Interfaith Leadership & Religious Literacy

As the son of a Methodist minister, Arthur Vining Davis held a deep respect and appreciation for the spiritual traditions that provide meaning and hope for many. Mr. Davis could see then what is equally true today: most Americans draw on religious convictions in ways that motivate their thoughts and action and inspire them to love and serve their fellow citizens.

The Hartford Seminary Peacemaking Fellows program identifies young American Christian leaders working for peace in religiously diverse communities of the United States, building on its expertise in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and continuing the success of its breakthrough International Peacemaking Program. Photo courtesy of Hartford Seminary.
As one of the most religiously diverse nations in human history, the United States faces the challenge of nurturing an increasingly religiously pluralistic society while also moderating religious tension. Achieving these twin goals requires Americans to embrace a deeper understanding and appreciation for religious traditions other than their own, and to cultivate opportunities for collaborations and friendships across religious divides.

The Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy Program Area seeks to advance these goals by supporting organizations that promote religious literacy, and create opportunities for courageous multi-faith conversations and collaborations.

Request Amounts:

Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy grants typically range from $100,000-$300,000 though the Foundations will entertain larger requests.

Areas of Focus:

While the Foundations are open to any funding request aimed at advancing the goals outlined above, proposals are especially encouraged concerning the Areas of Focus described below.

  • Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy on Faith-Based Campuses 

    Faith-based campuses provide students with an opportunity to explore various fields of study through the lens of their faith tradition. Students emerging from these institutions often go on to key leadership roles within their communities. Grants in this focus area seek to support increased religious literacy and inter-faith engagement at these campuses with the aim of producing future leaders who are knowledgeable and empathetic and who actively seek inter-faith partnerships.  
  • Collaborations between Campus Student Groups 

    While colleges and universities host a variety of inter-faith activities, students who are deeply involved in a campus faith-based group are less attracted to such activities. Grants in this focus area seek to create opportunities for student groups (e.g., Cru, Focus, Hillel, the Muslim Student Association) and the leaders of those groups to actively engage with other student groups and their leaders. Such projects should enhance student religious literacy and foster dialogue and collaboration. 
  • Inter-Group Dialogue on Campus

    Many campuses support programs that foster opportunities for moderated, face-to-face interaction between students from different identity groups, with the goal of increasing understanding and collaboration. Grants supported in this focus area can support curricular and extra-curricular programs of this sort either between students of different faith communities, or between students of faith communities and those of no faith. 
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