Establishing and Managing a Campus-Wide Committee
Using this Toolkit
For campuses looking to deepen their commitment to engaging religious diversity or to take a holistic approach to interfaith efforts, an Interfaith Cooperation Committee (ICC) that engages faculty, administrators, staff, and students can be an effective approach. ICCs (or Multifaith Committees, or Interfaith Advisory Boards, etc.) can anchor an institutional commitment to interfaith cooperation at a university and serve as a means to promote, support, and enrich interfaith initiatives on campus. For many schools, the ICC leads the way in establishing new and innovative co-curricular and curricular programs as well as increasing buy-in for interfaith work across campus.
A campus may establish a committee in order to:
- Serve as a campus resource when issues or questions around religious diversity occur.
- Demonstrate institutional commitment to interfaith cooperation on campus.
- Promote interfaith cooperation on campus through programs, advocacy, student support, curriculum development, and other initiatives.
- Support campus community members at all levels of an institution (students, staff, faculty, administration, etc.) in developing interfaith awareness and literacy.
- Enrich the campus community by creating a permanent institutional resource for interfaith initiatives.
- Ensure cross-campus communication and coordination of interfaith initiatives.
The work of these committees comes in many different forms based on the particular goals or culture of the campus. Dominican University, a Catholic university which prizes its tradition of a liberal arts education, enables its interfaith committee to work with faculty on developing interfaith-focused content for different academic units. At Cornell University, an ICC was established to bring together staff, faculty, and students from across a traditionally decentralized university structure. They were able to share their knowledge with interested colleagues and began to establish a set of best practices for engaging religious diversity on campus.
Both of those schools—with very different ICCs, missions, and structures—established committees that fit the needs of their university in regards to developing and cultivating interfaith cooperation. The process of creating or sustaining such a committee will look different for every school. Use this guide as a part of your process for determining and establishing an ICC on your campus.
This guide will:
- Outline methods for forming an Interfaith Cooperation Committee on a university campus.
- Offer different sets of activities and missions for ICCs.
- Provide examples of mission statements, membership rosters, and committee structures.