Few issues touch more broadly or more deeply on complexity, diversity, and change in the twenty-first-century world than those related to how people who orient differently around religion interact with one another… Any college that promises to prepare global citizens has to take religious diversity seriously enough to educate their students to be interfaith leaders (AACU).

Efforts toward Interfaith Cooperation at UWG began in 2018, and developed into the institution’s Interfaith Council- a representation of faculty, staff, students, and the community at large dedicated to increasing understanding of religious diversity.

  • About IFC

    About the Interfaith Council

    The Interfaith Council (IFC) began as a series of events to spark dialogue about Interfaith Cooperation following feedback that students and employees alike felt uncomfortable expressing their personal religious beliefs on campus.

    Mission Statement

    The Interfaith Council (IFC) at the University of West Georgia seeks to advance interfaith cooperation to increase understanding of religious diversity to support an inclusive campus culture. The IFC endeavors to work with those of differing worldviews, theistic and non-theistic, across the UWG campus and the West Georgia community. We seek to embrace pluralism through fostering meaningful relationships by promoting an appreciative knowledge of diverse worldviews to reduce prejudice and promote social justice. We strive to increase interfaith educational encounters through activity and dialogue.

    Right now, this group is made up of faculty interested in supporting interfaith cooperation and understanding on campus. The ultimate goal of the group is that this organization will be a student-led interfaith organization. Our goals at this time are to get the group started, recruit students to become involved, and send a group of faculty and students to the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Chicago, put on by the IFYC, to be trained in interfaith leadership and establishing an interfaith organization on campus.

    Organization of the IFC

    Emily McKendry-Smith (Sociology)  & Liz Pope (Education) 

    Duties: Organize/schedule meetings, liaise with other organizations on campus to promote cooperation, seek funding as necessary for events, and coordinate events.


    Duties: Take meeting minutes and share with group upon completion of meetings. Begin drafts of supplemental documents and distribute final copies to IFC members.

    Publicity Coordinator(s):
    Lo Denmon (Center for Diversity and Inclusion)

    Duties: Coordinate publicity of the organization, determine location meeting spaces (ReserveWest), advertise for organization activities, manage interfaith calendar, manage website.

    Faculty Liaison(s):
    Marjorie Snipes

    Duties: Lead outreach to faculty to increase interest and knowledge of the IFC.

    Student Liaison(s):
    John Garner

    Duties: Lead outreach to students to increase interest and knowledge of the IFC.

    Staff Liaison(s):

    Duties: Lead outreach to staff to increase interest and knowledge of the IFC.

  • IFC History

    IFC History

    On October 9, 2018, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and its collaborating partners, the Center for Student Involvement, and the Sociology Department, launched an Interfaith Cooperation Program (ICP). The purpose of the ICP was to provide opportunities for dialogue, training, partnership, education, service and celebration among students, faculty and staff of various faiths at UWG and the community at large.

    According to the Interfaith Youth Core, Interfaith Cooperation is:

    • coming together in a way that respects different religious identities;
    • building mutually inspiring relationships across different identities and backgrounds; and
    • engaging in common action around issues of shared social concern

    In the 2015 Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey, 71 percent of incoming college freshmen in the fall of 2015 expected their institutions to provide opportunities to get to know students of diverse religious and nonreligious perspectives, and in the 2017 UWG Faculty and Staff Climate Survey, 33% of survey respondents reported being made to feel uncomfortable based on perceived/religious beliefs.

    Bringing together UWG community members from different religious traditions in mutual respect and cooperation will enhance students’ college experiences, as well as the work environment for faculty and staff.

    The day’s events included an Interfaith Cooperation Workshop and a panel discussion, “Perspective on Interfaith Understanding.”

  • IFC Members

    IFC Members

    - Elizabeth (Liz) Pope (epope@westga.edu)
    - Emily McKendry-Smith (emckendr@westga.edu)
    - Lo Denmon (jdenmon@westga.edu)
    - Subhan Jim Burton (jburton@westga.edu)
    - Deirdre Haywood-Rouse (dhaywood@westga.edu)
    - Jessica Renard (jrenard@westga.edu)
    - Miriam Nauenburg (nauen@westga.edu)
    - Kelly Williams (kwilliam@westga.edu)
    - John Garner (jgarner@westga.edu)
    - Allison Umminger (aumminge@westga.edu)
    - Robert Griffin (rgriffin@westga.edu)
    - Rosemary Kellison (rkelliso@westga.edu)
    - Marjorie Snipes (msnipes@westga.edu)
    - Nathan Rehfuss (nrehfuss@westga.edu)
    - Willie Williams, Jr. (wwilliam@westga.edu)
    - Isabel Maggiano (imaggian@westga.edu)
    - Norma Rothschadl (uwgcampuscatholics@olphcc.org)
    - Jeff Jackson (fatherjeff.stmargaretsga@gmail.com)

  • IFC Events & Resources

    IFC Events & Resources

    UWG Student Absence Policy:

    “Students are expected to attend each class meeting. Students absent from class while officially representing the University or observing religious holidays should generally not be penalized in the calculation of final grades, as long as they provide advance notice and expeditiously make arrangements to complete any missed work.” The full policy is available in the UWG Undergraduate Academic Policies.

    Religious Holiday Calendar

    Religious holidays of various religions are published to the CDI Event Calendar. If you see any errors, changes, or additions that should be addressed, please contact us!