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MU to offer new interfaith literacy certificate
Manchester University will offer a new certificate in interfaith literacy at its North Manchester campus beginning in 2016-2017. Designed to address the challenges and dynamics of a changing and increasingly diverse world, the certificate will help fulfill Manchester’s mission of graduating people “who draw upon their education and faith” and the University’s values of faith, learning, diversity and community.

The proposal developed over the past year as a collaboration between the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department and the Office of Religious Life. The certificate will be jointly administered by those two areas. 

Students who complete the certificate program will be required to take two courses from a list that includes offerings such as “Religion and War,” “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” “Religions of India,” “Religions of East Asia,” and “Jewish Faith, Culture, and People.” They will also complete an experiential learning component and write a reflective paper. All students are already required to take at least one religion course as part of the core program at Manchester.

The certificate has two primary learning goals: Students will be able to articulate the main beliefs and practices of at least two religions other than their own; and speak intelligently and interact appropriately with people of a different faith tradition.

It continues Manchester’s commitment to ecumenical and interfaith issues. While Manchester is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, several dozen Christian denominations and other faith traditions are represented in the student body. Manchester has a student Campus Interfaith Board that plans programs and events each year, and the University participates in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. In October 2013, interfaith leader Eboo Patel of Interfaith Youth Core received Manchester’s Innovator of the Year Award and spoke at the North Manchester campus. 

Manchester already offers several other certificate programs, including a certificate in innovation, a certificate in libraries and literacies, a certificate in mediation and conflict resolution, and a certificate in scientific computing. For more information, visit

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy.  Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at

January 29, 2016