Sam  Thomas

Sam Thomas, Ph.D.

(805) 493-3693
Humanities 236


Dr. Thomas teaches, writes, and researches at the intersections of religion, environmental studies, and food studies. He is the founding director of the SEEd Project at Cal Lutheran--a small campus regenerative farm and demonstration site for experiential learning--and currently serves as chair of the Religion department. 

In addition to his teaching and research, he serves on the Faculty Steering Committee of the Center for Equality and Justice and the board of directors of Los Padres ForestWatch, and is a member of the Slow Fox Collective. He runs a small woodworking studio called Wildbird Woodworks, where he designs and makes hand-crafted furniture and household accessories using local, sustainable timber.

His current writing projects include a trade-press book on nature, craft, spirituality, and the possibility of human community in the Anthropocene, in addition to several shorter essay-length works on trees, awe, wonder, practice, and other assorted topics.


St. John's University (B.A.)

Yale University Divinity School (M.Div.)

University of Notre Dame (Ph.D.)


Dr. Thomas has written widely on early Jewish texts and traditions, focusing especially on the Dead Sea Scrolls and other material culture. He also teaches and writes at the intersections of religious and philosophical ethics, ecology/environment, and food studies. He has been a participant in the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and works across academic boundaries to engage with practitioner-scholars, activists, and advocates for food and environmental justice.


For a full list of publications, see CV. 

Grant Funding

Community Enhancement Grant (City of Thousand Oaks), $5000 for CLU native plant demonstration site, 2017

Community Leaders Association Grant, $1500 for SEEd Project Outdoor Teaching Kitchen, 2016

Community Enhancement Grant (City of Thousand Oaks), $5000 for SEEd Project vermicomposting facility, 2015

Faculty Research & Creative Works, $5000 for research support, 2014