University of Southern California

Office of Religious Life

Fostering a vibrant university community of spiritual reflection and free inquiry

Interfaith Engagement

Interfaith Council


USC Student Interfaith Council experiencing a meditative tea ceremony, Fall 2015

USC has more student religious groups than any other university in the United States, and the Interfaith Council comprises of student leaders representing the diversity of these faith groups across campus. All USC students are invited to be part of the Interfaith Council, and to learn and share about their faith traditions from each other. The Interfaith Council sponsors interfaith events such as the Multi-Faith Celebration, Interfaith Service Challenge, Interfaith Memorial Service, and Interfaith Worship at Parent’s Weekend. It meets weekly on Tuesday at 6:00PM for a free vegetarian dinner at URC 104 - all USC students are welcome to any session. Questions? Email, or Rev. Jim Burklo, Associate Dean of Religious Life:

See the Interfaith Council's videos - "FAITH IN FIVE WORDS"

treeifc4.jpgThe Interfaith Council at Malibu Creek State Park, 2011

hindumalibu6.jpgSOULJOURN - USC students at the Hindu Temple on Las Virgenes Road

prayer burning 2012.jpg
December 2012 Prayer Burning Ceremony: students read aloud and ritually burn the prayers written by students and staff and put in the prayer box in the Little Chapel of Silence

Interfaith Council member Angie Mendoza's notes from the "World Religions 101" program offered by the Office of Religious Life in Fall 2014:

Buddhism: Seek enlightenment, everything changes so don't cling to things,
goal = to get rid of ignorance

Sikhism: Don't convert b/c there is no one right religion, serve others, God is in all of us

Judaism: Ask questions, be doubtful, have community, no heaven or hell ("chill" place)

Hinduism: Find the God in yourself and then you will find the god in everyone else; God = enlightened energy; Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life; tu-twa-amasi= you, me, and everything; true giving means not expecting anything in return; temptation breaks enlightenment; it's okay not to follow some traditions b/c there are so many sources for them that if they are not personally life-giving don't do them

Carl Jung's Interpretation: God was so embarrassed by Job's complaints that he had to take human form to make up for his crime against humanity

Mormonism (Church of Latter Day Saints): renewal of Christian faith vs. reform of Christian faith; Book of Mormon = addition to bible, after resurrection we will be Gods and create our own worlds (a lot of space), 3 levels of heaven and everyone goes to heaven, holy ghost = vehicle of communication (religion teaches the WHY, not the HOW)

Islam: spread mercy = heart of Islam; if you're going to subscribe to a religion, it's very important that you read its texts; hajab=part of Engie's identity = show the beauty of your religion by acting as an example of it; god is one, there is no trinity; killing one innocent person is like killing all of humanity; no guarantee of heaven so stay humble and ask for forgiveness

USC Office of Religious Life

University Park Campus
University Religious Center, Rm 106
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Health Sciences Campus
McKibben Hall, Rm 160
Los Angeles, CA 90033

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