BenU Mosaic collage, students holding up cards describing themselves; I am Benedictine

Interfaith Engagement + Faith Communities

Benedictine invites and encourages students of any faith or none to work together to discover their purpose, grow in their self-awareness and contribute to the common good. If you are interested in creating a small faith group, contact [email protected].

We ground our work in the Principles of Dialogue, created by the Interfaith Cooperation Committee in 2019.

We value our diversity and strive to bring people together to converse about religion in a supportive, nonproselytizing and nonjudgmental environment. This helps to form a common bond and leads to greater understanding of each other so that we can work together as one community. Opportunities for interfaith engagement include various student-led intercultural and interreligious groups such as the Movement of Students Achieving Interfaith Collaboration (M.O.S.A.I.C.), Catholic-Muslim Dialogue and other interfaith programming.

High School Interfaith Mentorship with Benedictine University

Are you passionate about interfaith work?

Apply today to be part of our interfaith mentorship program.

Applications were due by August 9.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Ecumenical and Interfaith Engagement at Benedictine University

“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ.”
—“The Rule of St. Benedict,” Chapter 53

At Benedictine, interfaith relationships spring from our Catholic roots. According to Nostra Aetate (the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council), Catholics believe that all humanity forms one community.

The Church, therefore Benedictine Campus Ministry, “rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [other] religions.”

Catholics understand themselves as being one with Jews, as having a high regard for the monotheism of Muslims and as admiring the understanding of the “state of perfect liberation and … supreme illumination” of Hinduism, according to the papal declaration.

At Benedictine our students come from many different faith backgrounds. Of the 65% of Spring 2016 traditional undergraduate students on the Lisle campus who indicated a religious preference:

    • 47% were Catholic
    • 24% were Muslim
    • 21% were Christians
    • 3% had no religious preference
    • 2% were Hindu

We believe this diversity is an opportunity to create a living example of how religious and nonreligious people can live together as a community, work together for the good of the world, and be united in a true appreciation and respect for diversity. We welcome the world to Benedictine University as St. Benedict has bid us to do. The section for Ecumenical and Interfaith Engagement in Campus Ministry welcomes all faculty, staff and students to dialogue, join in our interreligious initiatives and pray as Jesus taught us to pray, “that they all might be one.”

Ecumenical and interfaith engagement at Benedictine takes a variety of forms, and we welcome all. Learn more about different ways you can bring together your own religious and nonreligious experiences with those of others.

Campus Ministry interfaith group

Catholic - Muslim Diaglogue

“I definitely plan on attending every single dialogue … [nothing] can keep me away from these enriching discussions.”
—Onyekachi Nwoke, C12, Health Science


Developed by Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology, and hosted by Campus Ministry, Catholic-Muslim Dialogue gives students of both faiths an opportunity to come together to share their experiences, ask questions and discuss some of the global issues that are often shaped by religious doctrine.


The group meets bi-weekly over a shared meal in a safe and hospitable space for students to share their beliefs and develop bridges of understanding with one another.


Past topics have included homeschooling, interfaith marriages, Islamophobia, vocation and easily misunderstood customs. Though kept intentionally small to foster true conversation and community, once a semester Catholic-Muslim Dialogue hosts a Fishbowl conversation that is open to the entire campus community.


For more information about joining Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, contact Carol Allen, Campus Ministry, Coordinator of Retreats, Faith Formation Liturgy [email protected]


“Interfaith” is about more than simply learning a few facts about another religion.


M.O.S.A.I.C., which stands for Movement of Students Achieving Interfaith Collaboration, is a student-led organization inspired by Interfaith Youth Core.


MOSAIC’s mission is to develop opportunities to serve with individuals of other faiths and work toward creating an atmosphere in which talking about one’s faith is a social norm. Join M.O.S.A.I.C. to develop leadership skills and work with classmates to model a life of service, cooperation and activism rooted in a deep understanding and respect for diverse faith traditions.


M.O.S.A.I.C. leads a variety of events at Benedictine and in the community, including the Interfaith Week held every fall. Stay tuned for more details about our next event.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) at Benedictine University exists for students of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition at Benedictine. OCF meets regularly to fellowship, discuss Eastern Orthodox history, culture, and theology, and plan events for the wider campus community to learn more about this branch of the Christian tradition. For more information about OCF, click here. Email [email protected] for the link to join!

Sikh Awareness and Appreciation

To celebrate our Sikh community, we held two events to be in dialogue with one another. You are invited to watch this recording and learn something new about the world’s fifth largest religion.

Sikhi video thumbnail
Interfaith Retreat banner

Interfaith Retreat

Join us for a one-day retreat exploring important religious spaces, practices and traditions in the local community. Take time to reflect on your own religious and non-religious values. Enjoy fellowship and delicious local cultural cuisine all while learning more about the religious diversity at BenU and in the community. Registration opens soon!

Interfaith Cooperation Committee

Chaired by Rita George Tvrtkovic, associate professor of theology, and consultor to Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Interfaith Cooperation Committee (ICC) includes faculty and staff from a wide range of religions on campus, including a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Atheist/Humanist and Christians of several different denominations. The committee meets on an ad hoc basis to help the university better live out its Benedictine value of hospitality. Some projects we’ve worked on over the years include creating the Interfaith Prayer Room in Kindlon Hall, installing a Peace Pole on campus, and reviving the Interfaith Hooding Ceremony (a tradition from the 1990s).

The ICC mission statement: “Benedictine University is rooted in its Catholic, Benedictine Heritage; celebrates all faiths; and is on a journey together. We live this tradition daily.”

The Interfaith Cooperation Committee (ICC) was established in fall 2014. This advisory committee was created following a key recommendation of the Campus Interfaith Climate Survey sponsored by “Interfaith America“.


Rita George Tvrtkovich,  Associate Professor, Theology, Chair

Zubair Amir, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

Carrie Ankeny, Director, Campus Ministry

Latifa Bounou, Associate Professor, Foreign Languages

Elaine Davies, Director, Multicultural Student Affairs

Julie Dockery, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Cheryl Heinz, Department Chair, Biological Sciences

Peter Huff, Chief Mission Officer and Professor, Theology

Manmohan Kaur, Professor, Mathematics

Jayashree Sarathy, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences