Chaplain to Participate in Interfaith Seminar

April 23, 2014

Katherine Low, assistant professor of religion and chaplain of Mary Baldwin University, has been selected from a nationwide pool of nominees to participate in a faculty seminar on the teaching of interfaith understanding. The seminar is offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), with support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

low_seminarTwenty-five faculty members will participate in the five-day Teaching Interfaith Understanding seminar that will take place June 15–19 at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The seminar will be led by two leading scholars, Catherine Cornille, professor of comparative theology at Boston College, and Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University.

“Strengthening the teaching of interfaith understanding at colleges and universities is a high priority at a time when college enrollment is becoming more diverse — by religion, as well as socioeconomic factors — just as American society is becoming more diverse,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “Strengthening participation in American life with greater understanding of the distinctive contributions of different faiths is key to America’s future success.”

The seminar is designed to broaden faculty members’ knowledge and strengthen their teaching of interfaith understanding, with the development of new courses and resources.

“This seminar fits my position really well because of the methodological integration of interfaith understanding,” Low said. “It will help me bring understanding to the classroom as well as aid in a deeper focus for my role as chaplain to foster religious literacy and engagement for students.”

Low said her desire to participate in the seminar stemmed from her own experience as an undergraduate studying for a semester in Israel and the West Bank.

“Through that experience, I began to recognize the massive diversity of people who organize around religion throughout the world,” she said.

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 744 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that supports college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. Chicago-based nonprofit IFYC has worked on five continents and with more than 200 college and university campuses, trained thousands in the principles of interfaith leadership, and reached millions through media outlets.

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