#Interfaith is a self-paced, online learning opportunity designed to equip a new generation of leaders with the awareness and skills to promote interfaith cooperation online. Start learning now or begin by assessing your online leadership style via our digital interfaith quiz.

(#Interfaith is hosted by our partners at ReligionAndPublicLife.org. You will be re-directed to their site to start learning. See the FAQs below for more information.)

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The Internet has transformed every area of human interaction – including religion – more than any invention in history. It is disrupting traditional definitions of community, authority, and belief. It can be used to divide people or to foster understanding. The choice is up to us.

IFYC invites you to be part of a new generation of interfaith leaders who understand the power of the Internet, appreciate how it can be used to promote understanding across lines of difference, and are fully trained to maximize the impact of the technology for the common good.

What You'll Learn

As a learner engaging with #Interfaith: Engaging Religious Diversity Online, you’ll build your expertise across the following lessons:

Religion & the Internet 101

Learn about the Internet’s genesis and evolution, how it is has impacted religious communities, and some intrinsic challenges to online interfaith leadership.


From IRL to URL

Why should we engage in interfaith leadership online? What changes and what stays the same when interfaith work is brought into digital spaces?


Faith, Facts, and Truth Online

Learn about the ubiquity and danger of misinformation online and develop skills for identifying it. Identify trusted sources for religious information online.


Building Online Community

Examine two case studies and reflect on the necessary elements for building community online.


Bridgebuilding Online

Explore case studies of powerful online interfaith bridgebuilding. Learn helpful tools for your own bridgebuilding.


Disrupting Hate Online

Learn best practices for disrupting hate online. Better understand how hate, disinformation, and discrimination manifest online.


How Will YOU Lead Online?

There is a great need for online leadership, but there is no one way to lead. Reflect on your values, priorities, and goals to craft your own distinct leadership style.


Achieving Impact Online

Articulate a vision for your online interfaith leadership. Who is your audience? What do you want to achieve?


Choose Your Platforms

Explore how other online interfaith leaders have utilized different digital platforms for diverse goals. Reflect on which platforms might be best suited to your particular goals and style.


Self-Care Online

Online engagement can produce spiritual and emotional stress. Learn tools for recognizing harm online, taking care of yourself, and accessing support.


Being Safe Online

Assess and learn to mitigate personal risk online.

Curriculum Access Options

There are two options for accessing the #Interfaith curriculum:

  1. Individual learners access the online course via ReligionandPublicLife.org and can complete the course at their own pace. Our partners at ReligionAndPublicLife.org have made it possible for us to offer a state-of-the-art learning experience via a social learning community custom designed for learners focused on religion in civic spaces. (Please see the FAQs below for more details.)
  2. Anyone may also access the full curriculum in PDF format here. This document includes the full course content (all 11 lessons as listed above), along with a preceding curriculum guide.

A NOTE FOR EDUCATORS: You are welcome to use the #Interfaith curriculum in any way that you would like. You might integrate content from the curriculum into your own courses. You might utilize just a lesson or two or choose to use the full curriculum. Another option is to have your students access the course directly (and learn asynchronously). To access the course directly, students will need to register at ReligionAndPublicLife.org with a bio and a photo. (This is to ensure that all learners are actual people who are interested in learning together.) If you would like to view and manage your students’ participation, we are happy to assist in setting up a faculty account for you on the platform.

If you have questions about how to access or use #Interfaith with your learners, please contact Connie at connie@ifyc.org.

Expert Advisory Committee

We partnered with an exceptional panel of digital experts to develop #Interfaith. We asked each of them, “What is one thing that you would hope everyone would know about the Internet?” This is what they had to say:

Josie Ahlquist

Founder of Dr. Josie Inc - Expert Council

Users are guests on these platforms, and we should be aware of what we’re giving up when we give our data to them.” Ex. that Instagram owns all the photos you post. (c.f. The Social Dilemma).

Aliia Mathew

Student at Eastern University

Breaking down walls of separation, because of social media or because of fear. Those kinds of things really inspire me.

Cheryl Contee

CEO of Do Big Things – Expert Council

It's critical to understand how to separate truth from fiction online. We must continually ask, how do we ensure that information people are sharing is healthy and true, and adds to our collective benefit as opposed to creating division?

Hannah Silver

Student at UW Madison

I work to share my religion through digital spaces because it is what we have to do in the state of our world right now. Just because in-person meetings stopped, doesn't mean religious dialogue can stop as well.

Chris Stedman

Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community - Expert Council

That the stuff we do online isn’t fake or any less real than offline. Even though people are forming meaningful connections online all the time, they discount them. IRL and URL are different: but one isn’t more real than the other.

