Multifaith Leadership Seminar

MnMN is pleased to update members, partners, and friends about this year’s Multifaith Leadership Seminar, an exciting joint initiative between Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas and Minnesota Multifaith Network (MnMN).

As previously reported in MnMN’s newsletters, an Interfaith Fellows Program was launched last year by the Jay Phillips Center (JPC) with funding from the Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy Program of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. That program’s inaugural cohort completed its first year with tremendous success. Students began minors in Interfaith Leadership; met with accomplished scholars and leaders; began interfaith engagement practicums with community partners, including MnMN; engaged in international dialogue; held campus leadership roles; and conducted research, like measuring the influence of religion on decision-making in relationships. The student cohort will return for their second and final year of the program, with a new component that includes learning alongside a group of non-student multifaith leaders recruited by MnMN.

For background on how MnMN became involved, it is important to introduce Hans Gustafson, Director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies. Hans is a member of MnMN’s Network Council working to further connections between MnMN and Minnesota higher educational institutions within the context of (co)curricular programming around engaging religious diversity. This past spring, MnMN recruited and selected five participants from Minnesota to join the student cohort in a year-long multifaith leadership learning community. Today, MnMN and JPC are thrilled to congratulate the following fellows, all interested in strengthening interfaith relations and cooperation in the broader community: Ryan Avenido, Max Brumberg-Kraus, Minna Jain, Bhakti Modi, and Aaron Schutte.

This group of experienced and passionate interfaith fellows will begin co-learning Interfaith Leadership with JPC’s original student cohort this Fall. Facilitated by Ali Chamseddine and Hans Gustafson from the JPC, and with curriculum from KAICIID Dialogue Centre and Interfaith America, the seminar will examine dialogue and leadership in interreligious contexts. In spring 2023, local scholars, experts, trainers, and leaders will be invited to present and give trainings at a public conference, co-convened by JPC and MnMN. The conference will be the first of three annual interfaith conferences funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations through 2025 with the hope of future conferences hosted by various Minnesota colleges and universities. Be on the lookout for announcements and registration.

To help grow the network by becoming a formal member, partner, or friend, please visit MnMN’s website:

To learn more about JPC’s programming, please visit these resources:

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