Empowering Students. Learning from Peers. Transforming Campus.

In November of 2016, the U.S. presidential election capped a wave of incivility, giving way to rising tides of social division and outrageous acts of bigotry. In its wake, the positive engagement of American religious diversity is more complicated, and more vital, than ever before.

College and university educators understand their pivotal role in equipping students to work across lines of difference, and they are using the ILI as a springboard to transform their campus climates.

At the ILI, educators of all types - faculty, student affairs administrators, diversity professionals, and others - convene to learn and share impactful practices for interfaith cooperation on campus. Three days of workshops, collaborative sessions, and inspiring keynotes help educators form a strong foundation and an actionable plan for interfaith engagement on their campus. Alongside peers and students, each attendee has the opportunity to explore the key concepts of 21st century interfaith cooperation, learn how to facilitate interfaith activities on campus, and design a working strategy that addresses the unique challenges on their campus.

Educators leave the ILI with key knowledge and a plan to confidently address the worldview diversity landscape at their institution. But the momentum keeps going long after this one weekend. The ILI connects educators to a vibrant network of peers in higher education who share a common vision for interfaith cooperation, and a lasting connection to resources and support from IFYC to help them advance it.

Learn more about how the ILI can help you catalyze a movement for interfaith cooperation on your campus, and how you can take part in this unique experience.

Learning Tracks & Schedule

Whether you’re totally new to interfaith work or a returning to the ILI, educators can take part in a range of learning experiences to best suit their skill level and goals. Read on for a detailed description of this year’s tracks. For a full schedule of the 2017 Chicago ILI, including training organized by learning track visit our event site here.

Educator Track

Foundational Concepts of Interfaith Leadership
Interfaith Youth Core bases its work on years of scholarship and research. This track focuses on IFYC’s core content and methodologies, providing educators with a larger picture of how programs and campus initiatives are shaped for building interfaith cooperation.

Advanced Educator Tracks

Facilitating Interfaith Workshops
This session offers a “train-the-trainer” approach to facilitating interfaith trainings and workshops on your campus. Participants will explore the key considerations for developing interfaith workshops and develop a set of best practices for facilitation.
Interfaith Strategic Planning
In this track, IFYC staff will guide campus leaders through a process to design a strategic plan for interfaith cooperation at their institution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read on for Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Who should attend the ILI from my campus?

IFYC recommends that campuses bring multiple students and educators to the ILI so that when you return to campus, you have a network already established to implement the skills gained. For this reason, we have removed the cap on delegation size. Furthermore, we recommend sending a diversity of students and educators from various faiths and traditions, majors, and time spent involved with interfaith cooperation. Additionally, the tracks have been designed to meet the needs of students new to interfaith work as well as advanced students. Please be in touch with your IFYC contact directly or email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org if you have questions about this and strategies regarding who you should bring to an ILI from your campus.

What are some strategies for building a delegation to bring to the ILI?

Our 7 tracks are designed to provide skills for first and second year students through senior student leaders. IFYC recommends bringing a mix of promising potential leaders and already shining stars. Find representatives from different groups on campus to help spread the movement of interfaith work across campus and frame expectations to make sure that individuals selected to attend understand that they are expected to serve as interfaith leaders on campus upon their return and only bring those who are interested in making this commitment.

How do I attend the ILI and meet my observance needs?

The ILI is specially designed so that students and educators of all traditions can fully participate throughout the program. However, we understand that attending an interfaith event over the weekend can be challenging for a variety of reasons. In some ways, events during the work week and school week can be even more difficult to accommodate! No three days can work for everyone, but we do start the ILI on a Friday to ensure that participants who observe Shabbat can travel before Shabbat begins.

In order to provide an enriching and engaging event for all participants, IFYC is dedicated to providing the accommodations listed below and anything else that may not be listed to meet our participants’ needs. The following are available to all ILI participants:

  • Interfaith Room – Throughout the ILI, an interfaith room is available for prayer, meditation, reflection, and more. Participants are encouraged to use this shared space at any time during the ILI. The room is outfitted with prayer rugs and sheets for the floor, candles, kosher challah bread, kosher grape juice, a whiteboard, and markers. Due to the great diversity of traditions and practices represented, IFYC does not provide organized services or observances. Instead, we encourage participants to use the whiteboard and markers to organize their own DIY reflections and observances with fellow participants.
  • Break Times – The ILI is sprinkled with short breaks so that participants can take the time to meet their physical, spiritual, and mental needs. For example, on Friday there is a break between the opening lunch and the first training session when Muslim participants can break away for jumma service. Additionally, free times on Friday and Saturday may be used by Jewish participants to organize Shabbat observances in the interfaith room.
  • Area Places of Worship – IFYC staff are happy to connect participants with local places of worship or observance. Trainers will excuse any participants that choose to attend services during training times. For example, Christian participants may leave to attend mass or church on Sunday.
  • Meals – Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, zabiha/halal, and kosher certified meals are all available for participants to request. For Shabbat observant participants, you can request in advance a boxed dinner for Saturday night in your ILI registration at no additional cost. 

Please let us know if there's something not mentioned above that you need in order to be able to attend the ILI and participate in all activities, and we'll do our best to make it happen! Email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org with any questions or concerns.

What kinds of things do we do at the ILI?

  • Meet and briefly talk with fellow participants from across the country in one of our favorite activities, Talk Better Together.
  • Hear from IFYC’s Founder and President, Eboo Patel, and ask him about important issues in interfaith cooperation.
  • Connect with folks around similar interests in a series of informal round table discussions based on topics that you all choose together.
  • Meet IFYC alumni, hear the stories of their own interfaith work as professionals, and talk to them about how interfaith leadership extends beyond graduation.
  • Practice engaging in healthy dialogue from topics that you choose during our Unconference.

What do I learn as an educator (campus professional staff, faculty, or graduate student) at the ILI?

In sessions geared specifically for educators, you will have the opportunity to connect with other educators from campuses across the country to learn how to serve as mentors and advisors to students and as capacity builders for structural change. You will connect with other higher education professionals who are passionate about interfaith work and share best practices on a variety of topics. Additionally, you will explore strategies and methods for transforming your campus into a model of interfaith cooperation, including measuring the impact and quality of interfaith programs. Lastly, you will engage in meaningful discussions on what it means to be an interfaith leader in a professional context.