Dominican University is excited about several academic initiatives that seek to foster interfaith appreciation, understanding, and cooperation.
Interfaith Learning Outcomes
DU's Interfaith Cooperation Committee developed interfaith learning outcomes for use in measuring student learning about religious diversity and interfaith cooperation. These learning outcomes are appropriate for use with graduates and undergraduates, and in curricular or co-curricular initiatives.
Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars
DU has created curricular anchors that touch most undergraduate students through the Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars, where we have infused religious/philosophical common texts at all four levels, with the first two explicitly interfaith in emphasis. Freshmen students read Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh and sophomore students read Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Benares by Diana Eck.
Eboo Patel, Founder and President of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), served as Dominican University’s 2011-2012 Lund-Gill Chair -- an endowed chair that each year brings to campus an individual of the highest moral and intellectual reputation who can address themes and issues at the heart of the liberal arts and sciences. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University.
A summary of our recent work in partnership with IFYC notes many achievements. For example, in the Spring 2013 Campus Religious and Spiritual Climate Survey, DU students reported the highest level of curricular religious and spiritual engagement among all students surveyed within that administration across the United States. The same survey indicates that DU students have increasingly positive attitudes toward people of minority faith traditions and atheists, when compared with DU students who were surveyed in 2010 and students on other campuses in the 2013 CRSCS national administration.
Dominican is sharing its successes with the field by presenting and writing for a higher education audience. Recent venues include the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) conferences, AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy magazine, the Biennial Colloquium of Dominican Colleges and Universities, and IFYC’s President’s Council gatherings.