In partnership with the Teagle Foundation, IFYC awarded 14 grants to college and university campuses developing curricular programs that used concepts, methods, and frameworks from Interfaith and Interreligious Studies to bridge liberal arts education with pre-professional preparation. One of the most popular areas of interest for these grants were in Business and Management programs, educating students to be capable and confident interfaith leaders in a variety of business and workplace settings.
Across the country, more and more colleges and universities are considering how to incorporate interfaith leadership training into courses aimed at business, accounting, marketing, and management. We have collected examples of learning outcomes, reading assignments, classroom activities, and case studies from courses developed in these programs to help faculty imagine how they might engage similar questions and topics in their own classrooms. This resource includes descriptions and learning outcomes for two courses that are entirely focused on interfaith concerns for professional development, as well as two courses that include robust activities and assignments to include interfaith learning in a pre-existing business course.
Common Learning Activities
Common learning activities for courses that examine the role of interfaith understanding and leadership in the business sector include case studies, guest speakers, and interview assignments.
Case studies can be used to explore the religious or interfaith relevance of any type of workplace or business scenario. Case studies invite students to consider how religious identities or practices may be relevant to a particular circumstance, and how religious and worldview commitments may affect individual or collective responses to situations. When examining case studies, students may consider perspectives and commitments other than their own, or even the perspectives or commitments of multiple parties in the same case. Students are invited to identify what types of specific knowledge are necessary to resolve a case, thus building their own interfaith literacy.
Guest Speakers may be invited into a class to speak to how religious or worldview identity has had an impact on their professional life and the work that they do. They can share with students what types of interfaith knowledge have been relevant on the job, how they have developed their own interfaith literacy, and what types of interfaith knowledge and skills new hires could bring with them into the workforce. Guest speakers may offer insight on the real-world relevance of students’ training and preparation.
Interview Assignments encourage students to develop important skills related to researching an individual, profession, or religious identity, as well as make connections and consider their own development of knowledge. Students may interview an individual with questions such as, “How does your worldview, religious, or ethical commitments inform how you organize teams, manage colleagues, and consider leadership?” or “What are some ways that religious diversity has been relevant to your role as a business leader, and how did you develop the skills to manage diverse teams successfully?”