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, 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.

 

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.

 

What activities will we 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 their stories of their own interfaith work as professionals, and talk to them about how interfaith leadership can extend beyond graduation.
  • Practice engaging in healthy dialogue from topics that you choose during our Unconference.

 

What do I learn as a new student at the ILI?

With students from colleges and universities across the country, you’ll have the opportunity to explore and develop your own interfaith leadership while learning from one another. Through hands-on learning exercises with your expert trainer, small group conversations, and activities in the training room, you’ll build a knowledge base and skill set that will help you return to campus ready to put your learning into action. Plan on honing your storytelling, learning how to tackle challenging conversations, mapping out your campus assets, increasing your interfaith literacy, and coordinating interfaith social action. After three short days, you and your peers will be equipped to lead meaningful and well-organized interfaith action in your campus community.

By the end of the ILI, students will be able to:

  • Apply specific skills of interfaith leadership
  • Understand key terms, concepts, and definitions that make up the knowledgebase of interfaith leadership
  • Recognize key practices for advancing interfaith cooperation on college and university campuses
  • Identify next steps to act on and cultivate their interfaith leadership after the ILI
  • Believe in their ability to successfully act toward interfaith cooperation.

 

What do I learn as a returning student to the ILI?

For those undergraduate students who have been to a previous ILI and attended the 1.0 or 2.0 tracks, but haven’t graduated yet, we offer three new tracks to expand your interfaith leadership. Two are geared toward enhancing your storytelling skills and dialogue skills respectively. A third track is designed for continuing your interfaith work post-graduation. 

 

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

Educators will have the opportunity to connect with their peers 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.