In 2015/16, Presence & Engagement in partnership with the Queen's Foundation for Theological Education, received funding from Common Awards for research into interfaith engagement in theological education. This sought to establish what theological educations institutions (TEIs) were offering to their students in terms of input on engaging with people of other faiths, as well as considering ways that this provision might be enhanced through partnership with centres and organisations which specialise in interfaith engagement. In line with this, this page contains resources for theological educators - links to organisations who are keen to assist TEIs in this area of the curriculum, and documents which illustrate how different TEIs have implemented the Common Awards modules on interfaith engagement.
The final project report can be accessed by clicking this link - http://presenceandengagement.org.uk/interfaith-engagement-theological-education-project-report
Interfaith Centres and Organisations
The Woolf Institute, Cambridge
The Woolf Institute is a global leader in the academic study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Established in Cambridge in 1998, with close links to the city’s famous University, the Institute is recognized around the world for the excellence of its research, teaching, policy and public education programmes. The aim of our work is to connect the multidisciplinary study of relations with broader practical and theoretical questions. We strive, in our research and outreach, to demonstrate how greater understanding of commonality and difference can inform and enhance the wider public good.
Woolf specialise in teaching on the relationships between the Abrahamic faiths, and provide a range of online courses which may be of interest. Find out more at http://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/study/e-learning/. For more information on integrating these courses into the curriculum, contact Dr Emma Harris, academic Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Touchstone Centre, Bradford
Touchstone is a ‘listening community’ with the vision of making safe places of hospitality where people who are radically different can listen to and with each other. Based in the heart of Bradford, Britain’s most Muslim city, Touchstone has worked alongside diverse communities for 25 years. The Touchstone Centre is sponsored by the Methodist Church in Britain and is open to all.
To learn more about Touchstone’s work in Bradford, go to http://www.touchstone-bradford.org.uk/Home. Touchstone are particularly keen to offer placements to ordinands wishing to explore ministry in multifaith contexts. For more information, contact Rev Dr Barbara Glasson - email@example.com.
The Council of Christians and Jews
The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is the leading nationwide forum for Christian-Jewish engagement: celebrating the history and diversity of both communities, facilitating constructive dialogue, enabling meaningful learning experiences; and providing opportunities for transformative change. There are three tranches to CCJ’s programmatic work: Education, Dialogue and Social Action. When facilitating Christian-Jewish engagement, CCJ ensures that the following core values remain central: promoting understanding, valuing difference, demonstrating empathy and respect, and challenging prejudice.
To read more about the educational aspect of CCJ’s wide-ranging work, go to http://www.ccj.org.uk/our-work/education/. CCJ can help TEIs design a programme on Christian-Jewish relations to fit with one of the Common Awards modules. They also organise trips to the Holy Land for Jewish and Christian clergy together, which may be of interest to ordinands. For further details, contact Dr Jane Clements - firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Philip’s Centre, Leicester
As well as providing an engagement with civic and community life, St Philip’s Centre provides training for Christians to equip them to live confidently in multi faith society, being both present and fully engaged in faithful witness and service. For Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, people of all other faiths and beliefs who would like to know and understand their faith neighbours and discover ways of strengthening community life for the common good. For people at work, whether in the public, private or voluntary sectors who need to understand more about faiths – the opportunities which are created when you get things right and the challenges that need to be addressed when things go wrong. For young people with aspirations to be the leaders of tomorrow. For further study enthusiasts looking to enhance their vocation or simply fascinated by the theological and social issues raised by religion, SPC offers post-graduate courses at Certificate, Diploma and MA levels in Inter-religious Relations.
For information on the range of courses that St Philip's offers, go to http://www.stphilipscentre.co.uk/church-courses/. They are happy to work with TEIs to design a bespoke programme to meet module requirements; get in touch with via email@example.com.
Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford
Our vision is the dream that we hold before us and what helps to spur us on in our work. The vision of CMCS is to see Muslim-Christian relationships transformed through shared academic study and by following the example of Jesus Christ. We equip leaders, resource scholars, disseminate and develop Biblically-based thinking at the Muslim-Christian interface through teaching, research and public education.
