Train the Trainers: Understanding Islam's Relations with other Religions

Online non-credit certificate course for teachers, religious leaders, businesses, nurses, and other professionals including public interested in understanding Islam's relations with other religions for peaceful co-existence and professional services.

When: August 15-19,2022 (Monday-Friday, both days are included)

Time : 7-8:30PM Via Zoom, Registration Fee: $39.00 ( Please write Checks to Nazareth University, IIIT Chair and Hickey Center)

Please RSVP to the Smore Flyer to register:

Speakers: Dr. Etin Anwar, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva

Dr. Shalahudin Kafrawi, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva

Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, Nazareth Univerity


Islam is misunderstood religion in America. Many do not know that the Qur'an recognized other religions, called them people of the holy scriptures especially the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament are mentioned as sources of light and guidance. 


Monday, August 15,  The Qur'an Pluralistic Theology

Tuesday, Aug.16,      Prophets and Prophecy Holy Scriptures as sources of Light and Guidance in Islam

Wednesday, Aug. 17, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses in Islam

Thursday, Aug. 18,  Mary and Jesus and the concept of Messiah in Islam

Friday, Aug.19,      Freedom of Speech, Hateful Rhetoric and Morally Responsible Speech in Islam


 Past Programs

Global Citizenship Immersion Certificate for K-12 Teachers

Building skills, knowledge, and communication techniques to better understand our diverse world, with a focus on Racial, Gender, and Religious Diversity. This non-credit certificate course addresses issues educators in the Rochester area face in our multi-cultural society.

When:  August 8-12, 2021 (Monday-Friday) from 1:30-7:00PM

Where: Nazareth University, Golisano Academic Center,

Open for 25 COVID Vaccinated teachers

The issues of race, gender, and religion continue to stress our teachers, students and communities. However, the impact of its divisiveness, hate and conflict can be abridged through diversity education and dialogical skills.

Since 2004, we have offered local teachers education and training in understanding world religions and interfaith dialogue. This week-long course will focus on racial discrimination and hate, gender inequity and religious exclusivity. Living in our world today, it is essential for a successful teaching career to not only increase knowledge about these issues but to be aware of its impact in selecting curriculum materials and communication skills in and out of our classrooms.

A variety of local experts, religious clergy, and Nazareth faculty will share their wisdom with the participants through lectures, film viewings and panel discussions. In addition, we will visit a number of museums, houses of worship, historical sites and restaurants to experience the multicultural riches Rochester has to offer us.

Experiential study includes tentative tours of:
Ganondagan State Park
Susan B. Anthony House
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Local Religious Houses of Worship
Dinners at various multicultural restaurants

Registration Fee: $199.00, which includes dinners and site visits.

Please open the file to view the tentative program: 2021 GCICC for K-12 Teachers




Past programs

Summer 2020 Week-long Courses:

1. Understanding Diversity of Streams and Sects in Islam


The multiplicity of socio-cultural backgrounds of Muslims exhibits different traditional practices across diverse ethnicities and cultures. The approaches to the Qur’an and understanding the Prophetic tradition varied even when the Prophet was alive, but his presence and authority kept the centrality of Islam’s unity and uniformity. Soon after his death, differences over theological, devotional, legal, social and political issues emerged dividing the community into various streams and sects in all spheres of human life. In this weeklong course, some topics of contemporary significance where Americans are most confused will be discussed.


  • July 27, Monday: The emergence of Shi`a and Sunni in early Islam and its relevance today (Dr. Etin Anwar)
  • July 28, Tuesday: The Sunni divergence: The Sunni, the Salafi, the Wahhabi , Al Qa`ida, the ISIS and the Taliban (Dr. Shalahudin Kafrawi)
  • July 29, Wednesday: The Shi`a Divergence: The Twelvers, Isma`ili,  Agha Khanis, Zaidis and the Druze  (Dr. Muhammad Shafiq)
  • July 30, Thursday, Some Revivalist “Heretical” Movements: Baha’i,  Ahmadiyya, the Nation of Islam in America (Dr. Muhammad Shafiq)
  • July 31, Friday: Woman and Gender (Dr. Etin Anwar)

Time: 2:30-4:00PM

Readings: Islam (Paperback) by Caesar Farah, Seventh Edition

Delivery Method: distance Learning via Zoom

Registration: email: or

Registration fee: $29.00; scholarships are available.

Please write and mail your check to Nazareth College, Hickey Center & IIIT Chair, 4245 east Ave., Rochester, NY 14618



Dr. Etin Anwar is Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY.  She mostly writes on issues of gender and Feminism in Islam.

Dr. Shalahudin Kafrawi is Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY.  He teaches courses on Islam and is expert in Qur’anic exegesis.

Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is Professor & Executive Director of Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and IIIT Interfaith Studies Chair, Nazareth University, Rochester NY.

 Summer 2020 Weeklong Courses:

2. Wisdom Traditions for the “New Normal” in a Pandemic World

 The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the entire globe, changing millions of people’s lives irrevocably.  As the intensity of the crisis begins to recede, we are thrust into a “new normal,” forced to create a new world that will not be exactly like the one we left behind.  Change on this scale creates stress, anxiety and suffering.  The wisdom traditions of the world’s religions have much to offer our modern world as we struggle to thrive in a radically changed landscape.  Join us to explore some of the religious and spiritual tools that have equipped millions of people the world over for thousands of years to adapt in healthy and life giving ways when the world turns upside down. 

Experts in world religions and practitioners will be invited to cover religious and spiritual aspects of world religions with focus on healing and healthy life.

When: August 3-7, 2020

Time: 2:30-4:00PM with daily assignments, just reading or watching documentaries

Method of Delivery: Zoom

Registration: $ 29.00 for registration email or

Last date to register: July 15, 2020. We will email you Zoom ID once the registration is completed.

Please write and mail your check to Nazareth College, Hickey Center & IIIT Chair, 4245 east Ave., Rochester, NY 14618


Sanjay Mathur was president of the Rohester Hindu temple. He is certified chaplain and practitioner in Hinduism He works for Paychecks.

Rev. Wakoh Shannon Hickey, Ph.D., is a priest and teacher of Soto Zen Buddhism; a hospice chaplain; and a scholar of Religion in Modernity, specializing in North American religious history, Buddhism in Asia and the West, religion and medicine, and interfaith engagement. She is the author of Mind Cure: How Meditation Became Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2019) and a certified Leader of InterPlay®

Saundra Sterling Epstein, Ed.D. Director of BeYached-bringing Jewish education and best educational practices together . She is also Director of Welcoming Shuls Project of Eshel and president of the Cheltenham area multi-faith council

Rev. Denise Yarbrough, JD, DMin is Director, Religious and Spiritual Life at University of Rochester and is Episcpal priest

Muhammad Shafiq, PhD. is professor and executive at the Hickey center and IIIT Interfaith Studies Chair. Nazareth University

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Have Questions?

For more information on this program, please e-mail


Please RSVP to the Smore Flyer to register for the online program on Understanding Islam's Relations with other Religions