Junior studying English & Technical Writing
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader? I believe that it is important for people to not worry or cause conflicts over whose worldview is correct. As an “Agnostic” in my personal worldview, I believe that the truth cannot be found so people should practice whatever worldview is fulfilling to them.
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Interfaith engagement on college campuses is important because dialogue between people of different worldviews is essential to reducing conflict, building understanding, and reducing prejudice.
Junior studying Biomedical Engineering
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader? As someone who subscribes to Unitarian Universalism, I always have a curiosity about me, and I am never satisfied with being told a single, definitive answer. My engagement in interfaith gives me a space for my curiosity to flourish and to delve into hard questions with others of various backgrounds and viewpoints.
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Interfaith engagement opens up an extremely important dialogue that is hard to access anywhere else. The space interfaith engagement creates is of respect and acceptance, which everyone needs, especially in college as you begin to think more about your own beliefs.
VT ’20 Biological Systems Engineering
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader? Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This call to love one another is a prevalent theme throughout the Bible. I believe in order to love one another, we first need to see where the other person is coming from. Having a free conversation and breaking down stigmas and barriers allows me to freely love others.
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Education about different worldviews is a critical component to being able to talk to and understand others. Having a space to talk that does not have fear, harassment or persecution is a necessary step to allowing others to freely express themselves and communicate in deeper ways than ever before. Plus, when we band together for a common goal, the extraordinary can happen.
PhD Student in Computer Science
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader?As a non-religious humanist, I believe that this life is the only life we know we will get. Combine this with empathy, compassion for others, and collaboration as key values, and it becomes clear that there is great value in working together with people from many different backgrounds and traditions to increase understanding and goodwill across religious and ethnic boundaries, and to help address issues that impact us all.
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important?For many students, college is a time of self-exploration that includes questioning one’s own beliefs and asking fundamental questions about life and existence that are often addressed by various religious and non-religious worldviews. For students to fully, holistically engage with this process, an exploration and consideration of different views on these fundamental questions holds great value, not just in expanding horizons or appreciation of traditions and viewpoints other than one’s own, but also for stimulating reflection on one’s own traditions, beliefs, values, and ways of reasoning.
Junior studying Architecture
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader? The majority of my childhood I spent weaving in between the Catholic and Protestant churches on a daily basis. Through this experience, I became interested in not only intra-religious relations, but also inter-religious relations, which led me towards interfaith and religious pluralism. That is from my own curiosity, but my religion itself also calls for me to extend a hand, to see the other side, and to bring others along
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Many people enter college with a strong sense of faith, other people enter questioning the beliefs they were raised knowing. And then you reach those who hold no faith in anything other than what we know to be true. Not one of these is better than the other. I think that many people in this world have lost a sense of belonging because others have chosen to label them by faith rather than the fact that our humanity defines us before our faith. So, through interfaith engagement, people from every background can find a home in the community, where their voice can be heard, because their voice is just as relevant as the next person’s.
PhD student in Human Centered Design
What from your worldview calls you to be an interfaith leader? My worldview by nature is inclusive. I believe spiritual experiences are natural and human, as are humanist ones like awe and inspiration. They are an integral part of our experience and should be acknowledged.
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Universities are increasingly liberal, secular places where religion is often condescendingly described as a social construct. This view marginalizes the vast majority of Americans, including university students, who believe in a god or gods. Earnest, respectful interfaith engagement at universities could help break down cultural barriers between academe and society, benefiting all.
VT ’20 Business Information Technology
Why do you think interfaith engagement in a college campus is important? Interfaith engagement on campus is essential because it gives people a chance to better understand each other. When we listen and collaborate with people of different faith backgrounds, we are driven/inspired to improve our own spiritual growth. As we come to live, learn, and respect our friends through interfaith work, we truly begin to love everyone on our campus more!