Staff & Contact Information



Dr. Douglas Kindschi 

Doug Kindschi is the founding director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. He is also a Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy at Grand Valley State University, and was previously Dean of Sciences at GVSU for 28 years. With a unique path of starting in science and ending up in religion, Kindschi is particularly interested in the relationship between the two fields. After spending 7 months at the Cambridge Interfaith Programme in Cambridge, England, Kindschi has returned to Grand Rapids with new interfaith initiatives in the community as well as internationally. 

Kyle Kooyers

Program Manager:

Kyle Kooyers

Kyle Kooyers is the program manager of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Kyle is a 2017 graduate of Calvin Seminary where he earned his M.Div.  Kyle is eager to continue to foster and forge new relationships in the interfaith community. 

Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani

Program Coordinator:

Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani

Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani is the program coordinator of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. While Zahabia is new to GVSU, she is not new to the interfaith community, being board chair for the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance in Holland for the past few years.  Zahabia's role is to focus on developing partnerships along the lakeshore (Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon).


Senior Research Fellow:

Dr. Kelly James Clark 

Kelly James Clark is the Senior Research Fellow at Kaufman, as well as a professor in the Honors College at GVSU. He works on religious liberty and tolerance, philosophy of religion, ethics, science and religion, and Chinese thought and culture. He is the author, editor, or co-author of more than twenty books and author of over sixty articles. His books include Religion and the Sciences of Origins, Abraham’s Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflictand forthcoming book, God and the Brain: the science of the mind and the rationality of belief/unbelief.  Clark was recently awarded a $1 million Templeton grant to direct an interfaith project with Muslims, Christians and Jews in Turkey, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, Qatar, the United States, and Indonesia. He writes a blog, mostly on issues of interfaith and politics, for the Huffington Post.

Sue Spears

Office Coordinator:

Sue Spears

Sue Spears has been with GVSU for 11 years working primarily as coordinator for the Lake Michigan Writing Project.  With a background in accounting and social work, she is happy to now bring these skills to the interfaith community at Kaufman Interfaith Institute.

Directions: We are located within the Grand Valley State University Center for Health Sciences building, on the corner of Michigan & Lafayette. There is a parking garage in the bottom floors of the building, with the entrance located off of Lafayette St (close to the I-196 overpass highway). Please contact us to receive a parking pass for the garage. 


Page last modified January 22, 2018