Welcome to the Kaufman Interfaith Institute!

Interfaith Engagement in West Michigan


"Interfaith Engagement in West Michigan: A Brief History and Analysis” highlights many of Grand Valley’s successes expanding interfaith understanding and acceptance in West Michigan since 1980, including:

  • The 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding, a yearlong effort to cultivate community interest and engagement of all faith traditions in West Michigan;
  • West Michigan interfaith community leaders Lillian Sigal, Marchiene Rienstra and Ghazala Munir founding the Interfaith Dialogue Association (IDA) in 1989;
  • Grand Valley hosting the first IDA conference in 1990 with the support of President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers.
  • Sylvia Kaufman founding the Jewish Christian Dialogue in Muskegon in the 1980s and the annual West Michigan Academic Consortium in 2001, which aims to expand the inter-institutional dialogue between various West Michigan schools and the broader community;
  • The establishment of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute in 2007 with a significant gift from the Kaufman family;
  • Douglas Kindschi named the Kaufman Interfaith Institute’s founding director in January 2010.

Click here to read an online version!


Check out this week's Interfaith Insight- Finding identity and meaning by engaging with others by Douglas Kindschi

Read previous Interfaith Insights from 2014 and 2015




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We are very excited to announce that we have received a generous grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to expand our interfaith service initiatives to focus more on youth & college campuses, with funding to help develop interfaith leaders at Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, and Calvin College, as well as support upcoming programming like Eboo Patel and our Triennial Dialogue this October. We can't wait to see our community come together in this interfaith and inter-institutional effort!

To learn more, check out this article


An Evening of Interfaith Reflection

An Evening of Interfaith Reflection

August 2, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

A time of prayer and a message of hope from peacemaking partners Rev. John and Stephanie Meyers. The Meyers family, Justin, Stephanie, and their two young sons live most of the year in Oman, but...

Interfaith & Interwoven

Interfaith & Interwoven

August 5, 2015 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dialogue about our traditions while crafting hand-made goods to donate to local, national, and international organizations. Bring a brown-bag snack or supper as well as any knitting supplies that you...

Encounter CPP Information Session

Encounter CPP Information Session

August 6, 2015 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

The Encounter CPP events are a great opportunity to learn more about the homelessness in Kent County, the Salvation Army Congregational Partnership Program, and the work being done to end homelessness...

CFI American Red Cross Blood Drive

CFI American Red Cross Blood Drive

August 14, 2015 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Regardless of personal background or affiliation, we all have the power to impact the life of people in need. None of us know if/when we ourselves will be in need of blood, but people always...

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Religion 101

Religion 101

July 17, 2015

Listen here for an audio update on the interfaith happenings in West Michigan along with a "Laker for a Lifetime" living in the country of Oman sharing his story.

Religion 101

Religion 101

June 19, 2015

Today's topic with special guests includes the plan for the Year of Interfaith Service and a grant that was just announced.

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Kaufman Interfaith Institute

Mail: 301 Michigan St. NE 
Grand Rapids MI 49503

Email: interfaith@gvsu.edu

Phone: (616) 331-5702