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Wesleyan University
Interfaith Leadership & Religious Literacy
Date Approved

Wesleyan seeks to develop a three-year pilot program to practice, normalize, and deepen civil discourse on campus, increase religious literacy, and hone a sense of purpose through the use of personal narrative in order to help prepare students to enter workplaces and communities where civic discourse and interfaith literacy are critical for them to be effective and sensitive participants. Programming and activities will be centered in Wesleyan’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and will leverage existing curricular and student service initiatives and the intellectual, questioning, and activist nature of our students. Our data show that over 50% of the student body identifies with a religious tradition, and many students, whether religiously-identified or not, share a high level of curiosity about the experiences and worldviews of others. Through the practice of bringing together diverse students, staff, and faculty in different contexts and inviting them to develop and share personal narratives, we believe that students will learn about one another in an accessible and non-threatening way, which will result in their having an increased clarity of purpose, capacity to engage in civic discourse, and appreciation for other beliefs, traditions, and practices.