May 2019 – The Islamic Center of Passaic County honored Drew Theological School for its commitment to interfaith engagement and outreach to the Muslim community.
Drew was the only educational institution recognized at the 2019 Civic & Interfaith Community Iftar.
Drew partners with the Center through a new core curriculum course in the school’s Master of Divinity program, Global Faiths and the Earth, which enables students to participate in interfaith experiences and explore together the challenges of environmental justice and ecological sustainability. As a result, many students have visited the Center.
“The visit to the mosque was the first time I witnessed Islamic beliefs in practice and will always be a transitional point in my development as a ministerial leader,” said MDiv candidate Ryan Pitt. “Islam is a beautiful religion based on teachings and humility. Undoubtedly, there is much work that needs to be done as far as interfaith understanding.”
Laurel Kearns, professor of ecology, religion and society, shared experiences from students at the award presentation. “Thank you for being an important partner in preparing tomorrow’s religious leaders through innovative and forward-looking education,” Kearns said. “As a result of class visits to ICPC, students have used what they learned in their chaplaincy placements.”
“Let’s just simply reach out,” said Dr. Ahmad Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center. “Each one of us should take the initiative and lead.”
The presentation concluded with a community iftar, a meal after sundown during Ramadan.