Interreligious Engagement Events

As part of UVU's commitment to educating the whole person, the university has prioritized the effort to shape the university as an inclusive institution, a place in which people of all faiths, or those choosing no faith,will be welcomed and supported.


Ongoing Programs


Annual Interfaith Student Council Excursion - New York City
Each year, student members of UVU’s Interfaith Student Council participate in a week-long immersive experience in New York City. The excursion is designed to expose students to diverse religious communities, engage students with scholars and religious leaders, and provide leadership training and team-building in preparation to lead UVU student interfaith efforts.
 
Annual Religion, Culture & Diversity Symposium 
For the past twenty years, UVU’s Religious Studies Program has hosted an annual symposium designed to bring scholars, students, and the community together to discuss issues of relevance at the intersection of religious studies, ethics, and civic engagement. The event is specifically designed to cultivate a deeper understanding of the varieties of religious devotion and the impact of this diversity on our community, nation, and world. 
 
Foundations of Inclusion - Campus Interreligious Training
The UVU Foundations of Inclusion is a workshop series designed to introduce faculty, staff, and administrators to topics related to diversity and inclusion. The interreligious track focuses on the religious diversity of the state and the institution. It examines the challenges that both religious and non-religious students face on UVU’s campus and explores inclusive strategies in a predominate religious culture.

Monthly Faith Forums 

Monthly Faith Forums are sponsored by UVU’s Interfaith Student Council and designed to facilitate dialogue across religious traditions and ethical perspectives. Faith Forums also address issues of common interest on the role of religion in society and the relationship between religious and secular perspectives.

Annual Interfaith Leadership Institutes
In partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), select UVU students participate in Interfaith Leadership Institutes hosted in Chicago. These three-day events gather students from across the country for immersive training in campus interfaith leadership. Student leaders bring their experience back to UVU to assist with activities sponsored by the Interfaith Student Council. 

Monthly
 Faith & Film Series
This monthly series is sponsored and hosted by the Reflection Center and is designed to expose students to religious diversity through film.  
 

Events


Parliament of the World's Religions 
November 16, 2018
The 2018-19 Interfaith Student Council will attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada. Students will participate in a wide range of sessions and engage with students and religious leaders from around the world. Speakers include Karen Armstrong, Eboo Patel, Vandana Shiva, Cardinal Thomas Collins, and Rabbi David Rosen.

Interfaith Leadership Lab - Developing Interfaith Leadership in the Intermountain West
(in partnership with Interfaith Youth Core)
April 20-21, 2018
Students from across the intermountain west gathered to engage issues of religious diversity on their campuses and explore best practices to advance student interfaith leadership.

Symposium on Religious Pluralism & Diplomacy
March 29-30, 2018
This interdisciplinary symposium explored the intersection of religious diversity and democracy from historical, legal, ethical, and peace-building perspectives. A variety of scholars explored the values of tolerance, respect for difference, and cross-cultural dialogue. The event included a workshop for students to consult with symposium participants on their research projects. 

Panel Discussion: Judaism & Antisemitism
November 28, 2017
With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

Promoting Respect for Religious Diversity Through Art Education
Fall Semester, 2017 (co-sponsored with the Center for the Study of Ethics)
An interdisciplinary UVU faculty team interviewed spiritual leaders from diverse traditions who came together for a panel discussion of K-12 curriculum on art and religion. The goal of this project is to create a teacher’s guidebook and a series of videos that includes respectful and contextualized art lesson plans on diverse religions and cultures in Utah.

Interreligious Understanding in a Global Context
November 16, 2016
Utah Valley University hosted the Elijah Institute’s Board of World Religious Leaders to engage with students and community leaders. These religious leaders identify with a variety of faith traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. They convened to explore models and best practices for interreligious engagement in global contexts. 

Islam and Religious Understanding Symposium
March 29, 2016
This symposium was designed to address critical issues related to religious understanding in a pluralistic society. The increased profile of Islam in recent years invites us to consider questions related to misunderstanding, prejudice, and religious literacy. 

Parliament of the World's Religions - Student Fellowship Program
October 15-18, 2015
As part of the Parliament of the World’s Religions that convened in Salt Lake City, UVU students served alongside other Utah college and university students in the Student Fellowship Program. Two hundred and fifty students from across the state received training in interfaith diplomacy and volunteered at the Parliament, which hosted 10,000 attendees from 80 countries and 40 religious traditions. 

