The interdisciplinary field of interfaith studies examines the multiple dimensions of interaction between individuals and groups that orient differently with regard to religion. It also examines the implications of these interactions for communities, civil society, and global politics. A strong practitioner dimension animates the field and a major goal of its programs of study is the development of a cadre of professionals who can assume the mantle “interfaith leaders.” We define an interfaith leader as someone with the framework, knowledge base, and skill set to help individuals and communities who orient differently around religion build mutual respect, positive relationships, and a commitment to the common good. Correspondingly, scholarship and pedagogy in interfaith studies address questions of both theory and praxis.
For further information, contact the Interfaith Leadership Studies Minor Advisor, Dr. Christina Bucher, Department of Religious Studies.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:
Describe the beliefs, practices, and shared values of several religious and non-religious communities.
Articulate a coherent personal theological or philosophical narrative within his or her own religious or non-religious tradition (texts, histories, founders, sacred people) of different religions committed to positive relationships in civil society for the common good.
Give examples of interfaith cooperation throughout history.
Integrate knowledge and skills from several academic disciplines to a problem-based, real-world learning experience as an interfaith leader on a local, regional, national, or international front.
For further information, contact the Interfaith Leadership Studies Program Director, Dr. Christina Bucher, Department of Religious Studies.
The Interfaith Leadership Studies major consists of 13 courses totaling no fewer than 42 credits.
Required courses (6 courses):
Religious Literacy, Appreciative Understanding, and Shared Values
Choose 2 courses from the following:
Religious Diversity, Civil Society, and World Politics
Choose 3 courses (at least 2 different disciplines) from the following:
Professional Skills and Experiential Learning
Choose 2 courses (at least 2 different disciplines) from the following:
Suggested first year courses:
Because this is an interdisciplinary major, advisors should work with students to identify ILS courses in the Religious Literacy, Religious Diversity, and Professional Skills areas that the the student wishes to take to satisfy the requirements in those three divisions. Many of the courses could also be used to satisfy the student’s core requirements, requirements in a second major, or requirements in a minor. E.g., in the fall semester – AN 111 (core NCH), in the spring semester – REL 290 (core NCH), PS 211 (core SS), PS 240 (core WCH), PS 245 (NCH), SO 204 (core SS), PS 245 (core NCH).