Multifaith Advisory Board

Advising students and the Chaplains' Office regarding religious diversity, equity and inclusion.

Siri C. Erickson, Chair Christianity (ELCA)

Siri Erickson

Rev. Erickson holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Carleton College and an M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology, where she focused her studies on methods of theological reflection that integrate scientific knowledge, ecological civilization, and the common good. Rev. Erickson worked as Pastor of Lifelong Learning for nine years in an ELCA congregation and is currently Chaplain of the College at Gustavus. 

 

Marian Broida, Interfaith Program Coordinator, Judaism

Dr. Broida has taught Bible and Jewish Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College since the fall of 2015. She completed her M.A. in Jewish Studies and her PhD in Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, specializing in Hebrew Bible. One of Dr. Broida’s greatest joys is providing avenues for non-Jewish and Jewish students to learn about Judaism. In 2016, she taught a January term course on experiencing the Passover Seder. That April she organized and co-led a campus Seder at Gustavus for approximately 200 students, faculty, and others, with the help of students in her Jewish Studies courses. 

Marcia Bunge, Christianity (ELCA)

Dr. Bunge is a Professor and Bernhardson Distinguished Chair of Lutheran Studies in Religion. A graduate of St. Olaf College (majoring in English and Music), Dr. Bunge earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in hermeneutics and historical and systematic theology. She has taught at Luther Seminary (1985-1990), Luther College (1990-1995), Gustavus Adolphus College (1995-1997), and most recently Christ College at Valparaiso University (1997-2012).

John Cha, Buddhism

Dr. Cha is an associate Professor in Religion and Japanese Studies and holds a B.A. from Quincy College, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Cha's teaching and research interests include Buddhist philosophy, Indian intellectual history, comparative philosophy, and inter-religious dialogue (primarily Buddhist/Christian dialogue). 

Tom Flunker, Diversity Center Director

Tom Flunker is the Diversity Center Director at Gustavus Adolphus College. He has a M.S. in Psychology of Culture from Walden University. Throughout his years in the field of education, his endeavors have always included a respect and passion for mentoring, advising, and guiding underserved and underresourced students, families, and communities. 

Janet Jennings '17, Christianity, ELCA

Janet Jennings is the Assistant Director of the Diversity Center. She has a B.A. in Pyschological Sciences from Gustavus. She serves as the Diversity Leadership Council advisor, and as a student was on the President's Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Samuel Kessler, Judaism 

Dr. Kessler is an Assistant Professor of Religion and the Åke and Kristina Bonnier Chair in Jewish Studies. He received his BA in History from New York University and MA and PhD in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Between 2016 and 2018 he was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech. His scholarship focuses primarily on nineteenth-century religious responses to modernity. He works on topics in Judaism, postmodern theory (Foucault), Holocaust, and twentieth-century literature (Roth, Malamud, Durrell).

Fuad Naeem, Islam

Dr. Naeem is an assistant Professor in Religion and teaches Islam and World Religions at Gustavus Adolphus College and has previously taught at Williams College, Georgetown University, and George Mason University. He has a Ph.D in Theological and Religious Studies- Religious Pluralism, specializing in Islam with a minor in Christianity (2015) and an M.A. in History of Religions- Hinduism and Islam from George Washington University.

Jace Riggin '16, Christianity, ELCA

Jace Riggin is an Admission Counselor at Gustavus Adolphus College. He has a B.A. in both Political Science and Communication Studies from Gustavus. As a student, he served as Co-Chair of the Diversity Leadership Council, Student member of the Academic Affairs Committee, Student member of the Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and worked as a member of Tradition Articulation Team for the Strategic Action Planning Committee.


PURPOSE

The purpose of the Multifaith Advisory Board is:

  1. to advise the Chaplains’ Office regarding building community and capacity (both at individual and community levels) for interreligious and multifaith activities and programs at Gustavus.
  2. to provide opportunities for those interested in interreligious/multifaith work to coordinate and be informed about one another’s efforts and concerns.
  3. to advocate for a more religiously and philosophically diverse and inclusive campus and for increased religious access for all.