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Inter-Religious Studies

Our world grows increasingly smaller as technology facilitates travel and communication with others around the world. Email, the internet, radio and television, migration and discretionary travel, inevitably bring us in contact with more and more people who affiliate with different faith traditions. The upside of all this is the potential for relationship with more people of different faiths. Paradoxically, the downside is the potential for bigotry and intolerance. Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness.” Unfortunately, the salutary benefits of travel are not automatic. We are deliberate in using our travel experiences to create opportunities for people to dismantle their prejudices and replace them with relationships with others and mutual understanding.

Part of our mission is to make biblical scholarship relevant to the world in which we live. In today’s world, there is a heightened need for understanding. We believe that the Bible and the biblical faith should play a role in building understanding. The point of studying the Bible is to make a difference in our world. We do this by developing mature and responsible faith in ourselves and encouraging and discipling others to do the same. The study of the Bible is the first step in this process. The process continues by reaching across ideological and religious boundaries as well as by crossing geographical frontiers. In spite of the technological advances we enjoy, signs of any abatement of bigotry and prejudice are still too few and too hard to find. In our travels, the encounters with Islam and Judaism are especially inescapable. Our programs seek to equip participants with the information and skills needed to establish relationships of mutual respect, appreciation and partnership with people of different religious affiliations. We emphasize biblical themes that promote the building of community with diversity. With the help of our inter-faith faculty and Board of Advisors, these programs enable participants to explore points of contact between Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

All of our destinations, from the Mediterranean region to Brazil to the United Kingdom, are ideal venues for engaging in conversation with people of other faith traditions while studying the biblical imperatives.

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