Cynthia Diane Moe-Lobeda

Cynthia Diane Moe-Lobeda, Ph.D.

Professor of Theological and Social Ethics
(206 384-8760
2000 Center Street Suite 200


Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, a well-known Lutheran ethicist, holds a joint appointment at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union.

Dr. Moe-Lobeda has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and many parts of North America in theological ethics addressing matters of climate justice as related to race and class, economic globalization, moral agency and hope, public church, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, and ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation. Her ethical  approach weds Earth ethics to liberation theologies including eco-feminist theology. 

Professor Moe-Lobeda is author or co-author of six volumes, one of which, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, earned the Nautilus Book Award for social justice. She is one of 3 North Americans appointed to a global team to advise the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation on their work toward a more equitable and ecological international financial and economic architecture. She is co-founder of Seattle University’s Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, and is Founding Director of the PLTS Center for Climate Justice and Faith.  She 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 has initiated an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project in public scholarship that examines the moral and public policy implications of climate change as a moral matter of race- and class-based climate debt, including climate debt owed by the Global North to the Global South. Moe-Lobeda has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Tikkun Magazine, and Dialog: A Journal of Theology. Her numerous awards include the Provost’s Outstanding Scholarship Award from California Lutheran University in 2019, the Outstanding Scholarship Award from Seattle University (College of Arts and Sciences) in 2013, appointment as Seattle University’s Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies from 2011-2013, the Spirit of St. Francis Award from Earth Ministry, the Evergreen State Justice Award from the Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington, and the Daniel Day Williams Award for Outstanding Work in Theology from Union Theological Seminary.

Having lived for many years in Seattle, she loves hiking in the woods and mountains, and relishes their life-giving beauty. Recently called to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, she is eager to re-imagine, explore, and develop theological education for today's world.

Brief Professional History

Professor, Theological and Social Ethics, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Core Doctoral Faculty, Graduate Theological Union. 2005 - current.

Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University. 2015.     

Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies, Seattle University. 2011 - 2013.  

Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University. 2009-2015.                                                            

Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University. 2004-2008.

Visiting Professor, “Christian Ethics and Global Economics,” for Mexico Seminary Semester Program, The Lutheran Center, Mexico City. December, 2008.

 International Presentations and Consultations

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. Convened by World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches. August, 2020,

Invited paper, DARE (Discernment and Radical Engagement) Global Forum, Council for World Mission. Taiwan, June, 2019. 

Design Team, Theological Education for an Economy of Life (TEEL), sponsored by Council for World Missions, first consultation. Thailand, May, 2019.

Presenter, Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management (GEM School). Convened by World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Mexico City, 27 August – 31 August 2018.

Global Ecumenical Panel (13 members) on a New International Financial and Economic Architecture (convened by World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and Council for World Mission), New York, Spring 2018.

Plenary paper, Discernment and Radical Engagement Global Forum, Council for World Mission, Bangkok, May – June, 2017.

Keynote speaker (four lectures), International Women's Theology Conference, Grace College of University of Queensland, Australia, June 26-29, 2017.

“Climate Justice,” presentation for “Global Perspectives on the Reformation: Interactions between Theology, Politics and Economics,” a Lutheran World Federation 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 (2015).

Global Ecumenical panel (13 member) 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.

“Environmental Racism and the Environmental Justice Movement,” lecture delivered at consultation on Theological Education and Eco-Justice Ministries, Sponsored by the National Council of Churches of India (Creation, Justice, Peace Commission) and the Senate of Serampore College, Nagpur, India, November 2010.

“Eco- Justice as a Theological and Moral Issue,” lecture delivered at the same.

“Christian Ethics in the Face of Systemic Evil,” public lecture at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai, India, November 2010.

“Christian Response to Systemic Evil,” public lecture at United Theological College, Bangalore, India, November, 2010.

“Neighbor-Love as a Political-Ecological Vocation: Clues from Luther,” keynote address, Reformation Day Retreat, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai, India, November 2010.

“Globalization: An Eco-theological Perspective,” invited paper at symposium of “The Globalization Project,” a project of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, vested with the Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology, Faculty of Theology, at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, February 2009.

Guest Professor, Economic Globalization and Ethics, Seminary Semester Program, Centro Luterano, Mexico City, December 2008.

“Sin, Salvation, and the Moral Life for the ‘Un-Creators,’” Climate Change and Global Ecological RiskSection of Ecological Theology and the Environmental Crisis, an international conference called by the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Greece, June 2008. (Paper accepted but not delivered)

“Liturgy and the Public Square.” Invited plenary address at bi-annual Congress of the international Council of Societas Liturgica (Palermo, Sicily), August 2007.

 “Trinitarian Theology in the Context of Empire,” an international theological consultation and writing project, Lutheran World Federation, June, 2007.

“A Theological Ethical Framework,” Lutheran World Federation consultation on “The Vocation of Neighbor-Love in the Context of Globalization,” Germany, June, 2004.

Theological advisor to Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly, Winnipeg, 2003.

International Writing Team, book for the Lutheran World Federation Assembly 2003 and strategic resource for LWF, Geneva.

Keynote Address. Ecumenical Advocacy Network Session, World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jan., 2003. (Delivered in absentia due to visa complications.)

“Luther and the Indwelling God.”  Paper for conference on “The Future of Lutheran Theology,” Arrhus, Denmark, Jan. 2003 (paper accepted but not delivered).

World Council of Churches consultation, “Ethical and Ecclesiological Bases for Response to Economic Globalization,” Geneva, December, 2002.

“God Flowing and Pouring into All Things: a Basis for Spiritual Resistance to Neo-Liberal Globalization,” presentation at a consultation convened by World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Council of Churches, and Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, December, 2002.

World Council of Churches Delegation, United Nations World Summit on Social Development Plus Five, Geneva, June, 2000, and at UN preparatory meetings, New York, 1999-2000.

Advisor and writer for Lutheran World Federation project: “Holding Globalization Accountable through the Communion,” Geneva, 2000-2001.

“Market Ideology.” A presentation at the 37th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, on behalf of the World Council of Churches, New York, 1999. 

For a complete list of keynote addresses, academic papers presented at conferences, public lectures, and consultation in the U.S. , please see the CV attached to this website. A selection is below.

Public Lectures and Other Contributions to Academy and Church (in the United States) (2017--2019)

Keynote speaker, Bishop’s Convocation, Minneapolis Synod, ELCA, Sept. 2020.

Keynote addresses, Northwest Wisconsin Lay School of Ministry, May 2020. (Cancelled due to COVID)

Keynote speaker, Interfaith Celebration of World Water Day, Los Angeles, March 2020. (Cancelled due to COVID)

Plenary presenter, Recasting Vocation in a New Planetary Era, a conference at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Mn, April 2020. (Cancelled due to COVID)

Visiting Scholar and public lecturer, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Phoenix Arizona, February, 2020.

Invited paper, Sustainable Societies International Conference II: Environmental and Economic Justice, Graduate Theological Union, Sept. 2020

“Luther’s Economic Ethic of Neighbor-love and Its Implications for Economic Life Today – A Gift to the World.”  Invited paper, Lutheran Ethicists Gathering, Louisville, Kentucky, January 2019.

Invited paper, Schleiermacher Group, American Academy of Religion, Nov. 2019.

Invited paper, Book Panel: “Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith & Justice in an Entangled World,” American Academy of Religion, Nov. 2019.

Plenary Speaker, ELCA Academy of Bishops national meeting,  January, 2019.

Plenary Speaker, Presidential Conference on the Integrity of Creation, Duquesne University, Pittsburg, Sept. 2019.

Keynote addresses, Deaconness Community Annual Assembly, ELCA, Omaha, Sept. 2019.

Plenary address, Institute of Liturgical Studies, Valparaiso University, April-May, 2019.

Public Lecture, sponsored by New York State Council of Churches and Capital Region Interfaith Coalition   for Creation Care, Schenectady, New York, April 2019.

Speaker, Feminist Liberation Theologians Network, American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Denver, Nov. 2018.

Respondent, session on book by Moe-Lobeda and co-authors, The Bible and Ethics, American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Denver, Nov. 2018

Keynote speaker, national gathering of ELCA public policy office and advocacy directors, Colorado Springs, Sept 2018.

Speaker, 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Sept. 2018.

Keynote speaker, Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly, ELCA, May 2018.

Theologian in Residence, Lawrence Kansas coalition of churches and universities, April 2018.

Keynote speaker, SW WA synod of the ELCA, Bishop’s Convocation, January 2018.

Annual Spring Lecture series lecturer. Green Lake Church of Seventh Day Adventists, Seattle, 2018.

“The Bible and Ethics: Race, Class, Gender, and Ecological Justice,” panel presentation on  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.

Keynote speaker for The Luther Lectures, Northern Rockies Institute of Theology, Montana Synod ELCA, Oct 9-10 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.

Keynote speaker for ELCA PA state public policy office, Advocacy Day, May 2017.

Keynote address, annual convocation of Justice and Peace Promoters, Leadership Conference of WomenReligious. Chicago, March 2017.

Keynote address, Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice, annual conference, Davis CA, March 2017.

Plenary lecture, lecture series entitled, “500th Anniversary of the Reformation: its Relevance for Today and Tomorrow." Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Naples Florida. Feb., 2017.

 “Is Climate Change Structural Violence?” Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting, Jan. 2017.




