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Interfaith Work

Center for Interfaith Studies

To achieve its goals, the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue conducts the following programs and seminars:

Community Education and Outreach

The Hickey Center holds specialized seminars and workshops for people in the workforce, including yearly seminars for school teachers, nurses and hospice workers, and prison chaplains.  Through these programs, the Hickey Center helps bring interfaith understanding and dialogue into daily public life.

The Hickey Center Quarterly Book Discussions

The Hickey Center sponsors a quarterly gathering to discus a significant book or article dealing with world religions.  An initial review of the reading material and tentative questions for the discussion are posted on the website prior to the gathering.

National & International Outreach

In the past year the Hickey Center worked with the Salam Institute of Peace and Justice of Washington D.C.; the Fuller Theological Seminary of Pasadena, CA; the Catholic Diocese of Arlington County, VA; and, the International Institute of Islamic Thought of Herndon, VA. The Hickey Center is also in contact with interfaith organizations in Morocco, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Certificate Programs

The Hickey Center  offers two certificate programs with week-long courses in world religions and interfaith studies.  "Training of the Trainers" is designed for teachers, leaders and the general public.  The second certificate program, "The Next Generation," is specifically intended for youth participants living together in our religiously diverse world.

Workshops

The Hickey Center conducts workshops for adult professionals and youth in a host of fields. Every workshop is designed to enable these individuals to interact and work more effectively in the increasingly pluralistic American religious landscape.

  • Getting Down to Business in a Religiously Diverse World: Religions are inseparable from the cultural milieu(s) in which they are embedded. In an increasingly globalized world and economy, it is critical for business persons to gain a basic familiarity with the ethics, ritual, worship, and dietary practices of those with whom they do business. The goal of this one-day workshop is to assist members of the business community with gaining and applying such a working knowledge to enhance their professional relationships. Workshops are tailored to a particular religious-cultural region as needed.

  • Healing the Whole Person—Religious Perspectives on Health Care: Numerous religious-cultural systems have long recognized the essential connection of psycho-spiritual to bodily health. This one-day workshop is geared toward health care professionals to broaden their understanding of their patient/clients’ religious and spiritual make-up. Such an understanding is designed to render health care professionals even more effective in the critical and often life-saving services they provide. Special topics of consideration include different religious traditions’ ideas concerning pain, suffering, the life cycle, healing rituals, moral worldview(s), and prayer.

  • Interfaith Family Retreats: Are three-day weekend retreats for families with religiously diverse backgrounds. The retreats will be facilitated by experts in family life, the academic study of religion, and child psychology to assist the family members in appreciating and navigating the unique challenges presented by a home life incorporating multiple faith traditions and cultural heritages.

  • The Next Generation Youth Interfaith Encounter: This is a five-day workshop during the summer months directed toward the teenage population. Recognizing the increasing religious diversity that characterizes American society, the primary goal of the workshop is to prepare these young people to live in a religiously pluralistic world and to become leaders in this context.

  • Religions and Prisons: A one-day workshop for chaplains, administrators and staff who serve the correctional facilities in New York State. The increasing diversity of the U.S. population is, of course, reflected among those who are incarcerated. The purpose of this workshop is to educate prison officials about the basic history, belief patterns, ritual observances, and religious needs of the current prison population. Attending to such needs has been demonstrated to have positive effects upon the inmate population both during their incarceration and in their re-integration into mainstream society.
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