Adapting Interfaith Syllabi For Online Learning

Since 2014, the Council of Independent Colleges and IFYC have partnered to offer interdisciplinary faculty development seminars focused on Teaching Interfaith Understanding. Each seminar has been co-led by two distinguished scholars, including Catherine Cornille (Boston College), Diana Eck (Harvard University), Eboo Patel (IFYC), and Laurie Patton (Middlebury College). Participants bring their own expertise and case studies of engaging interfaith topics in the classroom in order to explore the practical and theoretical implications of this work with their peers. 

The seminar alumni have provided a curated library of syllabi, course activities, teaching tactics and other resources that we hope professors and interfaith professionals will find useful in their teaching. Many of these resources were created by faculty as a result of their participation in the seminars; others are resources these faculty have used for many years in their teaching.  

We invite you to explore this great collection of course activities that can be adapted to a digital context. We want to highlight just a few examples:  

  • Interfaith Passport AssignmentThis assignment, created by Jacqueline Bussie of Concordia College, creates experiential learning opportunities within her "Faith in Dialogue: Interfaith Leadership" course. Adapt online: you can now find houses of worship giving virtual tours of their space, invitations to virtual Shabbat, streaming church services, and more. Invite students to explore a virtual interfaith passport assignment. 

  • Spiritual Autobiography Assignment: This assignment, created by Rahuldeep Gill of California Lutheran University, encourages students to trace their own stories as a part of his "Introduction to Christianity" course. Online ready! 

  • Interfaith Case Study Evaluation AssignmentThis assignment, created by Hans Gustafson of the University of St. Thomas, utilizes case study methodology to explore challenging interfaith topics in the classroom. Adapt online: invite students to choose a current case study to explore the role of interfaith leadership in the range of challenges and opportunities that confront us as a society and a world.

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

more from IFYC

Political scientist Henry Brady explores how trust has broken down in the U.S. and what we can do about it.
"Intel, which ranked second on the REDI Index last year, overtook Google, last year's top company, by 10 points in 2021. Intel’s public conference on religious inclusion earned it the extra boost."
"The letter says its signers feel compelled to condemn such expressions, "just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith" in previous years."
During the coronavirus pandemic, Moncayo has led the food distribution program through Mosaic West Queens Church in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
Raja writes about the usefulness or appropriateness of the term "BIPOC" - Black, Indigenous, People of Color- in discourse about race and justice, and how it relates to and reflects the politics of race and racism in the United States.
The river has been important since the dawn of civilization and has served as a commercial hub and lifeline for countless peoples over many millennia. Yet there has always seemed to be a justice that was out of reach for some.
"Many synagogues are leaning into the Purim tradition of giving gifts to friends and the poor— a custom known as “mishloach manot.”
"We know through surveys that people are more likely to like Muslims if they know one personally. But because only about 1% of Americans practice the Islamic faith, many people just don’t come into contact with any Muslims."
Purim tells the tale of Esther, an orphaned girl-turned-queen, how she married King Achashverosh, then saved the entire Jewish community in the ancient Persian city of Shushan, through her bravery and wit.
Higher education remains highly unequal and racial divides persist. How can these realities be explained in a context defined by wokeness?
There are so many forces that pull people apart from one another. Institutions and systems and ways of thinking that want us to feel separated, broken, helpless, and quick to capitalize on moments of weakness. The very thing that brings out...
Others noted Rihanna chose to display Ganesh on Feb. 15, the day Hindus celebrate as Ganesh's birthday, or Ganesh Jayanti. The god of beginnings, Ganesh is honored before starting a business or major project.
Until this year, most schools, states and national high school athletic associations had typically forbidden religious headwear, citing safety concerns, unless a student or coach had applied for a waiver. No waiver, no play.
Do a quick Google or YouTube search for tarot, and you’ll find the two main things people tend to inquire about are love and money. Underlying these inquiries is a belief that a tarot reading can tell the future, which begs the question of whether...
The results are based on responses from some 1,800 Black American adults, including more than 800 who attend a Black church. The California research firm conducted the survey in the spring of 2020.
Asian Americans are suffering under the weight of these mounting incidents. Many, including those in our own circles, have expressed concern about leaving their homes to perform everyday tasks.
"Black residents make up a little under half of Washington’s population, but constitute nearly three-fourths of the city's COVID-19 deaths."
Can interfaith leadership foster greater equity for the health of communities of color? Four leaders in healthcare discuss racial health disparities in our nation and how interfaith leadership can be implemented in order to solve them.
“It's an invitation to be subversive by focusing on ourselves."
Across the state, nearly every major health care system has partnered with Black and Hispanic houses of worship to expand vaccine access, setting up mobile clinics in their parking lots and fellowship halls.
Gandhi organized a nonviolent protest on behalf of the farmers. That was when the word satyagraha was used for the first time in the context of a political protest.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.