1st Edition

Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement A Handbook for Student Affairs

Edited By Kathleen M. Goodman, Mary Ellen Giess, Eboo Patel Copyright 2019
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book arises out of a recognition that student affairs professionals have little preparation or guidance in dealing with matters of spirituality, religion, secularity, and interfaith work at a time of greater diversity in students’ beliefs and, from a broad recognition that there is a need to engage with this aspect of student life. For those who don’t know how to begin and may be nervous about tackling a topic that has the potential to lead to heated disagreements, this book provides the resources and practical guidance to undertake this work.With the aim of providing student affairs practitioners and faculty with the tools they need to increase their comfort level and enable their ability to engage in discussions about belief both in and out of the classroom, the contributors provide foundational knowledge, concrete teaching ideas, sample activities, and case studies that can be used in a variety of settings. This book serves multiple audiences in student affairs by providing teaching ideas for practitioners who want to include a session or two about interfaith in their programs as well as ideas for student affairs faculty who may be teaching one session on this topic or a whole course. The book is divided into four sections. The first offers context, provides the findings of research, and asks readers to reflect on the framework they use to embark on this work, whether a social justice framework that aims to highlight issues of power and privilege or an interfaith cooperation framework that aims to create religious pluralism. Part Two provides concrete ideas for creating courses, activities, events, and programs focused on spirituality, religion, secularity, and interfaith engagement, as well as ideas for incorporating these topics into courses typically offered in student affairs preparation programs. Part Three presents case studies to engage students, practitioners, and faculty in thinking about campus situations related to religious diversity. Part Four provides some basic information about a variety of religions and worldviews held by college students.

    Forewords—Cindi Love (ACPA. and Kevin Kruger (NASPA. Acknowledgments Introduction—Kathleen M. Goodman, Mary Ellen Giess, and Eboo PatelPart One. Context 1. Preparing for Interfaith Engagement—Christy Moran Craft and Kathleen M. Goodman 2. Students’ Perceptions of and Engagement with Worldview Diversity in College—Benjamin P. Correia-Harker, Jeremy T. Snipes, Alyssa N. Rockenbach, and Matthew Mayhew 3. Social Justice and Interfaith Cooperation—Eboo Patel and Cassie Meyer Part Two. Teaching Ideas for Student Affairs Faculty—Kathleen M. Goodman 4. Developing Courses that Engage Spirituality, Religion, and Secularity in Student Affairs Preparation Programs—Kathleen M. Goodman, Sherry K. Watt, and Tricia A. Seifert 5. Adding Spirituality, Religious Diversity, and Interfaith Engagement to Student Affairs Courses—Jenny L. Small and James P. Barber 6. Reflective Opportunities to Explore Spirituality and Professional Purpose—Mari Luna De La Rosa and Holly Holloway-Friesen Part Three. Strategies and Activities for Student Affairs Practitioners—Kathleen M. Goodman 7. Training Student Affairs Professionals—Ariel Ennis and Tarah Trueblood 8. Educational Activities for Student Affairs Practitioners—Kathleen M. Goodman 9. Interfaith Activities Integrated into Academic Courses and Programs—Kathleen M. Goodman and Mary Ellen Giess Part Four. Using Case Studies to Engage with Religious Diversity and Build Interfaith Leadership—Cassie Meyer 10. Study or Indoctrination? Teaching the Qur’an at the University of North Carolina—Karla Suomala 11. Coercion or Conversion? Engaging with Religious Difference at the University of Illinois at Chicago—Karla Suomala 12. Secular Students on the Prairie. Welcoming Secular Students at Concordia College, Moorhead—Karla Suomala 13. When Causes Collide. Exploring Intersectionality and the Middle East Conflict—Megan Lane 14. Engaging with Religious Diversity on a Regular Basis. Short Scenarios—Megan Lane Part Five. Foundational Knowledge. What Matters and Why?—Mary Ellen Giess 15. Understanding Christian Students on Campus—Katie Brick, J. Cody Nielsen, Greg Jao, Eric Paul Rogers, and John A. Monson 16. Understanding Muslim Students on Campus—Altaf Husain 17. Understanding Jewish Students on Campus—Sheila Katz and Josh Feigelson 18. Understanding Secular Students on Campus—Lyz Liddell and Nick Stancato 19. Understanding Buddhist, Sikh, and Hindu Students on Campus—Upali Sraman, Rahuldeep Singh Gill, and Varun Soni Editors and Contributors Index


