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Bridgewater professor chosen for interfaith understanding seminar

bridgewaterDr. Nancy B. Klancher, an assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Bridgewater College, has been selected from a nationwide pool of nominees to participate in a faculty seminar on the teaching of interfaith understanding. The seminar is offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), with support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Twenty-five faculty members will participate in the five-day seminar August 3–7 at DePaul University in Chicago. The seminar will be headed by two leading scholars – Eboo Patel, founder and president of IFYC, and Laurie Patton, dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Robert F. Durden Professor of Religion at Duke University.

“Strengthening the teaching of interfaith understanding at colleges and universities is a high priority at a time when college enrollment is becoming more diverse – by religion as well as socioeconomic factors – just as American society is becoming more diverse,” said CIC President Richard Ekman.

Ekman added that strengthening participation in American life with greater understanding of the distinctive contributions of different faiths is key to America’s future success.

“I was pleased to be selected and am very much looking forward to the workshop, especially thinking through classroom dynamics with other faculty members teaching in this area; they are complex,” said Klancher. “Inter-religious courses emphasize issues that challenge everyone, whether they are religious or not – facing perspectives different from one’s own, the human implications of religious exclusivism, and the political and economic stakes of achieving effective interreligious dialogue. I welcome working with colleagues to prepare students for leadership in a religiously diverse world.”

The CIC is an association of 744 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates that support college and university leadership, institutional excellence and public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society.

A Chicago-based nonprofit organization, IFYC’s mission is to make interfaith cooperation a social norm.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,800 undergraduate students.

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