Interfaith Studies


Global Citizenship

GMU is co-sponsoring an international and interreligious conference in Kenya, “Building Human Solidarity in the Light of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter: Fratelli Tutti with the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue and Islamic Studies (IRDIS) and the State Islamic University, Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia (UIN). Other sponsors include the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), the Harmony Institute, Umma University, the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, and the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI)

True to his Jesuit education and studies in Buddhism, former governor of California, Jerry Brown, has agreed to be the keynote speaker for the confernce. You can access his podcast on the environment, “Climate Dialogues with Jerry Brown” here.

The central hub of the conference will be located at Tangaza University in Nairobi, Kenya with other hubs in Rome, Indonesia, and California.

One of the major programs for the North American hub will be on racial justice with presentations by noted authors in this area of concern as well as participation by activists in social justice movements. A second area of focus for the conference will be the growth of new forms of faith communities including those that have an interfaith character and membership. GMU has pioneered the development of such interfaith communities in the USA and Kenya.  GMU will have a scholar from India joining the US hub seminar to speak about the ethical implications of the pandemic in India as well as the developing world.

Read the Confernce Bibliography here.

The conference will take place on August 19, 20 and 21, 2021 and will be available on Zoom and YouTube. You will be able to register for the conference in the coming weeks. There will be no charge to participate but donations are welcome.

Read the description of the concept of the interfaith conference here.

The future of our planet rests largely with our youth and the care with which we help them to develop and flourish.

President Grudzen is offering a free course for young people who wish to participate in the conference to develop their own priority issues and submit a vision statement from their perspective.

Our final Global Citizenship Forum before the summer break will take place on Wednesday, June 2, at 7 pm PST.

It will feature two speakers with extensive background on human rights in the Middle East with a focus on the nation of Turkey. Doctor Nihal Sahan is a doctoral graduate of GMU and nowserves on the faculty of Santa Clara University and GMU. Hüdayi Çerkez Acar is a doctoral candidate in Global Security at Nairobi University in Kenya and a staff member of Harmony Institute in Nairobi. Both speakers have an extensive background in human rights issues and are knowledgeable about the interaction of Turkey with other key actors in the present-day Middle East.

This is FREE course but registration in advance is required.

GMU is collaborating with the Shogaku Zen Institute led by a female Zen priest psychologist, Grace Shireson.

The class on Fethullah Gulen is now being offered as part of an interfaith studies degree program but no longer as a separate Zoom class. It is taught by Nihal Sahan, the first Muslim doctoral graduate from GMU and Chair of the Muslim affiliated Pacifica Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Please contact for more information on how to sign up.
You can watch Dr. Grudzen interview Jon Paul, the author of Fethullah Gulen: A Life of Hizmet, here.