President Hadsell Speaks at Vienna Conference on Interfaith Issues

At a gathering of 500 experts, policy makers and religious leaders from 90 countries in Vienna, Austria, this week, Seminary President Heidi Hadsell had the opportunity to speak about best practices in interfaith higher education.

President Hadsell participated in the KAICIID Global Forum on The Image of the Other: Interreligious and Intercultural Education” and spoke ona panel titled: Understanding and Engaging the Other in Interreligious Education and Seminary Training.”

She talked about the Seminary’s approach to interfaith education, which involves having instructors teach about their own faiths to a diverse group of students. She also discussed how the Seminary provides opportunities for students of different faiths to interact socially and to live together.

“Critically important is providing the experience for students to get to know a teacher, or even better yet, students from other traditions,” she said. “Many of us professors like to think that most of what is learned is in the classroom, but we all know that much of what students learn is outside the classroom.”

Prof. Hadsell described the Seminary’s approach to creating opportunities for students of different faiths to interact.

“Dialogue is a lived practice,” she said. “Our best practice is in giving our students concrete experiences of dialogue and letting them be practitioners.”

The KAICIID program aims to talk about the global challenges of finding ways to responsibly educate people so they are better able to understand and relate to those of other religions and cultures.

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