The primary aim of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life is to foster a healthy and fruitful relationship between the university and the surrounding community as it concerns religious issues and public life. The Center neither aligns itself with any political ideology or religion, nor will it promote a certain approach to religion in general over others. Instead, the Center hopes to provide a needed platform for faculty, students, guest speakers, pastors, community leaders, and citizens to engage in scholarly efforts, open dialogue, and future action.
Objectives: Academic Development
The Center will put on programs designed to foster debate around current issues involving religion and its implications for public life. Either student-led or faculty-led (involving both UCCS and non-UCCS faculty), these programs will center on religious issues relevant to the UCCS scholarly community.
The Center will serve as a resource and launching pad for students interested in careers related to religion and public life. These include graduate studies in philosophy or religious studies, ministry, counseling, or any other discipline that students connect with religious studies.
Objectives: Community Outreach
The Center will serve as an important contact point between the wider community and the university. It will make public the relevance of the academy for help in understanding the relationship between religion and the public square, and vice-versa. Through guest speakers, panel discussions involving authorities on selected topics, faculty and student forums, and a website, the Center will highlight pertinent issues for the Colorado Springs area, nation, and the world at-large.
The Center will emphasize the availability of willing UCCS faculty to engage the community in locations outside the university setting. These can include places of worship, businesses, high schools, etc.
Given the two-fold objectives of the Center, the topics of discussion addressed by the Center will be ones that ideally tap the interests of both the UCCS academic community and the Colorado Springs community at-large. All will be welcome to attend the Center?s events; hence the topics and issues treated will reflect the needs of a wide audience. Possible topics include religion?s relationship with social justice, violence/war, American politics, or the market.