NetVUE Gathering at Calvin College
Friday, September 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM - Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM (EDT)
Grand Rapids, MI
Vocational Explorations in a Multi-Faith World: Cultivating Informed Engagement across Faith Traditions in Undergraduate Education
A NetVUE gathering at Calvin College, September 20-21, 2013
Private liberal arts education in the United States has its roots in the Christian tradition, which has long been a dominant force in American culture. In the twenty-first century, however, our culture and campuses have become increasingly diversified, in matters of faith as well as ethnicity and race. Technology continues to shrink the distances among globally diverse people, our campuses are attracting students from diverse faith traditions, and our students continue to travel the world for educational purposes, leading to multiple interactions with people of other faith traditions on a daily basis.
This gathering aims to deepen our thinking and engagement with ideas and practices that cultivate students’ ability to communicate, commune, live with, and respectfully interact with people of other faith traditions and identities. Having such abilities is crucial to developing long-term vocational commitments to living with and engaging people of other faith traditions. But forming such identities is a complex and multi-layered task in higher education.
Unfortunately, we are often not as well prepared for inter-faith and inter-religious diversity as we have become adept at meeting other diverse needs. Often there is not an existing robust culture, or comprehensive plan, that enables students, faculty, staff, and administrators to conduct meaningful, informed, and sustained conversations and interactions across faith traditions. Such interactions, however, are essential as we probe vocational practices among undergraduates. We want to develop graduates who are able to bring well-grounded, informed faith and life purposes to bear on these intersections so that they honor the authenticity of others' religious commitments without replacing their own vibrant faith commitments with vague spirituality, with relativism regarding truths central to their own tradition, with a form of tolerance that discourages deep engagement, or with crude, ineffective missionizing. Our students as well as faculty, staff, and administrators need theological, historical, perspectival, and communicative resources to navigate wisely in this world, anchored in (and not merely tethered to) their own faith while knowing how to understand and conduct themselves appropriately with those of other faiths.
This conference will take as its starting point the assumption that the majority of students on our campuses are either Christians or have been influenced by a Christian culture. It will, therefore, focus on helping students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are formed in a Christian cultural milieu to better understand how to interact well with those who come from other faith traditions. It will look at ways to form an institutional culture of thoughtful theological engagement and civil conversations that honors others’ faith commitments while upholding students’ own Christian traditions. Done effectively, this kind of engagement will develop through campus life, classroom curriculum, and off-campus study, as well as endure post-graduation.
Friday, September 20, 2013
10:00 – 11:15 Welcome and Case Study #1
Please read: Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, "Institutional Etiquette: Structures and Ethos" from No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 82-89 and be prepared to introduce your campus briefly, using this rubric
11:15 – 12:10 Dr. Diane Obenchain: What We Share in Common - Presentation with discussion
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:30 – 2:25 Dr. Diane Obenchain: Christian Salt and Leaven - Presentation with discussion
2:30 – 3:30 The Imam and the Pastor (a film), followed by discussion
3:30 – 3:50 Break
4:00 – 5:00 Dr. Bradley Malkovsky: God’s Other Children - Presentation with discussion
5:00 – 6:00 Discussion of the Readings
Please read the essays available on the Gathering website in preparation for this discussion.
6:15 – 7:45 Dinner
Saturday, September 21, 2013
9:00 – 10:15 Case Study #2
10:15 – 10:35 Break
10:40 – 11:45 Moving from Models to Action: A Conversation with Drs. Obenchain & Malkovsky
11:45 – 12:00 Written Evaluation
12:00 – 1:15 Lunch
The registration fee for this event is $25 for NetVUE members and $75 for non-NetVUE members. The registration fee includes admission to all sessions, conference materials, Friday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch, and breaks during the conference. Transportation and lodging are additional costs as noted below.
You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the conference. If you need rental car or taxi information, please let us know. Shuttles between the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College and the airport are available at no cost for guests of the Prince Conference Center. To arrange for a shuttle, please contact the Prince Conference Center at 1.866.526.7200. In addition, many hotels offer complementary shuttle service to and from the airport for hotel guests. Check with your hotel for more information.
Please note that you are responsible for your own lodging. To book a room at the Prince Conference Center, please contact the Prince Conference Center directly at 1.866.526.7200. An airport shuttle is available for those staying at the Prince - please let them know at least three days prior to your arrival that you will need a shuttle.
When & Where
Seminars @ Calvin
1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4402
Ph: (616) 526-8558
FAX: (616) 526-6682 http://www.calvin.edu/scs/