CMCS offer support with research, guided reading programmes, fellowships and a summer school for ordinands. They are also happy to provide bespoke input for TEIs. Read more at http://cmcsoxford.org.uk/studying/courses-training/ and contact the director, Ida Glaser, for further information - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The London Inter Faith Centre
London Inter Faith Centre is a Christian centre which seeks to engage with the reality of individuals and communities “Living Together in a Multi Faith Society”. We aim, by means of talks and courses, the study of scripture, a well-stocked library and a website, to resource Christians and others who encounter people of different faiths in their places of work and in their places of abode. We endeavour to respond to some of the challenges thrown up by our multi faith society through silent prayer and meditation, through meeting with individuals and communities from different faith (and ideological) backgrounds, and through the sharing of stories. We work side by side with other faith communities in tackling some of the social issues of our day. Opened in 1998, London Inter Faith Centre is a shared project of two church communities, the Church of England Parish Church of St Anne’s, Brondesbury and St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, West Kilburn.
Staff from the London Interfaith Centre are well placed to provide input for TEIs in the London area – find out more at http://londoninterfaith.org.uk/ and get in touch with co-director Laurence Hillel at email@example.com.
Faithful Neighbours, West Yorkshire
Faithful Neighbours (formerly Bradford Churches for Dialogue and Diversity) is a small seed taking root in the ground like a mustard seed: the idea is for all Christians to show friendship to people who follow different faiths. We equip churches for confident, welcoming mission and ministry in our multi-faith world. You can help us grow this idea into a large tree that welcomes all comers as in the story Jesus told in Matthew (13:32). Wherever we live, most of us now work or learn alongside people from different faith traditions. All of us are influenced by 24/7 media coverage and our opinions are affected by frequent references to different faith traditions. Faithful Neighbours is for all Christians to engage with - helping us to interact with confidence and hospitality in meeting people of different faiths. And our name reminds us that Jesus used the story of the Good Samaritan - someone from a different faith tradition - to demonstrate the principle of loving our neighbours.
Faithful Neighbours is a Presence & Engagement centre, with local hubs across West Yorkshire and the Dales. Find out more at http://www.faithfulneighbours.org.uk/ and to talk through ideas for working with TEIs contact the director, Richard Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre, Birmingham
The Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre (FNC) exists to provide a space where people of all faiths and none can meet one another; resource people living in a diverse society; and support people as they discover ways of working together to improve and strengthen their local areas. The FNC has been established in partnership with Birmingham Churches Together. The groups currently involved in The Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre are: The Feast, Thrive Together Birmingham and Interfaith Relations in the Diocese of Birmingham.
FNC is another of the Presence & Engagement centres with plenty of experience working with TEIs. More information about their work can be found at http://www.faithfulneighbourhoods.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=198. The director, Andrew Smith, is Interfaith Relations Advisor for the Bishop of Birmingham and he can be contacted at Andrews@birmingham.anglican.org.
Manchester Centre for the Study of Christianity and Islam
MCSCI was formed as a specialist centre at Nazarene Theological College in September 2013, and hosts evening and weekend courses for practitioners as well as offering teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level on Christian engagement with Islam.
This module handbook relates to a course which is not accredited by Common Awards, however it offers a useful insight into working with an external organisation (in this case, CCJ) to develop teaching on Christian-Jewish relations which considers both the historical context and contemporary reality.
In 2015, Lincoln School of Theology offered the Common Awards module 'Christianity and Interfaith Engagement' as a residential weekend for ordinands and lay ministers in training. The programme for the weekend was developed and delivered in collaboration with CCJ, and this document outlines the shape of the residential and how it was introduced to students.
This document outlines the programme used at Queen's to deliver Christianity and Interfaith Engagement (module TMM2257) at a residential Easter School in April 2016.
This document outlines the programme used to deliver Christianity and Interfaith Engagement (module TMM2257) at Queen's as a residential weekend in summer 2016.
This is the module handbook for Queen's MA level module 'Theology in Dialogue' (TMM42120), taught in four day-long sessions. As well as session outlines, it contains guidance on assignments and a reading list which may be of interest.
This module outline is for a course which is not accredited by Common Awards but rather is part of Queen's independent postgraduate programme, however it offers a useful example of how to incorporate visiting speakers and visits to external projects into a module.