Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Professor of Theological and Social Ethics
206 384-8760
B.A., St. Olaf College
M.T.S, Wesley Theological Seminary
M.S.W, University of Washington, Seattle
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and many parts of North America in theological ethics addressing matters of economic globalization, moral agency and hope, public church, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation, the Bible and ethics, theo-ethical method, and climate justice as related to race and class. Her ethical approach weds Earth ethics to liberation theologies including eco-feminist theology. She is author or co‐author of six volumes and numerous chapters and articles.

Dr. Moe-Lobeda was appointed theological consultant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has served as a health worker/church worker in Honduras and as director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education. More recently she initiated an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project in public scholarship that examines the moral and public policy implications of climate change as a matter of race- and class-based climate debt, including climate debt owed by the global North to the global South. In 2015 Moe-Lobeda joined the faculties of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific as professor of Christian ethics. She is eager in that capacity to re-imagine, explore, and develop theological education for today’s world. For the previous ten years she served on the faculty of Seattle University in its School of Theology and Ministry, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and Environmental Studies Program. While at SU, she was appointed Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies, and was awarded the “Outstanding Scholarship Award” in 2013. In 2019, she was awarded the Provost Distinguished Scholar Award by California Lutheran University. Dr. Moe-Lobeda’s teaching revolves around participatory liberative pedagogy, developing critical thinking skills, and the integration of theory and practice.

Moe-Lobeda serves on the Advisory Group of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and the Advisory Board of the Institute for Christian Socialism and on three editorial boards. She serves on a 13-person team appointed by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the Council for World Missions to advise their joint work on building a new international financial and economic architecture. Her doctoral degree in Christian ethics is from Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University. She loves hiking in the woods and mountains, relishes their life-giving beauty, and finds great joy in friendship and in family.

Why I Teach:

Christianity, like all of Earth’s great faith traditions is called to bring its gifts of moral and spiritual wisdom to bear on the great challenge facing humankind in our day — to forge ways of living that Earth can sustain while also building justice and compassion within and among societies.  This means radical change in how we live. It also means listening for the Spirit of God at play in the world and discerning how to align our lives with God’s life-saving, life-savoring Spirit as it brings forth life and freedom from death and bondage. That listening and responding is a sacred calling.  It invites us to plumb the depths of our ancient traditions — drawing upon them critically and constructively — and to read the signs of the times with keen attention to dynamics of power and privilege. Teaching is my way of helping to prepare leaders for the church who will answer this call with joy and hope and will guide others in the same.

Courses Taught:

  • Community Organizing for Transformational Ministry (team-taught course)
  • Introduction to Faith-Based Social Transformation
  • Christian Ethics as Radical Love Embodied
  • Christian Ethics as Radical Love Embodied  (on-line)
  • Christian Ethics
  • Christian Ethics (online)
  • Public Ministry
  • Earth Ethics as Justice Ethics
  • Climate Justice, Climate Ethics (doctoral seminar)
  • Climate Justice: Theology and Action in Relationship

Selected Publications:


  • Bible and Ethics: A New Conversation. Co-authored with Bruce Birch, Jacqueline Lapsley, and Larry Rasmussen.) Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018.
  • Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013. (Winner of Nautilus Award for Social Justice)
  • Public Church: For the Life of the World. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004.
  • Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.
  • Say to this Mountain: Mark’s Story of Discipleship (co-authored) Orbis Books, 1998.
  • Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God (co-authored) Orbis Books, 1994 and 2015.

Selected Chapters and Journal Articles:

