2020 ILI Early Interest

Fill out the early interest form for 2020 ILI and be the first to know when registration opens and save $50 off your registration.

Discounts and Scholarships

We don’t want the cost of the 2020 ILI to be prohibitive so we offer several discounts and scholarships you can read more about below.

What is the ILI?

The Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI) is the largest gathering of students and educators with a commitment to American religious pluralism. Over the course of three days, participants learn to bridge divides and forge friendships across lines of religious and worldview differences. Come to the ILI with the passion to bring people together and leave equipped with the knowledge and skills to bring the movement for interfaith cooperation back to your campuses and community. Check out what happened at the 2019 ILI to learn more.

Who is the ILI for? 

Any undergraduate student, graduate student, or educator at an undergraduate college or university within the United States is eligible to attend the ILI. Learn more about what we offer undergraduate students, campus staff, and faculty by reviewing the tracks from the 2019 ILI and get our recommendations of who is best to bring from your campus.

2020 ILI Schedule*

Day 1

Friday, August 7th

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm: Check-In
  • 11:00am – 11:30am: Orientation for First-Time Participants (optional)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Lunch
  • 12:00pm – 1:30pm: Opening Plenary
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm: Training Session 1 for All Tracks
  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm: Break with Refreshments
  • 4:30pm – 6:00pm: Training Session 2 for All Tracks
  • 6:15pm – 7:45pm: Plenary Session and Dinner

2020 ILI Schedule

Day 2

Saturday, August 8th

  • 8:00am – 8:50am: Breakfast with Birds of a Feather Affinity Groups
  • 9:00am – 11:00am: Training Session 3 for All Tracks
  • 11:00am – 12:30pm: Unconference with Refreshments
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Campus Initiative Showcases
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch
  • 1:30pm – 3:00pm: Training Session 4 for All Tracks
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Break with Refreshments
  • 3:30pm – 5:00pm: Plenary Session
  • 5:00pm: Night on the Town (Dinner on your own)

Day 3

Sunday, August 9th

  • 8:00am – 8:50am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 11:00am: Training Session 5 for All Tracks
  • 11:00am – 11:30am: Break with Refreshments
  • 11:30am – 12:00pm: Campus Action Planning
  • 12:00pm – 1:30pm: Leadership Award Presentation and Closing Lunch

Student Tracks

Foundations of Interfaith Leadership

Best for: Students new to interfaith work. All undergraduate students are welcome to join this track.

For participants ready to learn the foundations of interfaith work and leadership, this is where to start. Through examining case studies, highlighting meaningful skills, and showcasing narratives of cooperation, we will explore concepts of interfaith leadership, learn how to bridge divides, and lay the foundations for advancing interfaith cooperation on your campus and in your personal life.

Interfaith Builders: Advanced Student Leadership

Best for: Only undergraduate students who have previously attended the ILI or have led and/or experienced interfaith work on campus are eligible for this track.*

Designed for experienced student interfaith leaders, this track focuses on advancing your leadership skills and offers a deep dive into how to better mobilize your fellow students, address difficult issues of religious diversity, and articulate your message on campus.

*If you have not attended the ILI but do have equivalent training or interfaith campus work, there will be a section in the registration to explain that experience. If you aren’t sure which track to choose or have questions about your equivalent experience, please email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org and we can advise you on which track is appropriate.

Educator Tracks

How to Choose Your Tracks and Deep Dive Sessions

New to the 2020 ILI, all our educator training tracks are either two sessions or single session deep dive. Recognizing that campus professionals are eager for information and come from a range of backgrounds, this new format allows for educators to personalize an ILI experience that fits with their needs and interests.

On Friday and Saturday, we are offering two-session tracks. You will attend one track on Friday and a different track on Saturday. As a note, if you are new to the ILI or interfaith work, you are required to take the Foundations of Interfaith Cooperation track.

On Sunday, we are offering deep dives on specific topics affecting interfaith work and higher education. You will attend one of these single session options.

As a summary, you choose:

  • 2 of the two-session tracks (one of the tracks will be on Friday, and one will be on Saturday)
  • 1 deep dive on Sunday

You don’t need to choose which day you want your two-session tracks. We will figure that out for you! Expand the section below to see examples of educator schedules. Please email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org if you have any questions.