Conference on Mormons & Catholics: From the Margins to the Mainstream
April 13-14, 2015
This conference explored the history of Mormon-Catholic relations, investigated theological distinctions, and considered the future of these traditions in the twenty-first century. Sessions addressed the ways in which Latter-day Saints and Catholics have worked together in recent years on humanitarian aid, immigration reform, religious freedom, and issues related to marriage. 

"Religious Freedom in the Twenty-First Century: Commonalities Among Catholics & Latter-day Saints"
Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations
April 13, 2015
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

Meditation Across the Traditions Symposium
March 5, 2015
This symposium brought together practitioners from various spiritual traditions to share their contemplative practices with the UVU community. Practitioners from Hindu, Taoist, Sufi, Buddhist, Christian, and Indigenous traditions demonstrated and explained the role that contemplative practice has in their respective traditions. These perspectives were then engaged in a culminating panel in which audience and practitioners were able to exchange ideas and make connections across traditions. 

Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) Institutional Partnership, 2014-15
This year-long partnership provided consultation and data gathering from IFYC. Utah Valley University hosted IFYC staff for strategy sessions with UVU faculty, staff and administration; the administration of a Campus Climate Assessment Survey; and leadership training for UVU’s Interfaith Student Council. 

President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge - Washington DC
September 22-23, 2014
UVU participated as a Vanguard Campus for the annual convening of the Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge at Georgetown University (sponsored by the Department of Education and the Interfaith Youth Core). Accompanying President Matthew Holland, UVU representatives participated in workshops and panels designed to share best practices with other institutions committed to interfaith activities.  

Presidential Lecture: "Changing the World Through Interfaith Cooperation"
Eboo Patel, Founder & President, Interfaith Youth Core
September 3, 2014
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals in Conversation
November 15, 2013
In partnership with the Orem LDS Institute of Religion, the IRI hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity in America. The panel included Richard Mouw, former President of Fuller Theological Seminary, Matthew Holland, President of Utah Valley University, and Brian Birch, Director of Religious Studies, UVU.

"Religious Diversity: America's Strength and Challenge"
Laurie Goodstein, National Religion Correspondent, New York Times
October 23, 2013
Laurie Goodstein presented on how Americans live out their faith in an age of increasing religious diversity. She has reported extensively on religious diversity, from Muslims to Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians to Latter-day Saints. Her stories have garnered numerous awards from media and academic organizations. 

Religious Disagreement Conference
September 19-20, 2013
This conference explored the emerging literature on the philosophical dimensions of religious disagreement. Presentations from leading philosophers addressed issues related to the ethical, epistemological, and theological dimensions of religious diversity and conflict.   

Intersecting Convictions: Core Beliefs & Civil Dialogue Conference
March 1, 2013
This conference was designed to examine and model the highest standards of interreligious dialogue. The event gathered representatives from Jewish, Latter-day Saint, Atheist, and Evangelical Christian perspectives to examine the ways in which their core beliefs intersect and diverge.

Perspective on the Mormon Moment - Lecture and Panel Discussion
February 13, 2013
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

Unresolvable: The kingdom of God on Earth - Film Screening and Panel Discussion
November 14, 2012
Religion and the Art of the Civic Dialogue was a symposium devoted to the exploration of strategies and methods for negotiating religious diversity in a pluralistic society. The symposium aimed to create a forum wherein a variety of perspectives are brought into meaningful and productive dialogue.

Bishp John C. Wester Lecture and Workshop
September 18, 2012
The Interreligious Engagement Initiative collaborated with the Orem LDS Institute of Religion to host Bishop Wester of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. The Bishop spoke at the Orem Institute followed by a student workshop with President Matthew Holland on religious diversity and inclusion.

Ramadan Iftar Dinner
(co-sponsored with the Utah Valley Islamic Center)
August 9, 2012

"At Crossroads Again: Mormon & Protestant Encounters" Conference
(co-sponsored with the Foundations for Religious Diplomacy)
February 24-25, 2012
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

"Spiritual, But Not Religious?" Conference
December 8, 2011
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.

Cultural and Religious Pluralism Today
(in partnership with the City Library)
September 8-11, 2011
Utah Valley University With the rise of global anti-semitism, this panel explored the state of Judaism in Utah and the United States from the perspective of Jewish leaders in our region. Participants included Rabbi Benni Zippel, Rabbi David Levinsky, and Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah.