The U.S. Department of Education Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships works with the White House, and the Corporation for National and Community Service to lead the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an initiative inviting institutions of higher education to commit to interfaith and community service programming.
President Obama issued the Challenge in 2011 by sending a letter to all presidents of institutions of higher education in the United States. Read more about the first two years of the Challenge in The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Inaugural Years Report. A program overview can be found here.
Currently more than 400 institutions of higher education have responded to the Challenge. They include community colleges, public and private universities, and professional schools. Schools indicate their participation by having the Chief Executive Officer or President appoint a staff member to be campus lead. Each institution designs its own program of interfaith/community service. When the sign-up form is returned to firstname.lastname@example.org the institution will be invited to regional and national gatherings, webinars, and other opportunities to share what the institution is doing and learn from others.
Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together – for example, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Jews, and Muslims and non-believers — building a Habitat for Humanity house together. Interfaith service impacts specific community challenges, from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, while building social capital and civility.
Additional recognition is available to participating institutions through the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The Fourth Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge National Gathering will occur on September 22-23, 2014 at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The gathering will be an opportunity for students, staff, and administrators to share experiences, learn from experts, and meet administration officials who share a commitment to community service with an interfaith engagement component. Registration and more details can be found at this website. You are invited to join us!” “Further details on the White House Forum can be found
The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships provides information, webinars, and training materials on the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.