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UCC Council for Higher Education

Annual Meeting Report

The UCC Council for Higher Education met in Cleveland on October 29-31, with nearly 60 participants. The topic of the meeting was "Religious Pluralism on our Campuses".  Many of the member schools sent delegations that included presidents, deans, and deans of students, chaplains, campus ministers, and students who are involved with and/or have a concern for student issues. A number of national staff participated and attended the meeting. The program dealt with the significance of religious pluralism globally and in the life and work of our schools.

The guest speakers included:

• Peter Makari, Wider Church Ministries Area Executive for Middle East and Europe, on the policy implications of interfaith and international relations

• Lydia Veliko, Minister for Ecumenical Relations in the Office of General Ministries, on theological approaches to religious pluralism and interfaith relations

• Jennifer Peace, Director of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership at Andover-Newton and Hebrew College, on the lived-expression of and possibilities for interfaith dialogue on campus 

• Robert Chase, Founding Director of Intersections, on interreligious efforts on college and seminary campuses through various programs including the arts and theater

• Jane Pitz, US Director of the Iraqi Student Program which brings Iraqi students to the US to attend colleges and universities in order to return home to rebuild their country

• Gustav Niebuhr, Journalism Professor at Syracuse University and long-time New York Times Religion Editor who joined us via Skype, on the grassroots efforts and programs that build relationships across faith traditions

The meeting was a lively exchange of ideas and ways to foster interfaith relations. Several of the presentations will be posted on the higher education page of the UCC website where you also will find the DVD, A Place of Our Own, which highlights several of our colleges and seminaries: Other resources will be added in the near future.

For more information or questions, please contact the Minister for Higher and Theological Education at 216-736-3865 or essexb@ucc.org.

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Rev. Veronica Jefferson
Minister for Scholarships and Grants
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3839
jeffersv@ucc.org