Example Educator Track Schedule

Here’s two example schedules for educators to give you a sense of what the new track and deep dive schedules could look like.

Here’s Educator Ashley’s sample schedule:

ILI Day Session Type/Name Session Length
Day 1: Friday Training: Deepening Your Facilitation Skills Two sessions
Day 2: Saturday Training: Foundations of Interfaith Cooperation Two sessions
Day 3: Sunday Deep Dive: Assessing Your Interfaith Programs One session

Here’s Educator Jesse’s sample schedule:

ILI Day Session Type/Name Session Length
Day 1: Friday Training: Examining and Utilizing Findings from the Latest IDEALS Research Two sessions
Day 2: Saturday Training: Deeping Your Facilitation Skills Two sessions
Day 3: Sunday Deep Dive: Building an Action Plan One session

Friday and Saturday Training Tracks

Foundations of Interfaith Cooperation

Best for: Educators (faculty, staff, graduate students, or administrators) who are new to interfaith work and would like to learn about the broader context for interfaith work in higher education. *This session is required for all educators who are new to the ILI*

This foundational track focuses on exploring Interfaith Youth Core’s core methodology and research, providing educators with a larger picture of the vision for religious pluralism in higher education. Educators will examine the core concepts and social science of interfaith cooperation and make connections between those ideas and their own campus work.

Examining and Utilizing Findings from the Latest IDEALS Research

Best for: Educators (faculty, staff, graduate students, or administrators) interested in strengthening program impact by utilizing research.

Are you equipped with the data you need to understand and support your students’ interfaith development? Presenting the brand-new findings from Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), these sessions provide the most up-to-date research on campus climate and student development related to interfaith cooperation.

Deepening Your Facilitation Skills: Tools for Campus Professionals

Best for: Educators (faculty, staff, graduate students, or administrators) who work closely with students, advise interfaith groups, and/or design and implement campus training experiences.

Facilitating interfaith experiences— from advising student groups, to running programming, to training your peers— is a critical component of campus professionals’ work. Highlighting BRIDGE trainings, case studies, interfaith learning videos, and other pedagogies that engage religious diversity, these sessions equip participants with practical tools to better facilitate interfaith engagement on campus. Expand your own professional skill set as you develop your interfaith abilities.

Best Practices for Sustainable Interfaith Initiatives

Best for: Educators (faculty, staff, graduate students, or administrators) who develop and implement interfaith initiatives on their campus.

Building effective and long-lasting interfaith programs is a transformative but difficult task. How do you turn piecemeal programming into an institutionalized approach to interfaith engagement? This track will actively encourage peer learning by both soliciting and sharing best practices in leading interfaith programs, while featuring guests from colleges and universities that will discuss how they have built and sustained their interfaith programs.

Interfaith Leadership Seminar

Best for: Experienced interfaith educators. *This track will be limited to educators (staff, faculty, and administrators) whose positions involve playing a central or guiding role in interfaith efforts on campus and who have been engaged in this work for two years or more.*

This advanced track will provide an opportunity for highly engaged interfaith educators to connect with one another in a peer learning setting. These sessions will offer an opportunity for interfaith educators to discuss challenging issues in interfaith work in higher education, troubleshoot campus-specific issues, and explore individual leadership opportunities with attention to future directions for the field.

Sunday Deep Dives

Election 2020: Bridging Differences in Polarized Times

As the 2020 election approaches, issues of polarization, deep disagreement, and religious and worldview identity face many campuses today. For campus interfaith leaders, what is the best way to promote engagement across these differences during the election season? Join this one-part session to discuss the best concepts and approaches for successfully promoting pluralism campus.

Building an Action Plan

Have a lot of great ideas for interfaith cooperation on your campus? Ready to make those ideas a reality? Then attend this deep dive focused on catalyzing your interfaith work. Using an asset-based approach, participants will be able to start moving forward their ideas for engaging religious diversity.

Interfaith Strategic Planning for Your Campus

Is your campus ready to move beyond one-time programs to a campus-wide conversation about the priority of interfaith cooperation? This session will provide concrete tools for advancing this type of strategic planning process. Led by experienced strategy consultants from IFYC, participants will learn about potential approaches to galvanize a campus-wide strategic planning process around interfaith engagement.

