Press Release

New Opportunity for Higher Education Administrators, Faculty, and Staff to Engage Issues of Religious Diversity
Join Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) for the Inaugural Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence

Chicago, IL- Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) has received a transformational grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDFs) to support a new partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The grant will support a three and half year project with IFYC and AAC&U centering around an annual Institute that will prepare college and university leaders to create campus-wide and cross-curricular interfaith programs.

From July 17-20, 2018, IFYC and AAC&U will hold the inaugural Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence at Boston University. Intended for administrators, faculty and staff at private colleges and universities, campuses are invited to bring teams of five people – including administrators, faculty and staff – to the Institute. If accepted, all costs will be covered including housing, travel, and tuition for the entire team. In addition, campuses will be eligible for grant support to implement their action plan back on campus. The Institute will run alongside AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work.

“This Institute is especially exciting because it joins AAC&U’s impressive and far-reaching engagement with higher education with IFYC’s field experience and Leadership Practices for Interfaith Excellence in Higher Education,” says Eboo Patel, IFYC Founder & President. “We and AAC&U share the belief that the country’s colleges and universities have a special role and responsibility to help our fellow citizens navigate deep differences across lines of religion and worldview while building a common life together. Through this Institute, campuses poised to do this work can take the next step to become transformative model environments for broader interfaith cooperation throughout the U.S.”   

Over the course of four days, teams will attend sessions, consult with faculty advisors, and meet to develop context specific action plans for broadening, deepening, and strengthening their campus commitment to interfaith teaching and learning. The Institute will provide practical guidance, mentoring and resources related to the following themes:

  • Religious Diversity and Interfaith Studies in the Curriculum
  • Student Interfaith Leadership for Civic Engagement
  • Interfaith Competence and Literacy Among Faculty and Staff
  • Cross-Curricular and Campus-wide Strategic Planning for Interfaith Cooperation

IFYC has invited four renowned faculty partners to facilitate the Institute:  Dr. Barbara A McGraw, director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism and Professor of Social Ethics, Law and Public Life at Saint Mary’s College of California; Dr. Rahuldeep Gill, Associate Faculty of Religion and the Campus Interfaith Strategist at California Lutheran University; Dr. Trina Janiec Jones,  Associate Professor of Religion and Associate Provost for Curriculum & Co-Curriculum at Wofford College; and Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Theology at Dominican University.

To learn more about the Institute and to apply, campuses can go to:  

Applications are due April 30th, 2018.

About IFYC

IFYC is a national non-profit organization working towards an America where people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions can bridge differences and find common values to build a shared life together. To realize this vision, IFYC partners with American colleges and universities, helping students and educators to explore, experience, and engage issues of religious and worldview diversity and difference up-close. Active since 2002, IFYC works with students, staff, administrators, and faculty at over 450 U.S. colleges and universities along with a growing network of alumni who are advancing interfaith cooperation across various areas of American life. Learn more at

About the AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. Information about AAC&U can be found at

About the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Under a new strategic vision announced in May 2017, AVDFs fund projects in five key program areas: Private Higher Education, Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy, Public Educational Media, Environmental Engagement, Stewardship and Solutions, and Palliative Care and End of Life. The cross programmatic grant given to IFYC for the annual Institute illustrates AVDFs’ deep commitment to playing a leading role in supporting projects that advance the understanding that religious diversity is essential to civil discourse within a democracy and that leaders in all walks of life are more effective through an appreciation for the religious views of others.

IFYC Media Contacts
Nasser Asif, Senior Director of Communications
Phone: 312.573.8315

Carolyn Roncolato, Director of Academic Initiatives
Phone: 312.573.8826

AAC&U Media Contact

Anne Jenkins, Senior Director for Communications
Phone: 202.884.7422

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