Wheaton College to become the first American Associate University of the Tony Blair Faith
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation have announced that Wheaton College, Illinois, USA has become the first American Associate University of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faith and Globalization Initiative (FGI). The Foundation also announced that the Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates have become the Associate University partners in the Faith and Globalization Initiative in the Middle East.
The Faith and Globalization Initiative is driven forward by a network of Lead Universities on every continent which undertake academic teaching and research to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between faith and globalization. The results help emerging leaders understand how faith motivates people, and analyzes the impact of religion on the modern world.
Drawing from the courses already developed by the current FGI Lead Universities, Wheaton College and the Higher Colleges of Technology, as Associate members of the Initiative, will develop their own versions of the course, approaching the topic of faith and globalization in accordance with the unique perspectives and traditions of each university. Their participation will challenge thinking and ensure that the research and teaching of the faith and globalization course around the world maintains great depth, variety and quality. The inclusion of two such diverse institutions highlights the importance of discussing global issues like religion and globalization from within the framework of a world-wide initiative.
The Faith and Globalization Initiative’s Lead Universities network currently includes Durham University in the UK, McGill University, the National University of Singapore, Peking University, University of Sierra Leone – Fourah Bay College, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, the University of Western Australia and Yale.
Wheaton College was established in Illinois by renowned abolitionist and anti-slavery campaigner, Jonathan Blanchard. Currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, Wheaton is a Christian liberal arts college, committed to developing well-rounded students capable of making a difference in the world. Wheaton College is a coeducational Christian liberal arts college noted for its rigorous academics, integration of faith and learning, and consistent ranking among the top liberal arts colleges in the country
Tony Blair said:
“We are very excited to be working with Wheaton College and the Higher Colleges of Technology as associate members of our Faith and Globalization Initiative. This partnership will give emerging leaders in the United States and the United Arab Emirates the opportunity to explore in depth the critical issues of how faith impacts the modern world today through different faith and cultural lenses. Their participation will greatly enrich the Initiative
Wheaton’s Provost, Dr. Stanton Jones said:
“We are grateful to be recognized as an Associate University by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. As an institution of higher learning with a firm identity grounded in Evangelical Christian faith, we align with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s quest to promote interfaith collaboration in addressing significant problems of human suffering such as malaria and extreme poverty, and to promote interfaith literacy and civility. Efforts toward such ends contribute to the common good of humanity and serve to advance religious liberty, outcomes we passionately support.”
Wheaton Professor Dr. Noah Toly said:
We live in a time of increasing political, economic, and cultural interconnection. Coincidentally, we face the increasing articulation of collective social imaginations to the global scale. This opens up connections with the cosmic visions of religious communities and makes the relationship between religion and globalization deserving of careful reflection.
“Some of our most challenging governance issues, from environment to economy, from public health to security, are global issues. They require dialogue and cooperation with diverse actors at the global scale, demanding a solid foundation in one’s own faith commitments, a nuanced account of other perspectives, and a subtle understanding of global dynamics.”
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), established in 1988, is the largest institution of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates. A secular institution offering courses in education, business, engineering technology, information technology, health sciences and applied communications, HCT is currently expanding and developing its liberal arts curriculum, in which the Faith and Globalisation course will be an important addition.
HE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology said:
Allow me to express my strong support for our Colleges’ partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. I know that you join me in saluting the Foundation for developing such a visionary model for action to improve conditions for all of humankind. The Foundation’s goal of promoting respect and understanding about the world's major religions and showing how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world is admirable, ambitious and essential. The linkage ensures a truly global impact of the Foundation and its programs