Developing Student Leaders: Programs and Approaches

This session highlights campus examples of effective student interfaith leadership programs, ranging from co-curricular based development work to more academic-focused programs. IFYC staff and guest campus partners will share their insights into how interfaith leadership can be cultivated in an intentional and long-lasting way.

Assessing Your Interfaith Programs

You have lots of interfaith work on your campus, but how do you know it’s…well…actually working?? Assessing the effectiveness of interfaith engagement is a critical part of a programming cycle and this session outlines the basic concepts and tools you need to determine how much change you’re making on campus.

2019 ILI Experience

Get an idea of what the ILI was like in 2019 with photos, videos and attendee testimonials.

Experience the 2019 ILI



313 undergraduates and 187 educators



46 public institutions




53 Midwest, 46 East Coast, 27 Southeast, & 23 West Coast campuses

ILI Stories

"I think it was important
for all of us in that room
to sit down and discuss the problems we all faced on our campuses and to help one another overcome them. Campus leaders tend to feel pretty isolated and it was great to come together for a common cause and to realize that we are not alone and that we are all in this fight together."
- Mandy Tu
Student, Sewanee: University of the South
"The five training sessions
taken together were
of both conceptual and practical use to me. They helped me learn a new vocabulary for expressing interfaith cooperation and they did help me develop at least the beginning of an action plan for our campus activities this year."
- Brian DuSell
Educator, University of San Francisco
"After ILI, I identified
the need for a safe
space to conduct dialogues, and I plan to collaborate with the convocation office (religious office) at my school to organize events where discussions can be had with people to monitor the progress of these dialogues."
- Carolina Borjas
Student, Pepperdine University
twitter logoBaylor MA@BaylorMA
This past weekend four @Baylor civic interfaith student leaders went to Chicago to attend #ifycILI. They are excited about the initiatives they will be bringing back to campus this fall. "You belong. You're a neighbor. You are needed." #bettertogetherbu @ifyc @BUSpiritualLife
twitter logoCaleb J. Keith@DrCalebJKeith
I have appreciated #ifycILI 2019 for several reasons. Primarily, however, it has been a place to dream AND identify action steps to make dream become reality. #ifycILI
twitter logoEllie Thompson@AndersEllie
Listening to students talk about there take always from #ifycILI There is no limit to the #Interfaith applications on campus, realizing we have great support and assets on our campus, desire to learn much more about #Islam

ILI Stories

"For those who are just
starting in interfaith
it provides a good, basic foundation to begin with. This way anyone can feel welcome to come and learn based on their skill levels."
- Natalie Nabass
Student, Pacific Lutheran University
"This was an incredibly
diverse group
in representation across positional power, robust interfaith programs, teaching and research experience, and other content knowledge."
- Liane Ortis
Educator, University of Northern Colorado
"The panel was great
and helped show
some amazing things that an interfaith leader might do."
- Marion Larson
Educator, Bethel University
twitter logoFrank Shushok, Jr.@fshushok
I’m always grateful when I land in spaces like #ifycILI where people of goodwill seek to find common ground. #ifycILI #interfaithleadership
twitter logoAbdillahi Dirie@MOStateSBP
In Chicago for the weekend attending the Interfaith Leadership Institute with @SchroederEthan and @tara_orr77! Learning about how people with different faiths, worldviews, and traditions can bridge divides and find a common ground. Thanks to Ekklesia for inviting us! #ifycILI
twitter logoMatt Hartley@rmatthartley
“If everyone brings the same thing, potlucks are boring.” Interfaith Youth Core @ifyc founder Eboo Patel in the house! #ifycILI

