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

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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.