    Kathleen M. Goodman is an Assistant Professor of Student Affairs in Higher Education, Miami University. Mary Ellen Giess is the Senior Director of Co-Curricular Partnerships, Interfaith Youth Core. Eboo Patel is the Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core. Kevin Kruger An accomplished speaker, leader, and educator, Kevin Kruger joined NASPA as Associate Executive Director in 1994, and became its first executive-level President on March 15, 2012. In his capacity as a national advocate for students and the primary spokesperson for student affairs administrators and practitioners, he draws on more than 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to NASPA, Dr. Kruger worked for 15 years at the University of Maryland College Park and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. During his tenure at the University of Maryland he worked in orientation, student activities, leadership development, admissions, and with the vice president for student affairs office. Dr. Kruger has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the Student Development in Higher Education program at Trinity College in Washington, DC. Dr. Kruger represents NASPA in national forums such as the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, which includes the leaders of approximately 50 higher education associations. While at NASPA, he has pursued a number of initiatives designed to enhance the association's role in public policy, research, professional development, and student learning and assessment, with a particular interest in the use of technology in serving diverse student populations. Dr. Kruger has published and presented nationally on leadership development, using technology in student affairs administration, international education and is a regular lecturer on technology in student affairs, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, assessment and student learning. He is the editor of two Jossey-Bass publications, Technology Innovations in Student Services and Using Technolo

    From the Foreword:

    “While we have increased our emphasis on racial and gender identity over the past twenty years, higher education has not had a commensurate effort to create a deeper understanding of the important role college years play in students' religious, secular, and spiritual identity.

    This book, through case studies and examples of relevant research and practice, will be an important resource for creating programs that encourage interfaith dialogue and promote a greater understanding of the religious and secular diversity represented among our students.”

    Kevin Kruger, President

    NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

    "If you dream about humanity bending toward justice, or relationships that nurture peace and even love, you understand that religious, secular, and spiritual diversity education is a critical frontier for higher education. History has taught us that college campuses are catalysts for movements of inclusion and human transformation—and Goodman, Giess, Patel and colleagues implore us to design learning environments that champion interfaith engagement to this end. A treasure of pedagogically sound and practical wisdom awaits. I could not stop reading."

    Frank Shushok, Jr., Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Associate

    Virginia Tech

    "The editors of this volume have produced a timely, thoughtful, and responsible effort that locates the importance of excellent interfaith practice within the good work of Student Affairs. Offering examples of effective co-curricular pedagogical tools -- programs, activities, events and case studies – designed to help students engage in productive exchange across worldview differences, the editors have provided an invaluable resource for institutional stakeholders specifically interested in inclusive interfaith engagement."

    Matthew J. Mayhew, The William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration

    The Ohio State University

    "The writers in this volume bravely and empathetically address the fascinating religious and secular diversity on college campuses. Unlike those wishing to use the student affairs profession to advance a narrow moral agenda, these writers lead the way in showing respect, justice and honor to the breadth of humanity in our universities. If read sympathetically and used wisely, their insights and advice can lead us to a deeper understanding of and love for each other."

    Perry L. Glanzer, Professor of Educational Foundations and Resident Scholar

    Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

    “Goodman, Giess and Patel masterfully and poignantly remind us that If we are truly committed to the holistic development of our students, creating more inclusive communities, and developing capacities that form global citizens then we must facilitate opportunities for college students to learn about their, and others, religious, spiritual and secular identities. Their message is clarifying and strikes as a moral imperative if we understand that our greatest mission is the utmost development of human potential. They generously and wisely offer us many paths forward!”

    Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Virginia Tech; Past President of ACPA-College Student Educators International

    “Drawing wisdom from case studies of cultural conflict and resolution in religious diversity, the text explores teaching and learning strategies in student affairs preparation to encourage spirituality engagement, and provides advice on understanding and supporting students from diverse cultural/religious backgrounds. Important factors that promote student development include creating space to support spiritual expression, ensuring opportunities for students to experience worldview diversity, and engaging with interfaith cooperation within a social justice framework. Student affairs programs should prepare future practitioners to be reflective, act authentically, and be ready to engage with current and future students' myriad religious, secular, and spiritual worldviews. Educational activities that enhance campus diversity include religious literacy workshops, dialogue and personal exploration, interfaith training strategies, and advocacy. Case studies illustrate the need to avoid indoctrination and coercion, consider secular worldviews, and navigate issues of intersectionality and world politics. The text concludes by providing introductory information and resource lists for understanding and supporting many of the diverse religions on campuses. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.”


    "The book is filled with practical resources to support student affairs faculty and staff who want to engage religious diversity. Part Two provides detailed examples of courses, lessons, and activities for integrating religious diversity material into already-established student affairs curriculum or for creating stand-alone student affairs graduate courses focused on worldview diversity. Part Three showcases successful programs including two chapters with brief write-ups submitted by faculty and staff from universities throughout the country. Part Four includes a helpful opening chapter on pedagogical considerations and multiple case studies.

    Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement: A Handbook for Student Affairs is a valuable resource for Interfaith Leadership education. The wealth of concrete examples and the extensive reference sections that conclude many of the chapters make this an important resource for student affairs professionals and any other educator interested in cultivating Interfaith Leadership on college campuses."

    The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching

    "Educating about Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement: A Handbook for Student Affairs is a practical guide with resources for interfaith professionals and university administrators in student affairs. It is organized in five parts and provides a set of guidelines to engage with the different worldviews of students in academic courses and programs in the United States."

    Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion