Class Offerings

CASC 120: Exploring Intercultural Competence: Preparation for the Global Citizen (Fall Course)

Dr. Guzman-Rea, Instructor 

What is intercultural competence? How does one become interculturally competent in their increasingly globalized lives? Intercultural competence provides the tools needed to interact with other cultures, socioeconomic statuses, political beliefs, racial and ethnic backgrounds, orientations, gender expressions, gender identities, abilities, and religious affiliations. Learning with and by people of different backgrounds encourages collaboration and fosters innovation and creativity, thereby benefiting the entire community.

This course will be interactive, and discussion based. Discussions will include guest speakers, reading personal narratives, as well as using popular media. Assignments will encourage students to conduct research, create an intercultural activity, and interact with people by conducting interviews. This course culminates with a project presented during International Education Week, allowing for integration of theory and practice.


CASC 152/RELC 120: Bridging the Gap: Dialogue Across Difference (Spring Course)

Dr. Guzman-Rea and Rev. Dr. Yarbrough, Co-Instructors

“The Bridging the Gap program is designed to combat the toxic polarization in our country, give students the skills they need to find common ground across deep divides, solve problems in their communities, thrive in the workplace of the future, and support students in their own character formation journey” (Interfaith America, 2022). 

This course is designed to bring together students from culturally, theologically, politically, and racially diverse backgrounds to create a brave space for courageous conversations and to understand and explore solutions to some of America’s most pressing social problems, such as abortion, police reform, racial disparities in public health, and immigration reform. Through direct engagements and experiences, this community engaged course will teach students how to truly listen, understand, be heard, and seek common ground without attempting to change minds or having to compromise deeply held values. This course will give students the tools to find areas of common ground, live in constructive tension, understand our shared humanity, and solve pressing problems with those of different backgroundsand beliefs. 

Students will participate in intensive skill building sessions and practice dialogue skills during a mandatory off-campus overnight weekend retreat (students are unable to join the course if they have not participated in this in-person experience). During the semester, students will work in small groups exploring one of the issues stated above and they will work to come to a common solution to the problem, using the skills they have learned. The students will hear from stakeholders on various sides of controversial issues and engage in dialogue with them to learn how to find common ground and to offer a solution that accounts for the differing opinions in the group. 

This course counts towards the Legal Studies Minor.


RELC 160 – The Parliament of the World’s Religions (Only offered when the Parliament of the World's Religions is in session)

Dr. Guzman-Rea and Rev. Dr. Yarbrough, Co-Instructors

This course will involve students in the global interfaith movement through participation in the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The Parliament is the preeminent gathering of the worldwide interfaith movement.  Students will attend academic sessions, spiritual and religious practices in a diverse array of world religions and spiritualties, and cultural experiences including music, dance, and art. They will network with scholars, activists, religious leaders and students from around the world. This course will develop intercultural and interreligious competency through hands-on interreligious and intercultural dialogue, enable students to develop relationships with people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, and to engage in scholarly research on topics of global significance. 

After completing this course, students will have:

  1. Actively participated in the Parliament of the World’s Religions
  2. Gained a deeper understanding of the interfaith movement
  3. Developed intercultural and interreligious competency skills
  4. Researched and presented material on a topic of global importance
  5. Participated as a presenter at a workshop at the Parliament