"I felt like I was learning substantive things
that were also very applicable… It got the mix of theory and practice just right, and was fun, to boot. I'm excited to bring some of the exercises back to my campus."
- Matisse Peppet
Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The track I was in
was so practical
and so easily applicable. Because we were asked to come in with a particular program or initiative in mind that we were hoping to start, I spent the whole weekend being able to immediately apply the things I was learning to my actual work, rather than in a vague, hypothetical sense..."
- Katherine Grooms
Educator, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
"The opportunity to
create an action plan
for a project that can be implemented on my campus was beneficial."
- Tondaleya Jackson
Educator, Benedict College
twitter logoVivian Taylor MSW 2020@TayloredLooks
We understood the POWER of our work TOGETHER!
A whole word!
#ifycILI #conference #solidarityacrossreligions
twitter logoUNFInterfaithCenter@Unfinterfaith
Florida in the house! Great weekend at @ifyc Leadership Institute and meeting our new interfaith friends and neighbors at @EmbryRiddle @stetsonu @UofTampa @bethunecookman #ifycILI #BetterTogether
twitter logoUNFInterfaithCenter@Unfinterfaith
‏ @UofNorthFlorida #BetterTogether leaders Hannah and Rachel and Associate Director Matt are Interfaithing this weekend at @ifyc Interfaith Leadership Institute. Also always repping the #SWOOP #Ospreys #ifycILI

Who can attend the ILI?

Any undergraduate student, graduate student, or educator at an undergraduate college or university within the United States is eligible to attend.  The registration process for the ILI will help route folks to the training track best suited to their needs. While educators are welcome to attend without their students, 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, there is no cap on how many participants from one campus can attend. We recommend sending mixed group of students and educators from various faiths and traditions, majors, and levels of involvement with interfaith cooperation. With multiple student and educator tracks to choose from, we want to make sure you get the most out of this ILI experience! Please email  leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org if you have questions about strategies regarding who you should bring to an ILI from your campus and want to talk to an IFYC staff member.

ILI Discounts

We offer several discounts and scholarships for students and educators to help make it feasible to attend the Interfaith Leadership Institute. We recommend being in touch with a member of our staff so they can advise you on the various discounts and scholarships available. They can also help you strategize the best team of students and educators to attend the ILI. Please email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org and someone from our team will be in touch.

Early Interest Discount

Sign up to be the first to know when registration opens March 5 2020 and receive a discount code to save $50 off your registration fee.

Early Bird Discount

Once registration opens on March 5, 2020, register by May 29, 2020 at 11:59pm CST to receive our early bird discount. Regular registration costs $299, but our early bird rate is $199!

New Campus Discount

Has your campus attended the ILI before? If not, your campus is eligible to receive 2 free registrations! Check this list to see if your campus has attended and if not, email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org to receive your discount code for 2 free registrations.

Refer a Friend Discount

Are you a current undergrad who has attended the ILI and wants to refer a friend? Our Refer a Friend discount lets you nominate another current undergrad (from any campus) who wants to come to the 2020 ILI. They get a free admission and you get a discount code for $25 off your registration! When registration opens on March 5, 2020, check back here for the online form link for you to fill out to let us know which friend you want to refer.

IFYC Alumni Nomination

Alumni of our programs can nominate current undergraduate students to receive free admission to the ILI. When registration opens, check back here for the online form link that an IFYC Alum can fill out on your behalf.

Better Together Days Participation

If your campus participates in Better Together Days February 17-21, 2020, you could earn 1 to 4 free registrations? Learn more about how to get involved!

Webinars and Trainings

If you’ve attended one of our webinars or a regional gathering this academic year, you’ll receive a discount code by email for $50 off your registration (which can be used in conjunction with the other discounts above). Email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org to learn more and sign up for upcoming online learning opportunities for the rest of the academic year.

ILI Scholarships  

IFYC recognizes that, due to various circumstances, the cost of attending an ILI may not be feasible for everyone who wishes to attend. Because we do not want cost to be a hindrance to engaging with interfaith leadership, IFYC has limited registration and lodging scholarships available for undergraduate students and eligible staff and faculty who present a strong application and indicate financial need on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students and educators who qualify for the registration scholarship will be eligible for free admission. Students and educators who qualify for the lodging scholarship will receive free lodging at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, the location of the ILI, for the Friday and Saturday nights of the ILI. There will be a question in the registration process where you can indicate if you want to apply for one or both scholarships.  

Email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org if you have any 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, there is no cap on delegation size. We recommend sending a diversity of students and educators from various faiths and traditions, majors, and level of involvement with interfaith cooperation.

The various training experiences are designed for both participants new to interfaith work and for those looking for advanced skills.  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 training tracks are designed for new and advanced leaders. We encourage delegations to come with representatives from a variety of student organizations and academic pursuits. For educators, we recommend a mixture of staff, faculty, and administrators to ensure that multiple perspectives are brought from your campus to engage in interfaith leadership. It is also important that those who attend are empowered to return to campus to bring their new interfaith skills to their role on campus.

