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Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World


The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Interfaith Youth Core believe that cooperation between diverse faith communities is needed now more than ever.

Many Christians are reticent to participate in interfaith engagement activities because they are under the impression that “interfaith” requires a watering down or diluting of their Christian beliefs. IFYC’s definition of “interfaith” does not agree with that premise. IFYC defines interfaith cooperation as respect for distinct religious identities, mutually inspiring relationships across diverse religious communities and common action for the common good. Theological and cultural differences between faith identities are expected and celebrated, not diminished.

We also know that interfaith engagement can deepen Christian faith formation. A recent groundbreaking longitudinal study of 3500 nationally representative college students across the country showed that students who took part in activities that intentionally engaged religious diversity simultaneously deepened their commitment to their own religious identity.1

We think it’s vital to have Christian, and particularly evangelical Christian, participation in interfaith efforts. Young evangelicals are motivated to put their faith into action to serve others and can be a powerful force for the common good—from launching initiatives to end poverty to championing racial justice. We want to harness that energy and create opportunities for more evangelical Christians to participate in interfaith cooperation activities so that they can deepen their own faith commitment and cooperate with others to advance the common good.

Through generous support from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, CCCU and IFYC are developing an online curriculum titled, "Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World" that explores the Christian foundation for interfaith engagement, builds students’ religious literacy, and equips students to lead bridge-building activities in their communities. The curriculum is being developed in partnership with Bethel University (MN) faculty Marion Larson, Amy Popping, and Sara Shady. The curriculum offers a series of online activities that are intended to be incorporated into existing courses or co-curricular leadership programs on CCCU campuses. CCCU and IFYC are offering grants in the amount of $1,000 ($500 individual stipend + $500 for programming costs) to individual faculty and staff on CCCU campuses to use the pilot curriculum with their students in 2021 and offer CCCU and IFYC feedback on ways to strengthen the curriculum for future use.

Apply now! We are currently accepting applications. We will offer two selection cycles for fall 2021 grants. The first application deadline is April 1, 2021 and the second application deadline is May 15, 2021. Grants will be awarded to qualified applicants in the first cycle and remaining grants will be awarded to qualified applicants in the second cycle. All grant funds must be spent between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Please review the Request for Proposals, the Introduction to the Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World Curriculum, and the Christian Leadership in a Multifaith World Curriculum Outline before applying.

Please contact Megan Johnson (megan@ifyc.org) with any questions.


1 “Best Practices for Interfaith Learning and Development in the First Year of College.” Rockenbach, A. N., Mayhew, M. J., Correia-Harker, B. P., Dahl, L., Morin, S., & Associates. (2018). Chicago, IL: Interfaith Youth Core.
https://www.ifyc.org/sites/default/files/resources/IDEALS_20182.pdf