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

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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.