  • Invited chapter in Blessed are the Peacemakers: Theology, Compassion and Action for a Global Mission. Essays in Honour of Munib Younan. Helsinki: Luther-Agricola Society, 2021.
  • “Globalization and Planetary Ethics.” In Bloomsbury Religion in North America (BRINA), “Religion and Nature in North America section,” ed. by Whitney A. Bauman and Laurel Kearns.  Bloomsbury, 2021. (multi-media, digital resource)
  • “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: A Call to Resist and Transform Economic Empire.” In Jione Havea and in Young Choi, eds., Scripture and Resistance: Theology in the Age of Empire. Minneapolis: Fortress Academic, 2019.
  • “A Letter.” In Leah Schade and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, eds., Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, 2020.
  • “Christ’s Love in the Midst of Pandemic,” The Ecumenical Review (the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches), October 2020.
  • “Democratic Socialism in the Making.” Syndicate, “Book Symposium on Social Democracy in the Making by Gary Dorrien” (September/October, 2019). (On-line journal)
  • “Finding Common Ground on Moral Vision for the Good Society.” In Hilda Koster and Ernst Conradie, eds., Companion to Christian Theology and Climate Change. T & T Clark, forthcoming, 2020.
  • “Love Incarnate: Hope and Power for Climate Justice.” In Alan Padgett and Kiara Jorgenson, eds., For the Love of the World: A Christian Conversation on Creation Care. Eerdmans, forthcoming, 2020.
  • “Climate Change as Race Debt, Class Debt, Climate Colonialism: Moral Conundrums, Vision, and Agency.” In Krista Hughes, Dhawn Martin, and Elaine Padilla, eds., Entangled Difference. Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming, 2018.
  • “Holy Spirit, Wild Hope.” In Hilda Koster and Grace J-Sun Kim, eds., Planetary Solidarity: Global Women’s Voices on Christian Doctrine and Climate Justice. Fortress Press, 2017.
  • “Climate Colonialism, Climate Debt, Climate Justice: Garden Earth Envisioned and Embodied.” In John Hart, ed. Blackwell Companion to Religion and Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
  • “Re-radicalizando la justificación.” Revista ESPIGA (Medio oficial de la Escuela de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, San José, Costa Rica) 33 (June 2017): 33-52.
  • “Climate Change as Climate Debt: Forging a Just Future.” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 36.1 (Spring/Summer 2016).
  • “Liturgy Re-Forming Society.” Liturgy 31:4 (2016), 19-27.
  • “A Haunting Contradiction, Hope, and Moral-Spiritual Power.” In Lisa Dahill and James Martin- Schramm, eds. Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril. Wipf & Stock, 2016.
  • “The Subversive Luther.” In Carter Lindberg and Paul Wee, eds., The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2016.
  • Hvordan motsta strukturell ondskap.” In Tone Strangeland Kaufman and Inge Westly, eds. De apne henders okonomi: Stemmer fra Korsveibevegelsen. Oslo: Stiftelsen Korsvei, 2015.
  • “Climate Debt, White Privilege and Christian Ethics as Political Theology. In Catherine Keller, Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, and Elias Ortega-Aponte, eds. Common Good(s): Economy, Ecology, Political Theology.” New York: Fordham Press, 2015.
  • “Re-Radicalizing Justification.” In Ulrich Duchrow and Carsten Jochum-Bortfeld, eds. Liberation toward Justice. Berlin, Münster,Wien, Zürich, London: LIT Verlag, 2015.
  • “Neighbor-love’s Moral Framework: From Markets That Concentrate Wealth to Markets That Serve Abundant Life for All.” In Diefelt, Wanda, ed. Markets and Margins. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2014.
  • “Climate Injustice and Lutheran Resources for Climate Justice.” In Bohmbach, Carla, and Shauna Hannan, eds. Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2013.
  • “Development, Religion, and Ecology.” Invited chapter in Matthew Clarke, ed., Handbook of Research on Development and Religion. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.
  • “Leadership toward Earth-Honoring Religions.” Invited chapter in Sharon Callahan, ed. Religious Leadership: A Reference Handbook. Sage Publications, 2013.
  • Being Church in and against White Privilege,” in Transforming Lutheran Theologies: Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Perspectives, ed. Mary Streufert, Fortress Press, 2010.
  • “Free Trade Agreements and the Neo-Liberal Economic Paradigm: Economic, Ecological, and Moral Consequences,” Journal of Political Theology 10:4 (2009): 685-716.
  • “Liturgy for the Uncreators.” Studia Liturgica 38 (2008):64-80.

Recent Presentations:


  • Invited paper, DARE (Discernment and Radical Engagement) Global Forum, Council for World Mission (on-line conference), Oct 2020. (To be published in volume of conference proceedings.)
  • Invited paper and section editor, DARE (Discernment and Radical Engagement) Global Forum, Council for World Mission, Ghana, Oct.-Nov. 2020 (post-poned to 2021).
  • Opening plenary address, “Economy of life in a time of inequality, pandemic and climate change,” Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management (GEM School), on-line, August 2020 (convened by World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches).
  • Keynote speaker (four addresses), International Women’s Theology Conference, Grace College of University of Queensland, Australia, June 26-29, 2017.
  • Invited paper, DARE (Discernment And Radical Engagement) Global Forum, Council for World Mission Bangkok, 28 May – 2 June, 2017.
  • “Climate Justice,” presentation for “Global Perspectives on the Reformation: Interactions between Theology, Politics and Economics,” an LWF conference in Namibia (Oct-Nov, 2015).
  • “Resurrection as Faithful Resistance: Hope for the Earth Community,” plenary address at Korsvei Festival, Seljord, Norway, summer 2015.
  • “Re-Radicalizing Justification,” paper and chapter for “Radicalizing Reformation,” an international project honoring the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, involving conference in Halle Germany (2014) and book series to be published in German and English (2017).
  • North American theologian for Ecumenical Panel on a New Financial and Economic Architecture, convened by the World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, and Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, August, 2013 and January, 2014.
  • “The Ecological-Economic Debt of the Global North and Why ‘We’ Fail to See It,” a plenary paper at Redeeming the Marketplace: Theological Contributions to an Alternative Economics, an international conference sponsored by the John Knox Center, Geneva, May-June, 2013.
  • “Moral-Spiritual Agency toward Moral Economy,” a plenary paper at the same.
  • “Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation,” public lecture at Norwegian School of Theology MF, Oslo Norway, May 2013.

