The Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) at Eastern Mennonite University promotes collaboration among religious and nonreligious scholars and practitioners; provides education in our principles and practices, and creates a safe space for developing authentic relationships and mutual understanding both between and within communities. CIE partners with people and organizations for interfaith education and service to promote a more just and peaceful world.
What we do
At EMU, we enrich the university with interfaith education, hosting visiting scholars who expose students, faculty and staff to diverse religious traditions. We serve as a practicum site for undergraduate and graduate students, and have a vision to create an undergraduate interfaith studies minor.
On a local level, we resource the larger Harrisonburg area with speakers, a film series facilitated by a visiting Jewish professor, and learning tours to houses of worship. We are also conducting an analysis of local intra- and interfaith structures in order to create a community-wide network to prevent religiously motivated violence.
Nationally, we network with a broad base of peacebuilders to host events such as interreligious trauma healing workshops. We also seek to reduce prejudice by supporting an annual children’s Interfaith Peace Camp that takes place at EMU, and serve as consultants to other communities who wish to replicate this model.
In the global context, CIE has cultivated a rich partnership between EMU and educational institutions in Iran. We send scholars to teach courses at Iranian universities and CIE personnel regularly lead learning tours to the region. We also secure funding for Iranian students and scholars to attend and teach classes at EMU.