Mission, Vision & History
“With all thy getting, get understanding.” This verse from the book of Proverbs graces the Merrill-Cazier Library on our campus and succinctly sums up Utah State University’s mission statement, which is to “cultivate diversity of thought and culture” and to “serve the public through learning, discovery, and engagement.”
As a growing body of research suggests, we know that religious identity (or lack thereof) is a crucial component of who our students are. In a recent survey of incoming freshmen, we learned that almost 90% of Utah State University students wanted to be able to talk about their religious (or lack of religious) commitments as part of their university experience, but qualitative research among 160 students, staff, administrators and faculty indicated that almost everyone felt uncomfortable doing so. The USU Interfaith Initiative has emerged to meet this identified need.
The USU Interfaith Initiative provides opportunities to have meaningful conversations about religious (or lack of religious) commitments and why these are an important part of identity for emerging adults. It provides opportunities to meet and interact with those whose religious commitments are different. Through curricular and co-curricular activities and training, and through deepening their understanding about commonly held values shared across faith-lines, the USU Interfaith Initiative provides our students with the knowledge and the necessary tools to build relationships of trust, caring and common interest that will contribute to a more peaceful 21st Century world.