Claremont Lincoln Showcases Interfaith at Parliament of World's Religions

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The California-based university brought international speakers, innovative ideas and ground-breaking educational offerings designed to transform and promote change.

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Our world is in an era of transition that requires leaders and practitioners to expand their context of understanding to include new and diverse forms of engagement.

Claremont Lincoln University took the stage in international conversations on interfaith as a presenter and major sponsor of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions Oct. 15-19 in Salt Lake City.

The university spearheaded numerous presentations during the five-day event and unveiled its new interfaith certificate programming, highlighting the growing need for dialogue and collaboration among faiths to bring about positive social change and to restore health to communities afflicted by violence, indifference and discrimination.

Claremont Lincoln University President Dr. Eileen Aranda, President Emeritus Dr. Jerry Campbell, Founding Board Member Dr. Mel Gottlieb and Program Director for Interfaith Action Dr. Darrell Ezell presented significant findings on the importance of interfaith in the near future.

Their presentation, “Exploring the Role and Importance of Interfaith in 2020,” outlined key issues for the near future – including climate change; human rights; poverty, hunger and clean water; racism; and religious freedom – and explained why interfaith skills will be increasingly important for leaders involved in matters that require engagement of diverse audiences to promote social change. The findings they presented were drafted by members of the Claremont Lincoln University President’s Council on Interfaith Action, a group of more than 35 national and international leaders in faith, nonprofit, academic and government sectors working together to promote peace.

“Our world is in an era of transition that requires leaders and practitioners to expand their context of understanding to include new and diverse forms of engagement,” Ezell said. “That involves not only interfaith but committing to training and personal development, establishing non-religious alliances and working to heal historical pain.”

Claremont Lincoln’s Master of Arts degrees in Interfaith Action, Ethical Leadership and Social Impact, along with its new certificate programs in interfaith understanding, the President’s Council on Interfaith Action, and its Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Foreign Affairs are all reflections of the university’s commitment to resolving conflict and promoting positive social change in the world.

Ezell, an international speaker on interfaith issues and author of "Beyond Cairo: U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World," spoke on the value of bringing sacred-secular voices to the table to enrich the effectiveness of dialogue and peacemaking.

He joined CLU faculty members Dr. Keith Burton, Dr. William McGarvey, and Dr. Ejaz Naqvi, author of "The Quran: With or Against the Bible," in addressing strategies to confront ideological violence and hate speech using a new paradigm for interfaith action.

Other CLU speakers at Parliament included Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes and Dr. Whitny Braun, Imam Mahmoud Harmoush, and Interfaith Action student Maneck Bhjuwala.

“We are pleased to have been such a significant presence at this year’s Parliament of the World’s Religions, and to have developed from it the opportunity to broaden our interfaith outreach with new ideas and opportunities for collaboration,” Aranda said.

About Claremont Lincoln University
Claremont Lincoln University is a graduate institution that immerses students from around the world in a dynamic learning community, leveraging pluralistic perspectives to promote richer thinking toward transformation. Our mission is to put ideas and ideals into action, and our proprietary Claremont Core® methodology enriches the learning experience with mindfulness, dialogue, and collaboration, enabling learners across a variety of sectors to implement change for good. The university offers master’s degrees in Ethical Leadership, Interfaith Action and Social Impact, and Interfaith Certificates that bring the world's diverse landscape of traditions into better understanding.

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Deniene Rivenburg
Claremont Lincoln University
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