About the Center
To advance our mission in coming years the Center adopts a new strategic vision forward to guide its work and prioritize its activities. Our vision is that the Center will make Merrimack the premier undergraduate College for interfaith dialogue and intercultural education among Jews, Christians, and Muslims through distinctive, nationally and internationally recognized programs and services designed for students and young adults.
The Center’s programs and services will:
Engage students and young adults in interfaith and intercultural encounter, including:
- Merrimack and other American college students;
- Young professionals at entry level and mid-level positions; and
- Young people in other countries connected with the Center through educational networks.
Enlighten them for learning and growth on at least one of these three levels:
- Cultural fluency and sophistication about the influence of religious traditions in international affairs and global business;
- Ethical sensibility to how religion and culture shape responses to contemporary moral issues; and
- Personal growth through encounter with the religious commitment and cultural values of people from different backgrounds.
Empower these young adults for such encounter by:
- Tutoring them in respectful conversation;
- Modeling for them respect for the “other”; and
- Mentoring them through exposure to international scholars and activists in the field.
In advancing this strategic vision the College and the Center recognize the importance of educating coming generations for living and working in an ever increasingly diverse world. We will invite philanthropic partners to join us in this act of faith in the future. As partners we will engage, empower, and enlighten young people to build a world where religious difference is a source of social strength and a celebration of cultural richness. In this fashion Merrimack as a Catholic College will advance the promise of the Second Vatican Council to “recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values” among different religions (Nostra Aetate #2).
As a College in the tradition of the Augustinian Order Merrimack is inspired by the vision of St. Augustine that “There is no one in the human race to whom we do not owe love” (Letter 130:13), and his urging that in dialogue and debate we always “audi alteram partem—listen to the other” (De Duabus Animabus XVI, ii).