Amy Allocco and Brian Pennington receive Wabash grant for Interreligious Pedagogies and IFYC/Mellon Curriculum Development Grant 

The Department of Religious Studies faculty will collaborate with colleagues from the University of St. Thomas and Augsburg University on the $7,500 Wabash Center grant.

Professor Brian Pennington and Associate Professor Amy Allocco from the Department of Religious Studies have been awarded the $7,500 Cohort Grant for Interreligious Pedagogies from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Professor Brian Pennington and Associate Professor Amy Allocco
This grant “encourages the development of learning cohorts of faculty members who wish to collaboratively engage around issues of teaching in inter-religious studies through structured peer observation visits to each other’s classrooms.” Their project brings them together faculty from Augsburg University and the University of St. Thomas, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to develop and critically reflect on teaching strategies and questions that emerge in their interreligious studies scholarship and leadership programs.

Cohort members include Matt Maruggi and Martha Stortz (Augsburg University) and Hans Gustafson (St. Thomas University). This grant offers them the opportunity to conduct focused site visits at each other’s campuses in order to learn from the work happening in each institutions’ undergraduate research and engagement programs, particularly the Interreligious Encounter Leadership Cohort and Interreligious Research Fellows at University of St. Thomas and the Interfaith Scholars Program at Augsburg University. With this grant, this cohort will examine interreligious pedagogies under three categories: a) classroom, b) civic/community engagement, and c) undergraduate research, with the intention of mitigating the challenges of teaching interreligious studies. The Cohort Grant for Interreligious Pedagogies will be implemented from Spring 2019-Spring 2020. Elon University anticipates hosting the grant team in March 2020.

Additionally, Allocco and Pennington were separately awarded Curriculum Development Grants from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), with funding from the Mellon Foundation. The IFYC grants of $1,000 are to be used to revise an existing course or create a new course that integrates interfaith themes and uses pedagogies explored at the IFYC/Wabash Interfaith/Interreligious Studies Pedagogies convening in October 2018 in Chicago.

At that meeting, Allocco and Pennington introduced Elon’s Multifaith Scholars program, which Allocco directs and which is housed in the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society. They will use this grant to develop the interreligious components of their Winter Term study abroad course, “India’s Identities: Religion, Caste, and Gender in Contemporary South India.” The grant will contribute both to the development of the Fall preparatory course and the course that they co-teach in India in January. The IFYC grant will be implemented from May 1, 2019 – Aug. 30, 2019.