Grants

Exploring and Expanding Multifaith Work

Interfaith Youth Corp (IFYC) - Interfaith Innovations Grant 

Project Summary 

Over a one-year period, concurrent with phase one of the implementation of the College’s new strategic plan, we will engage 200 employees and students in conversations about a new book entitled, Rooted in a Heritage, Open to the World: Reflections across Campus on the Character of Gustavus Adolphus College.  The book will include 32 short essays written by Gustavus faculty and staff in the areas of: religious diversity at a Lutheran college, core values inside and outside the classroom, distinctive pursuits rooted in our heritage, national and international connections facilitated by our Lutheran affiliation, and poetry, people, and sense of place.  Gustavus has also received permission to include Eboo Patel’s essay, “What it Means to Build the Bridge: Identity and Diversity at ELCA Colleges” in an appendix.  Through this innovation grant, the College proposes to 1) publish and distribute 200 copies of this book to Gustavus employees and students, and 2) host lunchtime conversations for people who have received copies of the book to discuss the essays and to practice articulating the connection between the College’s Lutheran identity and its commitment to religious diversity.  The lunchtime gatherings will intentionally include identified student, faculty, and staff leaders in mixed discussion groups in order to build relationships across constituencies and to learn from one another’s perspectives and experiences.  

Goals

Our goals are 1) to engage at least 200 students and employees in conversations about the richness of the Lutheran tradition so that they develop a greater appreciation for it, and 2) to build a common framework and understanding about the connection between the College’s Lutheran heritage and identity and its commitment to religious diversity and interfaith leadership and learning.  The product we hope to produce is a published book entitled, Rooted in a Heritage, Open to the World: Reflections across Campus on the Character of Gustavus Adolphus College.  In the College’s new strategic plan, which will give direction to the College for the next ten years, one of the top three priorities of the College is to “diversify and expand the Gustavus community”. Equipping the campus to understand the connection between the College’s Lutheran identity and its commitment to diversify is critical.  We will partner with the President and her cabinet to publicize the book and the lunch conversations as a part of the strategic plan’s implementation process.  

(Future Grants and Projects to Come!)