Students at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania will be the first in the country to major in interfaith leadership studies. The major, which includes coursework in religion, as well as business, political science, sociology and biology, is aimed at attracting students interested in pursuing careers in ministry, as well as community development, government and service organizations.
“It will prepare students for a variety of career pathways,” said Elizabethtown College Chaplain Tracy Sadd in the release.
Students from the incoming class of 2019 will be the first graduating class to have the major available to them. A minor will also be offered.
A push for the major at the college was inspired by a national call from Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core, an organization focused on building religious pluralism. Patel, who spoke at the college’s 2013 commencement, confirmed the interfaith leadership studies major was the first of its kind.
“I expect many other colleges to follow Elizabethtown’s example in the years to come,” Patel said in the release.
Interfaith engagement was named in 2011 as a priority in Elizabethtown College’s Strategic between 2012 and 2017, according to the release, and was one of 250 colleges and universities in the county to participate in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge launched by the White House.