Nijha Young

Student at Ithaca College

Part of leadership is starting conversations that are needed and being able to lead those conversation, but also knowing when to sit back and listen.

danah boyd

Founder and President of Data & Society Research Institute – Expert Council

When you go online, you are presented with choices. You can choose to only expose yourself to things you already believe, or you can seek out new information and perspectives.

Angie Benitez-Garcia

University of Central Florida

I feel like leadership online is keeping the peace, trying not to take sides. A big part of being a leader and then, to an extent keeping the peace is being aware of both sides.

Amanda Quraishi

Contributing Fellow at USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture - Expert Council

We are producers and not consumers, and that there’s a responsibility that comes with that and a set of competencies we need to learn.

Heidi A. Campbell

Professor at Texas A&M University - Expert Council

Users create the digital worlds they live in. But we also live in spaces online that have been created for us. We see the internet as this open space of complete freedom, when actually most of the options open to us have already been determined by media designers, and the previous choices we’ve made.

Rev. Jeremy D. Nickel

Founder and CEO of SacredVR and EvolVR - Expert Council

That the internet should be a human right which everyone has access to.  Technology is neutral: people decide how technology moves. Corporations are trying to privatize it even more (net neutrality), and people need to be aware of this threat.

Aden Van Noppen

Mobius

People should understand the dangers of not being thoughtful about our behavior online and the importance of training in digital citizenship.

 
 
 

FAQs

What is #Interfaith: Engaging Religious Diversity Online?

#Interfaith: Engaging Religious Diversity Online is a self-paced (fully asynchronous), online course developed by IFYC to help develop civic interfaith leadership skills for digital media. IFYC believes that online interfaith leadership is critical for the future of understanding between people of diverse religious and non-religious traditions. #Interfaith learners learn about the particular opportunities and challenges of leading online and build awareness and skills to use the Internet as a powerful space for bridgebuilding.

Why should I learn about digital interfaith leadership?

As someone who cares about interfaith cooperation, you’re likely looking for ways to build interfaith bridges. #Interfaith presents an opportunity to take your bridgebuilding to the next level by learning to fully harness the power of the Internet to cultivate community and connection. With the awareness and skills you’ll learn via #Interfaith, you’ll be better equipped to lead online, creating spaces, conversations, and relationships that are hopeful, fulfilling, and safe. What’s more, you’ll bolster your credentials as an interfaith leader, as all learners who complete the full course will receive a shareable, verifiable, digital certificate from IFYC.

Who is the target audience for #Interfaith?

The course was designed with undergraduate students in mind, as a resource for extending their interfaith leadership to online spaces. At the same time, we hope that many other types of learners and interfaith leaders will find this content useful – from graduate and seminary students to community organizers and religious leaders. Everyone has the capacity to act as an interfaith leader, and increasingly we all need to get better at doing that online!

Who can use #Interfaith?

Anyone! Individual learners access the online course via ReligionandPublicLife.org (see below) and can complete the course at their own pace. Educators who would like to offer the course (or select content from the course) to their students may find this curriculum guide, which includes all the course content in pdf form, most useful. (See also the “Curriculum Access Options” section above.) We hope that the course content will be useful across a broad set of civic and educational leaders who want to improve their (or their students’) digital interfaith leadership skills. If you have questions about how to access or use #Interfaith, please contact Connie at connie@ifyc.org.

Do I have to complete all 11 lessons of the course?

You’re welcome to engage with as much or as little of the course content as you’d like, in any sequence. A learner who completes the entire course will receive a shareable, verifiable, digital certificate of completion (granted by IFYC) that can be linked directly to a LinkedIn profile.

 

How long will it take to complete the course?

Each lesson of the course is designed to take around 30 minutes to complete, so to complete the entire course you will need around six hours. The content is self-paced, however, so you have the freedom to engage whenever and for as long as you’d like. You may save your progress and come back to continue at any time.

 

What is ReligionAndPublicLife.org, and why do I have to register to access the course?

Our partners at ReligionAndPublicLife.org have made it possible for us to offer you a state-of-the-art learning experience. Their social learning community is custom designed for learners focused on religion in civic spaces. To access the course, you’ll need to register with a bio and a photo. This is to ensure that all learners are actual people who are interested in learning together. We hope you’ll enjoy learning with others who are genuinely committed to growing their interfaith leadership. All that said, if you’d rather not register at ReligionAndPublicLife.org, you’re welcome to access the full curriculum here.

Who developed #Interfaith?

While IFYC has been thinking about the animating questions behind #Interfaith for a long time, we knew that there was much that we didn’t know. To learn more, we assembled an Expert Advisory Committee and a Student Advisory Council (see above). These experts and students helped us develop the goals, structure, and content of the course.