to Earth: Christianity, Environmental Ethics, and Ecological Restoration (Georgetown University Press, 2013), and a paper based on a study (with Stephen R. Kellert, Yale University) on “The Origins of Aesthetic and Spiritual Values in Children’s Experience of Nature” (Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 2013).  Van Wieren is a participant in the Values Roundtable of the New Academy for Nature and Culture — http://environmentalprospect.org/the-values-roundtable/and the Blue River Quorum of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word — http://springcreek.oregonstate.edu/documents/BlueRiverEM.pdf

She is a contributor to the Center for Humans and Nature City Creatures Blog —http://www.humansandnature.org/blog/ and Planet Experts — http://www.planetexperts.com/.   Her current book projects include a) a monograph on religious responses to key issues in food ethics, b) an edited anthology (with Daniel Spencer and Eric Higgs) on the ethics of ecological restoration, and c) a collection of narrative essays on children’s experience of nature through hunting and fishing.  Van Wieren is 2015 recipient of the spring Writers-in-Residency program at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest of Oregon State University.   She grew up on west Michigan’s lakeshore. 


  • REL 101 Exploring Religion
  • REL 210 Religion and the Environment
  • REL 485 Religion and Nonprofit Leaders
  • IAH 231A Human Culture, Nature, Ethics