interfaithSaint Mary’s College is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Teagle Foundation/Interfaith Youth Core pass-through grant to develop an undergraduate course sequence in interfaith leadership, possibly leading to a minor in interfaith leadership. Led by Barbara A. McGraw, director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism, the grant will fund an interfaith course development workshop and faculty stipends for those who want to participate by developing (or revising existing) interfaith-themed and/or interfaith-related courses, similar to the approach taken for the College’s sustainability courses.

This undertaking is grounded in the College’s appreciation that to understand the world and to lead effectively in it, one needs knowledge of the religious dimensions of people’s lives and their cultural contexts, as well as the skills to apply that knowledge to address conflict, build understanding and provide practical solutions. Consequently, the grant project contemplates collaboration among Saint Mary’s colleagues across the curriculum to address four content areas: (1) leadership and organizations; (2) interpersonal/intergroup dialogue skills; (3) religious literacy; and (4) praxis. As with Saint Mary’s existing interdisciplinary programs, the interfaith leadership course sequence will be based on the College’s practice of connecting academic inquiry with what the world needs in order to cultivate citizens who are effective leaders for social justice.

Faculty interested in participating are invited to a September 2014 convening about the stipends and workshop (date/time TBA), after which they will be invited to submit brief course development proposals. Faculty interested in learning more about the September convening and the grant project generally should contact Professor McGraw at bmcgraw@stmarys-ca.edu. For more information, read about Professor McGraw’s new fall 2014 experimental course “Interfaith Leadership for Business and the Professions.”

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