The Green House Intentional Community

The Green House

The Green House is an intentional community residence offered by the Boston University School of Theology begun in the 2010-2011 school year.  It offers a home in which 4 to 6 seminarians can live out their personal commitments to sustainable living and ecological awareness in community with one another.  As residents in a particular suburban setting, they will seek to be faithful witnesses to the surrounding neighborhood in terms of environmental awareness.  Residents are expected to participate in the residence by taking part in certain non-negotiable principles, known as the “community covenant:”

  • Residents commit to a weekly dinnertime meal together – this meal serves as an opportunity for community-building; occasionally residents may wish to invite special guests from among the faculty or staff of the School of Theology, or from outside “green” agencies, to network with them.
  • Residents will recycle and use sustainable products whenever possible
  • Residents will host at least two STH-wide “Open House” days/nights at the Green House – the format of these events are up to the residents themselves, but may include hospitality such as a common meal or snacks, a service project to the Walker Center or Auburndale community, a movie or speaker about environmental concerns, or something in collaboration with the School’s “thEcology” student group.  One Open House will be offered each semester.
  • Residents will be mindful of energy usage – from turning off lights when not in use or using natural light to fill a space, to taking shorter or cooler showers or doing laundry in cold water, there are many ways to achieve this part of the covenant.

Howard House - Large Bedroom

Each year’s residents of The Green House are allowed to determine any additional aspects they would like to see as part of the community covenant, describing and agreeing to the ways in which they will seek to live their common vision throughout the year.  Full participation in the life and covenant of the community is expected of all residents.

The Green House is located in a beautiful residential neighborhood on the campus of the Walker Center in Auburndale, MA (www.walkerctr.org).  The house is a four-bedroom, two and a half bathroom space with a full kitchen, living room, and dining room.  Laundry facilities are available on campus.  Parking is only $30 per month, though proximity to public transportation makes driving purely optional.  The Green “D” Line train (or “T”) station is a quick 5 minute walk away, and takes you to straight to Kenmore Square, which is just another 5 minute walk from the School of Theology.  The house is sparsely furnished throughout, and can be populated with one or two twin beds per room, as requested by each resident.  The cost of small (single occupancy) rooms is $525 per month, and the cost of the large rooms (double occupancy, or for a married/committed couple) is $725 per month.  The rental cost includes all utilities.

Green House Intentional Community Application

If you are an entering or returning School of Theology student, you may apply to be a member of the Green House intentional community. Please read and sign the covenant, then complete the application. Interested students should complete this form by May 20th to be considered for the first selection round because space is quite limited. Later applicants will be considered if space remains available.
  • Green House Living Covenant

    As members of an intentional community of the Boston University School of Theology, Green House residents share a house covenant. The goal of the covenant is to foster community and environmentally friendly practices within Green House. Residents are asked to agree to the practices listed below, understanding that these form the core of the covenant. Any further decisions of how to live out or expand upon this covenant are made annually by the residents themselves. So long as the basic practices outlined below are followed, residents can feel free to develop the covenant in whatever ways work for their residential community.
  • Sustainable Practices

    Green House residents covenant personally and collectively to develop the following sustainable living habits: LOWERING ENERGY/WATER CONSUMPTION – This is done in a variety of ways, some of which include: using natural light whenever possible, turning off lights when you leave a room, taking brief and/or cooler showers, washing clothes in cold water, etc. RECYCLING/REUSING – Residents will continually reduce the amount of trash they produce as a house by recycling or reusing items whenever possible. The Walker Center has a recycling program that can be utilized in achieving this goal. Residents will also try to reduce the use of items such as disposable plates, cutlery, paper towels and napkins. LIFESTYLE COMMITMENTS – Each resident is expected to make at least one personal lifestyle commitment each week. An individual lifestyle commitment is anything that helps move the resident toward more sustainable practices and awareness in his or her own life. Residents can choose their weekly lifestyle commitments easily by participating in the School of Theology’s Carbon Rally Challenge (http://www.carbonrally.com/teams/987), or by creating a commitment of their own choosing.
  • Community Practices

    Green House residents covenant to participate in the life of the community by committing to the following: WEEKLY COMMUNITY DINNER – Green House residents will find one night of the week when all can be present for at least a 2-hour block of time. This time will be spent building community with one another, as well as eating together. The residents can decide whether to bring their own food to the gathering, cook together, or rotate cooking responsibilities among the residents, whatever they prefer. MONTHLY COVENANT MEETINGS – Once a month, whether at a Weekly Community Dinner or at another appointed time, all residents of Green House will meet to review the status of their covenant. The Green House Resident Liaison is responsible for planning the agenda of this monthly gathering. The goal of the meeting is to review the house covenant, share good ideas learned from everyone’s own sustainable practices, plan house-wide events, and develop the covenant further in whatever ways seem necessary. FURTHER PROGRAMMING – The Green House residents will host one “open house” per semester. This event could take the form of a movie night, community dinner, or any other social gathering of the residents’ choosing. The goal of each open house is to invite the wider STH community to have fun and get to know the Green House and its practices.
  • Guest Policy

    The Green House is meant to be a residence only for those people who are leasing the property. Overnight houseguests may be welcomed occasionally, but residents are to be mindful of their fellow residents when inviting visitors. Any overnight guests staying longer than three nights in the house are required to be approved in advance by the Community Life Committee of the School of Theology. This approval process can take up to three weeks, and so must be planned well ahead of the visitor’s arrival. Approval will be communicated through the Community Life Committee in the form of an email to both the resident and the Green House Resident Liaison.