Top 5 IFYC curricular tools for online learning

The past week has seen our nation virtually transformed as the coronavirus spreads across the country.  One in five Americans are now living under some sort of “shelter in place” orders with little doubt that such circumstances will affect more of us soon. 

This doesn’t mean that interfaith education on campus grinds to a halt. Far from it, educators on campus have now had the opportunity to begin to imagine a completely online educational landscape for the duration of the academic year, including interfaith courses and programs.  As educators begin that planning process, we have heard from many of you about essential needs in regard to engaging religious diversity and interfaith engagement constructively under entirely new circumstances.  

We at IFYC are here for you in this tumultuous time, as fellow interfaith leaders and innovators in this exciting (and challenging!) new space. We’ve got a lot more in the works that we’ll be announcing through the newly-launched Interfaith Resource Collective. Based on our conversations with key campus partners over the past few days, below are the top five existing IFYC tools that might be helpful to you as you begin to creatively envision the rest of the semester.  

We want to hear your ideas too – above all, we want to serve as a collaborator to you in promoting civic interfaith leadership. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’ve got an idea for an online session, a need for a particular resource, or just want to connect with a partner in the work. Thank you for your leadership and we hope these tools are helpful to you!

Top 5 IFYC Tools for Online Interfaith Learning:

  1. IFYC’s Interfaith Leadership Video Series is a suite of eight videos exploring different aspects of interfaith leadership.  Whether using these videos as a suite or a stand-alone video segment, these are valuable, versatile content that learners can explore individually and process as a group.  IFYC also curated more fully-developed lesson plans that surround each resource to help educators present a unified learning experience. 

  1. Case Studies for Exploring Interfaith CooperationThese case studies, exploring the specific scenarios engaging religious diversity on campus, are a powerful way to prompt conversation and learning about the skills of interfaith leadership. Learners can read the material offline and join a conference call or a chat thread discussing implications.   

  1. Interfaith Literacy QuizLooking for interactive learning tools? Try IFYC’s Interfaith Literacy quiz which allows a personal exploration and reflection on one’s own appreciative knowledge of others. Invite your participants to take this quiz then offer reflections on the societal need for religious literacy via written or online communication tools.  

  1. Shared Values TextsThis classic IFYC resource includes several sets of religious and ethical texts expressing shared values (the value of service, hospitality, etc.). It has never been more important for communities to identify and act on shared values in the service of the common good. These texts can be used as stand-alone reflection tools for individual or group use; alternatively, the tool also includes a discussion guide for a more formal group interfaith reflection that could be easily carried out in a remote format. 

  1. Identifying a Theology or Ethic of Interfaith Cooperation: Inspiration and staying connected to our deepest values is essential in this moment. This resource shares the motivation and connection to interfaith leadership from a variety of religiously diverse leaders in IFYC’s network. Explore this resource for an in-class discussion or simply as a source of personal motivation to stay grounded in your commitment to interfaith leadership – this tool lays out next steps to develop your own theology or ethic of interfaith cooperation. 

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

"99.8% of U.S. deaths are of the unvaccinated. If you heard of an airline of that percentage dying, whereas a 0.02% on another, you’re switching flights." -- Dr. Jimmie Smith, Macon-Bibb County Health Department, Georgia.
As a scholar of religious studies, I frequently use critical race theory as a tool to better understand how religion operates in American society.
Inspired by their faith, four LDS students built new study resource that has revolutionized how hundreds of thousands of aspiring physicians study for their exams. "It really started because we just wanted to help people," one said.
We're now in one of the holiest seasons of the year for one of smallest and oldest religions in India -- one with a long history in the United States.
Organizing on-campus vaccination clinics, calling thousands of students, hosting informational webinars with medical experts – these are some of the ways in which IFYC’s Faith in the Vaccine Ambassadors (FIVA) have been raising awareness around the COVID-19 vaccine on campuses and high-need communities across the nation.
Last year's winners, listed below, created a range of initiatives, from virtual retreats and criminal justice initiatives to book clubs and racial equity workshops.
Religious objections, once used sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines, are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot.
What will the campus chapel, and the chaplaincy, look like more than a century from now? Let the adventure begin.
The issue is not the presence of religion in the public square. Instead, the question before us is how to express those religious commitments within in a pluralistic society.
We don’t know what the year 5782 – as it is in the Hebrew calendar – has in store for any of us. But we have the power to act in a way to do right by each other and bring a little more peace and love and joy into this profoundly broken world.
The following interview features Dr. Toby Bressler, senior director of nursing for oncology and clinical quality at the Mount Sinai Health System and vice president of the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association.
Part of what I found so beautiful about our conversation is that we both agree that American pluralism is not simply a pragmatic solution to the challenge of a diverse democracy, it is also a kind of sacred trust that God intends us to steward.
After 9/11, there was increased intentionality in widening interfaith relations to include a broader number of faith groups and discussions. Twenty years later, it is not unusual to see interreligious conferences, joint advocacy efforts and disaster relief teamwork involving faith groups ranging from Adventists to Zoroastrians.
Twenty years later, we at IFYC, like so many others, collect the shards of memory, recollecting, reconstituting the trauma and horror of that day. And the sacredness is in doing so together.
As we approach this significant anniversary of 9/11, we must work to infuse the day with purpose and pluralism. Pay it Forward 9/11 is bringing people together to do 20,000 good deeds for the 20th anniversary.
In the first month since 9/11, The Sikh Coalition documented over 300 cases of violence and religious discrimination against Sikhs in the U.S. and has since grown to become the largest Sikh advocacy and civil rights organization in the country.
“If you were to quiz these students on what happened on 9/11, they think they knew what happened, but nobody really explained it to them,” Lisa Doi said. “I had to think through, how do you teach this history to somebody who doesn’t really remember it?”
My prayer is that for as long as we remember 9/11, that we will take time to listen to the stories of loss that break our hearts, and join together in finding ways to heal the division, violence and hate that continue to tear apart our world.
It has been 20 years, but the pain of that day is still present in so many places.
20 years after the 9/11 attacks, four remarkable people took profound suffering, loss and grief and “somehow managed to not center enemies. What can we learn from that? How can that be a teaching to the culture?”
Now the entire planet is our garden, and Rosh Hashana is our chance to remember that we are all descended from the original gardeners — that we are here, each of one us, to tend our chosen plots as best we can.

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.