Each summer, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme brings together an international group of emerging religious leaders from Islamic, Christian and Jewish backgrounds for an intensive period of immersion in inter-faith and cross-cultural encounter, to resource practical peacemaking and conflict-transformation efforts. The bedrock of the programme is the practice of inter-faith (SR). Students receive intensive training in SR; they are offered a series of lectures delivered by specialist academics and peacemakers; and they are facilitated in a process of teaching one another about aspects of their traditions. Most importantly, students have the opportunity to get to know, and learn from, their fellow participants. Each year the Summer School receives a delegation of emerging religious leaders from the Sultanate of Oman, a key supporter of the programme, as well as students selected from a wide variety of countries from around the world.
The Summer School is an opportunity for inter-faith engagement that draws upon CIP's ethos, to serve practical peacemaking efforts. We explore the resources that each tradition offers for peaceful and serious engagement with the others, and look for the forms of coexistence and friendship that are possible between traditions that remain distinct and different. Coming to agreement on theology, politics or any other subject is not our aim, nor is the creation of some neutral middle ground; rather the aim is to learn to live well with disagreement, and to disagree more peacefully, fruitfully and intelligently.
What past students say:
"The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme Summer School changed my vision on inter-faith experiences. I had never before encountered an inter-faith program quite like it. The ability to live, dine, converse, become friends, and network with a global connection of people from the three monotheistic religions in such a fantastic, peaceful environment is not something that can be easily replicated. The program is a success. I personally formed four close relationships last summer. These newfound friends will be that way for the rest of my life, of that I am sure. If I were an Imam and facing a problem in my community, I would first turn to these friends to seek their advice before turning to other Imams, because they have a different view and are a resource that is trusted and invaluable. This alone is tribute to the success of the program: the fact that people of different backgrounds and faiths can genuinely form friendships and care about one another and trust them enough to seek their advice." Muslim student and graphic designer, Jordan
“I found CIP's Summer School to be a wonderful experience. I had never spent any sustained time studying and engaging with such a diverse group of religious people, and it really broadened my understanding of the similarities between our religions, which are so seldom the focus of any discussion in the public sphere. I really valued the opportunity to build a network of emerging religious leaders that I can tap into at any time in my future as a Jewish professional, teacher, and/or leader.” Rabbinical Student, USA
The CIP summer school 2013 was for me one of the biggest things to have happened in my life. It brought me face to face with people of other faiths, especially Muslims, for the first time. And in fact, it has changed my view and perspective of Muslims, and I know it is forever! The SR for me was my first experience, and I commit to carry it back home to my country, but more important for me is the friendship and bond that comes out of SR sessions. I have many Muslim friends now and I know we are going to go a long way. They have given me the courage to seek for peace with my Muslim neighbours. I came here thinking that my tradition was the sole possessor of ' the truth', but having done SR with others and discussed their texts, I've discovered that they hold such powerful level of truth, and I ask myself 'why are we fighting?' And I have made up my mind to carry the message of SR, and CIP wherever I go, for the rest of my life. Consider me a 'CIP ambassador-for-life!' Christian Pastor, Nigeria
2014 CIP Summer School - Application Details
The Summer School is intended for people who are working towards a position of leadership, especially in a religious context. This could mean that you are a student or are in training for religious leadership, ministry or teaching of any kind. It could mean that you already have a formal or informal leadership position in your community. Or it could mean that you hope to have a position of leadership in your community in the future. Applicants should have an interest in inter-faith engagement, but they do not need any prior inter-faith experience. We particularly encourage applicants who live or work (or intend to live or work) in a region of conflict or tension between religious groups.
The Summer School offers an environment of respectful enquiry in which students can explore complex and sometimes controversial aspects of their own faiths and those of others. It is a challenging, immersive programme, and students must be committed to the aims of the programme and willing to participate wholeheartedly.
Prospective applicants can find out more about CIP's approach to inter-faith encounters here.
Costs of tuition, accommodation, on-site meals, activities and visits will be covered by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme. Students will be asked to pay a deposit of £250 - refundable upon completion of the Summer School. They will need to source their own funds to cover their travel to and from Cambridge, and to cover a small number of meals and optional expenses during free time. Applicants who are concerned about meeting these costs should state this in their application. The CIP team will be in touch with these applicants, if they are accepted onto the programme, to discuss financial assistance.
A delegation of religious leaders from the Sultanate of Oman joins the Summer School each year and contributes significantly to the programme’s cross-cultural learning experience. In order to fully accommodate this delegation, we seek applicants to the programme who have Arabic skills and who are willing to take on the role of Arabic-speaking Facilitators. Their primary role will be that of translation in small-group sessions and, when necessary, in lectures. They will serve as a crucial link in the international student body, helping increase understanding between fluent English speakers and Arabic speakers. Arabic-speaking Facilitators will be supported in their role by the Summer School staff.
The next CIP Summer School takes place 22 July – 7 August 2015 in Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge.
Applications for the 2015 Summer School will open in January 2015 and will advertised here. If you are interested in finding out about the 2015 Summer School, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.