Nearly 30 religious leaders and activists participated in early Junein Hartford Seminary?s newly designed Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop.
Supported by a generous grant from the Shinnyo-en Foundation, the seminar, which runs June 3 through June 8, is providing participants from many faiths ? clergy, educators, administrators, chaplains, and others ? a deeper understanding of America?s current religious landscape and strategies for engaging its diversity.
?In a culture marked by religious diversity, effective religious leadership must include awareness of, and engagement with, faith traditions other than one’s own. I am delighted that Hartford Seminary is offering this special seminar that reflects our mission and underscores the importance of interfaith dialogue in today?s multi-faith world,? President Heidi Hadsell said. ?We?re grateful to the Shinnyo-en Foundation for its support.?
Seminar participants and presenters include Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Pagans, and Unitarians, as well as Christians from many denominations. Geographically, they hail from many parts of the United States ? Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California, New York and New England ? plus Iraq, Indonesia, and Turkey.
?This workshop has attracted a circle of highly talented and articulate individuals with whom it is a joy to work,? said Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associae in Interfaith Studies, who is the workshop?s coordinator and lead instructor. ?Experiential learning takes place during every session, thanks to the multi-religiousness of the group itself,? she said.
For a number of enrollees, participation in the Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop is a major step toward fulfillment of the requirements for ?Understanding and Engaging Religious Diversity? ? a foundational course in Hartford Seminary?s new Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts.
Hartford Seminary is a laboratory for this type of innovative project. The Seminary is dedicated to preparing peacemakers and promoting vital faith communities. It offers unique programs within an interfaith setting, focusing on deepening knowledge of one?s own tradition balanced with developing skills in interfaith dialogue. Students enjoy a lived experience, in the classroom and on campus.