The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement (CEIE) at Seattle University began in the Office of the Provost at Seattle University on July 1, 2021. With the announcement of the closure of the School of Theology and Ministry at SU, scheduled for June 2023, the university saw an opportunity for this new Center to evolve and expand its reach by focusing on the university’s five-decade commitment to ecumenical and interreligious work.
The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement today is outward facing and committed to providing educational resources for local communities and university students, through our biannual scholarship series, in our webinars, within public gatherings around relevant topics to our day, and in the work of our theological laboratory (the Religica Theolab), which hosts a thriving podcast series with national and international partners, including the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Church World Service, and the United Nations Environmental Program Faith for Earth Initiative. Our plans include working in unison with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities on topics of shared interest as well.
The Center (CEIE) is led by a core team that includes an Advisory Council along with leaders and influencers who bring executive and grassroots-level experience from the region and around the world. Starting in July 2022 – In our second year, CEIE will work with all partners to assess our mission, refine audience, clarify operational priorities, strategize for the coming three years, and work with allies and partners from colleagues in Jesuit Universities to those primary ecumenical partners, including the National Council of Churches in the United States.
This year CEIE is developing a Religious Fluency non-credit bearing certificate course, scheduled to begin in the coming academic year (February 2023). The course is being developed with key university colleagues and in collaboration with the oldest interreligious organization of its kind in the world – the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
CEIE is also concluding its new study with scholars from numerous fields of interest. The study – on the subject of ‘gratitude, injury and repair in a pandemic age,’ will be releasing a published book. CEIE was invited to present the findings at a conference taking place at our cousin Jesuit university - Portal Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and through the auspices of Church World Service at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, titled Reimagining Our World and Future Together, in the summer, 2022.
This academic year, CEIE is planning numerous webinars and workshops for public use. Please view the CEIE website for further information.
Our audience is four-fold. While these are large groups spanning many age ranges and competencies, the unifying thread of these audiences is a desire to engage in work that responds to the needs of the world, with CEIE providing the generative energy for this engagement.
Yes. CEIE is approved in December 2021 to begin the planning for creating and administering a thriving certificate program.
CEIE is committed to teaching and learning in the areas of theology and ministry, bringing forward in new ways the core features of this inspiration that was historically carried by the School of Theology and Ministry, and predecessor bodies. CEIE is currently planning certificate programs that will serve a range of student populations, and these certificates will be presented in partnership with a new unit at the university dedicated to assisting this purpose.
The new non-credit bearing certificate programs will offer flexibility and versatility for a wide range of students, including university alumni, those currently serving in ministerial roles, those seeking formational theological knowledge for use in their community, and those aiming to develop new ministerial capacities (for instance, in spiritual direction).
In consultation with our STM Student and Alumni Discernment Circle for CEIE, CEIE will begin exploring themes and topics such as: Lay Ministry in a Catholic Context, Marginalized Communities and Being Church, Ecumenical Ministry in a Challenging Age, Religious Literacy, and more. To facilitate certificate development, CEIE also convenes scholars and practitioners and is creating relevant curriculum and audio and video resources for further refinement in its certificate programs.
The Center highlights spiritual and religious insight and wisdom, inviting people to enact the change they wish to see in the world. We do this through ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, scholarly projects, engaging with the needs and issues alive for our target audience, and free resources for community and classroom use. In the future, we envision annual programming for in-person and virtual gatherings and educational opportunities.