Gustavus Awarded $10,000 Grant to Develop Interfaith Programming Posted on June 17th, 2016 by

chapelGustavus Adolphus College has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Teagle Foundation to support development in the area of Interfaith Cooperation in Professional and Civic Life for the College’s students.

The grant will strengthen existing coursework and support faculty efforts to develop new interfaith programming and offerings, helping students entering a variety of professions to work effectively in a religiously diverse world. The project will focus on fine-tuning a set of three existing courses to expand the relationship between the College’s Department of Religion and Department of Economics and Management. The second initiative of the project will explore partnerships with the Department of Education and pre-professional healthcare programs with the aim of creating a minor or concentration in interfaith studies.

The Gustavus initiative is being spearheaded by project director John Cha (religion), project leader and lead grant writer Marcia J. Bunge (religion), and project leader Kathi Tunheim (economics and management). The team will work closely with IFYC throughout the grant period to collaborate on resource development, consult on syllabi and faculty workshops, and network with other institutions with interfaith initiatives.

“Given that the United States is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, it is imperative that our students learn about these diverse traditions and graduate with the ability to work with people of all faiths or no faith,” Cha said.

The grant will bolster the College’s interfaith initiatives, which include a staff multifaith adviser, a Passover “teaching Seder,” open daily chapel services, and the construction of a new multifaith center that is scheduled to open in January 2017.

“The College’s commitment to interfaith understanding and cooperation is rooted in its mission and Lutheran heritage,” said Bunge, who serves as the Bernhardson Distinguished Professor of Religion. “This grant will help us sustain and enhance our current curricular and extra-curricular programs in the area of interfaith studies.”

IFYC_Logo_Purple.Blue_WB_400x400Since its incorporation in 2002, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) has worked on five continents and with over 200 college and university campuses, trained thousands in the principles of interfaith leadership, and reached millions through the media. IFYC has worked with partners including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the White House, and the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan.

teagle-optThe Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education through initiatives surrounding innovation in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment with an eye towards combining improvements in quality with considerations of cost. As an organization engaged in knowledge-based philanthropy, the Foundation works collaboratively with grantees to mobilize the intellectual and financial resources necessary to provide students with a challenging and transformative educational experience.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


One Comment

  1. Scott Moore says:

    I thought Christ Chapel was a multi-faith space already. Did something change?
    Perhaps we would need to remove the remaining Christian symbols for that to happen.