Interfaith Studies Minor
- Dr. Sherry Fohr, curricular director
- Rev. Jason Loscuito, co-curricular director
The Interfaith Studies Program is designed to prepare students for interfaith dialogue and cooperation in whatever field they choose for their careers in light of the growing presence of interfaith dynamics in different professional settings. An interfaith minor may be paired with a variety of majors related to fields in which interfaith skills are in demand, such as politics, international affairs, counseling, business, medicine, law, the military, etc. Interfaith dialogue is defined as constructive, positive, and cooperative communication/interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs (including those who are not affiliated with a particular religion). Interfaith dialogue may happen between individuals or between institutions. It is often done to promote understanding and acceptance between those of different beliefs (not to adopt others’ beliefs), or to engage in reciprocally inspiring relationships with people of various backgrounds. Interfaith cooperation refers to people and/or communities of different faith and non-faith traditions uniting toward social action for the common good. For example, there has been interfaith cooperation toward ending human trafficking and protecting minorities against violent extremism. A minor in the Interfaith Studies program consists of 18 hours of coursework. It is also recommended, but not required, to complete the IFYC (Interfaith Youth Core) student leadership program to the 2.0 level.
Student Learning Outcomes
A course contributing to one or more of the following learning outcomes, and which also has at least one assignment tied to at least one outcome, may qualify for the Interfaith Studies Program (IFS).
- Develop basic appreciative knowledge of multiple religious and/or spiritual or humanistic traditions.
- Develop knowledge of theologies/ethics of interfaith cooperation and/or issues in negotiating cultural interactions and conflicts.
- Demonstrate effective communication and facilitate dialogue by juxtaposing perspectives and holding conflicting beliefs in tension.
- Demonstrate adept skills in interfaith dialogue among diverse participants, including the ability to navigate differences among participants to foster pluralism.
- Recognize and explain the ways in which religious traditions and interreligious encounters are embedded within cultural, political, educational, therapeutic, gendered, and/or economic systems.
The following three courses are required to complete the minor. It is strongly recommended that these courses be taken in the order listed below. Another experiential learning course (such as REL 356) may be substituted for REL/ATH 406 at the discretion of the Interfaith Studies minor director.
Required Course Selection
Choose three of the following courses to fulfill the remaining 9 hours of coursework. The minor requires that at least two of these courses be non-religion courses: