Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-16-2016


Arts and Humanities | New Religious Movements | Other Religion | Religion


John Merkle, Theology


This thesis project explores the role of faith and theology in the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), one of the most prominent youth interfaith organizations in North America in order to determine whether this organization is aptly titled. Through the lens of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s assertions about the role of faith in interfaith dialogue and relations, and in light of Diana Eck’s definition and explication of religious pluralism, it analyzes IFYC’s methodology and programs in terms of whether they the foster personal religious commitment and engender the deeper theological dialogue that Heschel and Eck believe are necessary in interfaith work. It concludes that in terms of IFYC’s methodology, programs, and mission, it operates not so much as an interfaith organization, but more as a multi-faith service organization. Finally it gives a suggestion for how IFYC can better incorporate faith and theology into its programs by proposing a two-week camp for high school students based on the Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM) program held at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, which fosters not only service, faith and theological.