The Interfaith Peer Ministers are charged with creating vibrant and reflective communities in first-year buildings where students can learn and grow within the communities. They serve as ambassadors for interfaith and faith-based programming on campus. Their primary goal is to build student capacity to have positive attitudes toward diverse religious and nonreligious traditions through relationships. Through programs, they will work to get students to be versant in religious and nonreligious traditions that may or may not be present on our campus. Fulfilling our mission to engage students in the broader task of expanding human knowledge and deepening human understanding as part of their lifelong learning, the wider student body will have an opportunity to have a “point person” for faith development within their communities.
Interfaith Peer Ministers work to create opportunities for dialogue, education, and reflection about faith in the context of their Jesuit, Catholic campus community. They are supported by the Offices of Campus Ministry, Residential Life and the Center for Faith & Public Life. Their focus is to engage the entire class of first-year students living on campus as an addition to the diverse programmatic offerings already available through residential life and our individual offices. As a result of this initiative, students will grow in their understanding and vocabulary for interfaith dialogue and work, enriching the Jesuit values that frame our community. Part peer mentoring and part active programming, this role is unique in its focus on interfaith community building.
Peer-to-peer connections play a vital role in creating interfaith dialogue on campus by connecting and supporting students in their spiritual journeys. Interfaith Peer Ministers work to create spaces where students can have conversations that matter about their own faith or philosophy. They are responsible for cultivating a community that allows for diverse religious and non-religious perspectives at Fairfield University to come together and share what unites them.
Interfaith Peer Ministers are charged with creating a consistent space within the first year residence halls area for students to engage in reflection, prayer, meditation, and dialogue. Interfaith Peer Ministers will also work to identify and publicize events that might be of interest happening on campus to invite and dialogue with students about them.
This position is a year commitment. Students will be accepted to the position in the spring semester and will fulfill this role for the entire following academic year. Training will take place before the start of each semester and meet weekly during the academic year. Students should expect to spend about 8 hours a week engaged in this work.
Interfaith Peer Ministers are role models committed to dialogue, creating safe spaces, openness, community engagement, and student involvement.