Will IFYC provide for my accessibility needs at the ILI?

We are always looking for ways to make the ILI more welcoming, accommodating, and inclusive for our attendees. Here are some of the ways we try to create that environment but if there is anything else we can do, please don’t hesitate to email leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org and ask.

Dietary Needs and Food Allergies  ​
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, zabiha/halal, and kosher certified meals are all available for participants to select in their registration and there is space to include food allergies. We ensure that our caterers can provide or acquire foods that meet any dietary needs and allergies and no beef, pork, shellfish, or alcohol-based meals are served at the ILI. Please be sure to share your dietary needs and allergies in registration to ensure your needs are met.

Event and Hotel Space​
The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Information about accessible hotel rooms can be found on the hotel's webpage about rooms. If you need assistance while on site at the ILI, please speak with your trainer or find an IFYC staff person at the registration desk on the 7th floor. 

Registration for the ILI asks for information regarding accessibility needs. If you indicate that you have accessibility needs when registering, an IFYC staff member will contact you to follow up closer to the ILI to ensure those needs are met. 

Audio and Visual Needs
Interpreters for American Sign Language are available and can be requested within registration for the ILI. All videos shown in plenary sessions and within the training spaces will have closed captioning. Additionally, all presentations and downloadable resources are available for Braille programs upon request within registration.

Allergy Accommodations and Fragrances
As a courtesy to attendees with chemical sensitivities, we ask participants of the ILI to refrain from using scented products, like cologne and perfume, to help ensure the comfort of everyone at the ILI.  

Gender Neutral and Gender Specific Bathrooms 
Gender neutral (labelled as all gender) and gender specific bathrooms will be available at the ILI near all meeting spaces and signage will be posted to help direct attendees.  

Scooter and Wheelchair Rentals 
IFYC can arrange for wheelchairs and scooters for attendees, which can be requested within registration. Two wheelchairs are also available for guests to use within the hotel where the ILI will be located and can be requested at check-in/hotel front desk. 

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

We recognize that a weekend leadership institute can bring up challenges to observing your faith or worldview practices. Therefore, we make every effort to provide space and time for participants to meet their observance needs.

IFYC provides the following accommodations for our participants. If you still have concerns, please contact us at leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org.

  • 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 – We recognize that not all observances can take place within our conference space. During the ILI, our CrowdCompass app will list a selection of local places of worship to assist with your practices. IFYC staff are happy to directly connect participants with local places of worship or observance as well. If you need to step out during a training session, trainers will excuse any participants that choose to attend services. 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 a boxed dinner for Saturday night in advance when you register at no additional cost.
How can I fundraise to attend the ILI?

As you prepare to attend the Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI), we encourage you to explore resources in your community for fundraising purposes. Please remember, IFYC does offer many discounts as well as scholarships to reduce the registration fee cost. However, travel and lodging is not covered. Check out some of the tips below to help as you fundraise to attend the ILI: 

1. Make a budget of your estimated expenses for the ILI. Determine what portion you will be able to personally cover and what portion you will need additional funding for.

2. Brainstorm a list of potential sponsors/funders:

Staff/Faculty – think of the staff or faculty at your school who are connected to certain departments, programs, etc. who can help with finding funds for your trip

Student Organizations – consider student organizations that you are a part of and if any of them may have applicable funds or opportunities for funding that could be used towards this opportunity

Student Government – approach members of your student government to see if there are any funds they can allocate towards your trip 

Departments/Offices – think of which campus resources, both academic and administrative, who might be interested in sending you to the ILI. You might want to approach the following places or people: Multicultural Affairs Office, Greek Life, Dean of Students Office, Chaplain's Office, Residential Life Office, Community Relations, Alumni Relations, Community Service, Civic Engagement, Career Services, Religion Department, Political Science Department, or the Sociology Department. You might also check with local businesses, civic organizations, local houses of worship and religious leaders or communities, local interfaith communities, and friends and family.

3. Check on the web for ideas, opportunities, suggestions, and more information on fundraising! From letter writing to raising money online, these sites have some helpful hints: