How can we understand and apply faith leadership? 24 July 2015

Dr Mahmood Chandia, Course leader of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)’s MA in Faith Leadership relects on the challenges of being a faith leader in the contemporary world. 

Stack of religious books“Faith leadership in today’s context is far more complex and demanding than ever before and it is imperative that faith leaders have access to the skill development and knowledge necessary to carry out that role. Today’s society is no longer dominated by one faith. We are living in a multicultural environment where faith is   important in terms of cultural, social and political identities.

Faith leaders need a broader understanding of the different faiths within their communities so that they can exercise their leadership roles more effectively towards community cohesion. International political forces taking a faith based identity are also much more influential within communities, creating bigger demands than ever on faith leaders in terms of community support, leadership and direction.

The death of religion had been predicted for the last 100 years yet today we are seeing a resurgence of religion across the world.  Academics and policy makers have started to recognise the centrality of religion when it comes to understanding society.

A new awareness of religion and the impact of spiritualties is required to   understand the complexity of modern Britain.  With this in mind, myself and my colleagues at UCLAN launched a course that brings together the core elements Community Leadership and Religion, Culture and Society (RCS) to create a distinct programme that meets the   needs for a higher level development within the faith sector.

The course is underpinned by a philosophy to promote inclusivity, encourage reflection on interfaith dialogue and highlight the important contribution faith communities can make to community cohesion and the combating of religious prejudice and discrimination.  The programme aims to explore and evaluate how and why the role of religion and culture has changed within   society, and explores the impact and influence of religion and belief within economic, political and social constructs.

The course supports a pluralistic perspective on and within faith communities and belief traditions. It   examines living religion in Britain and around the world and how faith leadership is challenged in the application of religion in pluralistic settings. It is a course that brings together the social and cultural aspects of leadership, faith leadership as well as religion   with the theological and philosophical.  It also aims to examine the impact of religion on politics, nationalism   and community dynamics.

The course is underpinned by the notion that a global inter-connected world calls for faith leaders to examine, apply or even modify models of convivencia in order for faith leaders to negotiate our multicultural world.”

For more information about UCLAN’s MA in Faith Leadership, click here.

This is a sponsored blog post.

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