United States

  • Public lecture, “Climate Change, White Privilege and the Doctrine of Discovery,” Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence Kansas, April 2017.
  • Public lecture, “Climate Justice, Radical Hope and an Ethic of Love Incarnate,” Kansas University, Lawrence Kansas, April 2017.
  • Keynote Speaker, ELCA Bishops’ Academy, January 2019.
  • Plenary address, Institute of Liturgical Studies, Valparaiso University, April-May, 2019.
  • “The Bible and Ethics: Race, Class, Gender, and Ecological Justice,” panel presentation on our forthcoming book, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, Nov. 2017.
  • Keynote address, Belk Lecture series, Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia, Nov. 2017.
  • Keynote speaker, conference on Luther and the continuing relevance of the Reformation, Theil College, Greenville, PA, Nov. 2017.
  • Keynote speaker, Leadership Conference, Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Oct. 10-12, 2017.
  • Plenary address, symposium in observance of the 500th anniversary: “Reformation: Transforming the World One Door at a Time,” Concordia College. Moorhead, Minnesota, September 2017.
  • “Making Alliances,” invited presentation at Feminist Studies in Religion: Envisioning Conference, Drew University, Madison, NJ, June 18-21, 2017.
  • Plenary address, ELCA conference entitled “Embodied Freedom.” Minneapolis, June 2017.
  • Tanner Talk public lecture and interview with “Access Utah” on Utah Public Radio, Utah State University, April 2017.
  • “Is Climate Change Structural Violence?” Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting, Jan. 2017.
  • Invited paper on climate justice, Harvard University conference entitled “Our Religions, Our Earth, Our Future,” Center for the Study of World Religions Cambridge, Oct 2016.
  • Invited paper for plenary address, Pacific Coast Theological Society annual meeting, Berkeley, Nov 2016.
  • “Earth-Honoring Faith and Climate Justice,” keynote address for Mid-Atlantic Region session at the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL San Antonio, November 2016.
  • Plenary speaker and reflection leader, Immanual College of the University of Toronto and Ruah Community.  Toronto Canada, October 2016
  • Luther Lecture, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley CA, April 2016.
  • Public lecture, Faith and Environment lecture series, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia, Spring 2016.
  • Public lecture on climate justice for Jesuit School of Theology’s “Science for Seminaries” project sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Berkeley, CA, Oct 2015.
  • Plenary address, ELCA Campus Pastors’ Conference – California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA. June 2015.
  • “Climate Change as Race Debt, Class Debt, Climate Colonialism: Moral Conundrums and Policy Implications,” paper for section 12 of 10th International Whitehead Conference: Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization, Claremont Graduate University, June 2015.
  • “Teaching Climate Change for Moral Agency, Eco-justice, and Structural Analysis,” for session entitled “Teaching Climate Change and Climate Justice in Religion/Religious Studies Classrooms,” American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Nov 2015.
  • “Climate Debt as Race Debt and Climate Colonialism: Forging a Just Future,” Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting, Jan. 2015.
  • “Religious Foundations for Energy Ethics: Interfaith and Interdisciplinary Discussion of What Powers Us,” panel of which my paper would be one of four, Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting, Jan. 2015. (Proposal accepted; paper withdrawn because cannot present twice at one SCE meeting).
  • “Climate Debt as Race Debt and Climate Colonialism: Forging a Just Future,” American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Nov. 2014. (Co-authored with Jennifer Harvey.)
  • “Climate Change as Climate Injustice: Moral Mandate and Policy Implications,” summer conference at Seattle University entitled “Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons,” August, 2014.
  • 39th Annual Luther Lecturer, University of Regina (Luther College), Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, fall 2014.
  • Plenary lecturer, annual Lutheran Studies conference, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, fall, 2014.
  • Commencement address, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, May 2014.
  • Keynote speaker, conference on ecology and congregational life, Trinity Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, March, 2014.
  • “Climate Change, Race, and Class,” plenary paper at “Political Theory & Entanglement: Politics at the Overlap of Race, Class and Gender,” a conference sponsored by the Center for Process Studies at Claremont Graduate University, October 2013.
  • “Mapping the Field of Religion and Ecology: Theories, Methods” (panel paper), American Academy of Religion annual meeting (Baltimore), November, 2013.
  • “Theology and Environmental Justice,” sponsored by Theological Education Committee (panel paper), American Academy of Religion annual meeting (Baltimore), November, 2013.
  • “Toward a More Just and Inclusive Global Economic System: Exploring Alternatives,” plenary paper, annual Convocation of Lutheran Teaching Theologians, Southern Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbia, SC, August 2013.
  • Featured theologian, Feminist Conversations in Religion Series, teleconference, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), Nov. 2013.