American Civic Life

Enrich Your Interfaith Work and Join the Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program

Emerging Leaders connecting at the 2023 Convening in Chicago. Photo credit: Kelly Feldmiller

Emerging Leaders connecting at the 2023 Convening in Chicago. Photo credit: Kelly Feldmiller

When I joined the Emerging Leaders Network in 2018, I was brand new to the work of bridgebuilding and interfaith cooperation.

I had just joined the staff of Neighborly Faith—a nonprofit that seeks to help Christians engage “neighborly” with the religious diversity around them—and was eager to learn more. After attending Interfaith America’s annual Leadership Summit in Chicago that year, I received the resources and knowledge to become an effective interfaith leader as we celebrated the presence of diverse faith traditions in America.

In this season of life, Chris and Kevin, the co-founders of Neighborly Faith, were both mentors to me. Not only did they make time to answer my questions and provide opportunities for me to develop my abilities as a leader, but they also showed a vested interest in me as an emerging leader. They asked me hard questions, challenged me to think deeply about the polarizing issues in our world, and stretched my vision of how interfaith cooperation can change our society at a local and national level.

In this work of bridge building, relationships are necessary. We need partners, allies, and co-laborers if we are to create the beloved communities our world needs.  We also need relationships because this work is often taxing — emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Relationships keep us grounded, offer support when we are in need, and increase our potential for generative, longstanding impact in our world today.

In 2022, Rachel Kline launched the Emerging Leaders Mentorship program out of this recognition. “One of my favorite parts of interfaith cooperation and civic engagement is the impossibility of doing it alone,” she explained. “This work has to be done with others which leads to an incredible community and system of accountability.”

The Emerging Leaders Mentorship program is an opportunity open to all members of Interfaith America’s Emerging Leaders Network, whether you are new to this field or are a seasoned leader in this work. This program exists to equip interfaith leaders with the networks and relationships they need to thrive as leaders and field builders. Through intentional, one-on-one conversations, mentors and mentees each grow as they learn from one another, share ideas, and imagine together what it might look like to unlock the potential of America’s religious diversity.

We believe in the power of peer-to-peer education and mentorship and believe that these connections can increase interfaith cooperation in professional fields. If you’re interested in receiving a mentor to advance your interfaith leadership, let us know.

If you’re not yet part of the Emerging Leaders Network and want to be a part of the mentorship program, apply to join the network today!

Join the Emerging Leaders Network today!