The religious diversity of the United States can be a source of division or an opportunity for cooperation. Colleges and universities are perfect places to model a society where interfaith cooperation is the norm. However, many campus leaders feel as though they lack the knowledge or skills to successfully engage religious identity and diversity on campus. To support colleges and universities in this important work, IFYC offers a variety of on-campus trainings and workshops, customized to fit the institution’s needs, and designed to build on existing assets. As a partner and facilitator, we empower each campus to broaden and advance their interfaith efforts.
Capacity Building and Training
IFYC primarily offers skill-based trainings and facilitates capacity building sessions for faculty, staff, and/or students. Workshops are designed in consultation with campus leaders and are intended to help stakeholders broaden participation and investment across campus.
Common capacity-building projects include:
For Faculty and/or Staff- “engaging religious diversity on campus” sessions for faculty or student affairs staff aim to activate existing skills around other forms of diversity in favor of engaging religious diversity. These sessions utilize a case study methodology to support campus leaders as they explore complex issues related to religious identity on campus. Participants are invited to identify skills needed and deploy such skills within particular scenarios.
For Faculty - “teaching interfaith understanding” sessions help faculty consider religious diversity across the curriculum. These sessions explore the concept of a field of interfaith studies, present examples of real-life courses successfully achieving interfaith learning outcomes, and explore possibilities for including such work within existing campus courses.
For Students - “fostering an inclusive campus” sessions for paraprofessional staff, such as resident advisors or community assistants, seek to elevate the priority of engaging religious identity for student leaders. Students are invited to consider how religion is an element of diversity that should be respected and engaged alongside other identity categories on campus. Students are given basic skills to promote respectful environments for other students of religiously diverse backgrounds.
Mixed Audience - IFYC also facilitates sessions to identify challenges and opportunities related to interfaith cooperation on campus. IFYC brings best practices and examples from other opportunities to bear in identifying potential action steps for enhancing interfaith cooperation at a given institution.
IFYC has developed its training methodology and content based on twelve years of experience in interfaith cooperation education. However, we customize our offerings based on the particular needs of each campus partner, identifying the best ways to align IFYC’s expertise with particular campus needs.
Costs & Time
- Timeline: One- or two-day campus visit; planned 2-6 months in advance
- Fees: $3,500-$5,000 per day plus travel expenses
- IFYC Staff: one to two staff
To learn more about these opportunities and start a conversation about how IFYC can help your campus cultivate and encourage interfaith engagement, reach out to your IFYC contact person or to Mary Ellen Giess, Senior Director of Co-Curricular Partnerships.
IFYC and Berea partnered on an extended partnership developing capacity building sessions for student paraprofessionals across campus. Over a series of several months, Berea and IFYC co-developed curriculum for student “peer educators,” implemented these trainings, and refined the curriculum to be utilized by Berea staff into the future. IFYC also supported the development of evaluation mechanisms to gauge the success of these trainings in achieving their stated learning outcomes.
University of California – Los Angeles
Following national news attention related to religious tensions on campus, UCLA invited IFYC to campus to facilitate student trainings and staff focus groups. Trainings involved participation from student leaders including student government and religious and cultural organizations. These trainings focused on relationship building across these groups. Staff sessions invited reflection on challenges and opportunities related to religious identity and diversity on campus. Following these sessions, IFYC delivered an analysis, detailing key themes heard on campus and outlining action steps for UCLA campus leaders.
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Multicultural Center hosted IFYC on campus to facilitate skills-based trainings for a cross-section of campus staff, including representatives from Residential Education, Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Ministry, Service-Learning, and Recreational Sports.
Wofford College invited IFYC to campus to build capacity among their orientation leaders for facilitating interfaith dialogue following a campus-wide service event. IFYC staff provided orientation leaders with frameworks for setting safe space in interfaith contexts, skills for facilitating productive conversation, and information on the methodological approach for interfaith dialogue in the context of reflection on service.