Ph.D. Christian Ethics. Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY.
Dissertation: “Journey Between Worlds: Economic Globalization, and Luther’s Indwelling God as Source of Subversive Moral Agency” (Advisor: Larry Rasmussen).

M.T.S. Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.

M.S.W. School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

B.A. St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.


Dr. Moe-Lobeda's areas of scholarship and teaching include: the ethical dimensions of economic globalization, the climate crisis as related to race and class, environmental racism, moral agency and hope, the ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation,  public/political theology, Earth ethics, eco-feminist theology, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, the role of Bible in ethics, and theo-ethical method.





The Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation, with Bruce Birch, Jacqueline Lapsley, and Larry Rasmussen. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018.

Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.

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, with Marie Dennis, Ched Myers, Joe Nangle OFM, and Stuart Taylor. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996.                                                                                                       

Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God, with Marie Dennis, Joe Nangle OFM, and Stuart Taylor.  Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1993 and 2015.

Books under Contract

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia and Ernst Conradie, eds. An Earthed Faith, Vol. 2: How Would We Know What God is Doing? Cape town, South Africa: AOSIS Scholarly Books.

Chapters in Edited Volumes and in Digital Books

  • Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. “Resistance and Re-building Economies for Life.” In Munther Isaac and Maria Leppäkari, eds.  Blessed are the Peacemakers: Theology, Compassion and Action for a Global Mission. Essays in Honour of Munib Younan. Helsinki: Luther-Agricola Society, forthcoming early 2021

  • Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. “Globalization and Planetary Ethics.” In Whitney A. Bauman and Laurel Kearns, eds., Bloomsbury Religion in North America (BRINA), “Religion and Nature in North America section,”  Bloomsbury, forthcoming early 2021  (multi-media, digital resource).

  • Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. “Decolonizing the Privileged: Resistance and Re-building the New Economy.” In Lily Mendoza and George Zachariah, eds. Decolonizing Eco-theology: Indigenous and Subaltern Challenges. Wipf & Stock, forthcoming 2021.

  • Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. “Love Incarnate: Hope and Moral-Spiritual Power for Climate Justice.” In Alan Padgett and Kiara Jorgenson, eds., Ecotheology: A Christian Conversation.  Eerdmans, 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, 2019.
  •  “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,  2019.
  • “A Letter.” In Leah Schade and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, eds., Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, 2020.
  • “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: A Call to Resist and Transform Economic Empire.” In Jione Havea, d., Scripture and Resistance. Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2019. 

  • “The Spirit as Moral-Spiritual Power for Earth-honoring, Justice-seeking Ways of Shaping Our Life in Common.” 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.
  • “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.

Selected Journal Articles 

  • Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. “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)

  • “Luther’s Economic Ethic of Neighbor-love and its Implications for Economic Life Today – A Gift to the         World.” Journal of Lutheran Ethics 19:3 (June/July 2019). (On-line journal)

  • “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,” Currents in Theology and Mission (August 1, 2014).
  •  “Neighbor-love’s Moral Framework: From Markets That Concentrate Wealth to Markets That Serve Abundant Life for All.” Journal of Lutheran Ethics (on-line journal), (January 2014). (Reprint from chapter with same title above.)
  • “An Epistemological Problem and Possibility,” Theology 116.1 (January/February 2013), 28-30.
  •  “Climate Justice, Environmental Racism, and Lutheran Moral Vision,” Intersections 36 (Fall 2012), 22-27. 
  • “God’s Lovers as ‘Uncreators’: Morality in the Face of Systemic Evil,” Seminary Ridge Review 15/1 (Autumn 2012), 50-69.
  •  “Climate Justice, Environmental Racism, and a Lutheran Moral Vision,” Intersections (Fall 2012), 22-27. 
  • "Neighbor-love as an Economic-Ecological Vocation: Clues from Luther," Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. XXI No. 2 June 2010 (published in 2011), 18-37. 
  •  “Karen Bloomquist, Luther and the Challenge of Climatic Justice." Currents in Theology and Mission, 37:3 (June 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.


Grant Funding

Grants since 2000

  • ATS - Lilly Theological Research Grants Program, Faculty Fellowship ($30,000), 2010.
  • Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religious Studies: Grant to fund “Teaching and Leaning toward Eco-Justice: Where Sustainability and Social Justice Meet in Theological Education,” a 3-day seminar convening faculty from around the nation, 2010.
  • Wabash Center, research grant, summer 2005.
  • Faculty Fellowship, awarded by Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (Seattle University), 2014-15.
  • Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, Office of the Provost (Seattle University), 2014.
  • Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences (Seattle University), 2007, 2013.
  • Faculty Justice Fellow, Center for the Study of Justice in Society (Seattle University), 2007-8.
  • Daniel Day Williams Award for Outstanding Work in Theology, Union Theological Seminary, 2001.