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Cities of Faith: Future European Leaders Programme:

Champions of Change

In Partnership With:

University of Surrey.png
Trinity College Dublin.png

The aim of this programme is to target students with leadership potential, to engage in the faith and interfaith sector across Europe, and build leaders within the sector for a brighter tomorrow.


This programme for 2021, is a pilot and will be delivered through 4 confirmed University partners: University of Surrey, University of Barcelona, Trinity College Dublin and the Zagreb Intercultural Dialogue Centre, all engaged in the academic and inter faith world. Their role will be to recruit students for this programme through their institutions and mentor them.

The Future European Leaders Programme will be accredited by The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) ILM will run modules with their core sessions including MBTI and emotional intelligence.

Each Institution will benefit from this programme by creating a cadre of potential leaders, volunteers and interns specifically engaged with interfaith with interfaith and faith action.

How institutions will benefit from this programme

  • The four participating academic institutions who have a strong record on interfaith dialogue will be able to strengthen their partnerships via the programme, CFCF and other key institutions.

  • Identify future local, regional and national faith leaders who can serve both at the university, city or county level and steer an interfaith agenda in the public space

  • Creating a more collaborative network with similar institutions across the world

  • Develop working partnerships between faith forums, chaplaincies, student unions and academic departments of the university to develop a stronger, more cohesive form of community development on campuses, whilst being able to compare, contrast from models used by the other three institutions.

  • CFCF benefits from this by having unique access to four leading European academic institutions who have all heavily invested in faith and interfaith programmes with students.

  • Learning how best to develop partnerships between academic institutions, civic and county authorities and city and community faith forums: looking at unique ways that public bodies and institutions can collaborate with community and voluntary sector institutions.

The Programme is primarily funded by the JDC Europe and has support from FFL and OCSE, the four universities, CFCF and is part modelled on an successful Leadership/Democracy Programme currently taking place in the UK (Civic Democracy week).

The programme will be coordinated by CFCF coordinator, Leonie Lewis MBA, MBE and is managed and supported by a steering group from the four Institutions : the Blanquerna Observatory on

Media, Religion and Culture (Barcelona), Religious Life and Belief Centre at the University of Surrey, Trinity College Dublin and Zagreb Intercultural Dialogue Centre.

The programme will be calling on city mayors, faith partners across Europe and other key practitioners and academics to share their experience and help develop the cohort.

Participating Students will receive credits in management and leadership and offered internships and positions in interfaith and related areas. They will be expected to assume a voluntary role in the sector working under supervision of              their sponsoring institution and in collaboration with the CFCF leadership programme and must regularly participate in events.

Sample Programme Course

The Course will cover:

  • An understanding of the faith sector across Europe, its differences and challenges and a short introduction to the major faiths & beliefs.

  • Differences in the way civic authorities and Governments across the continent engage on issues of faith: from regions with strong national Churches to those with looser ties; from areas where multifaith services have become the norm to those where interfaith is in the context of post-conflict situation.

  • The role of CFCF and its USP (information & documentation will be disseminated prior to the start of the programme) – how faith is represented across the EU and the UK

  • An opportunity to meet and hear from senior Religious Leaders and to understand the role played by City Halls/Mayors, Local Governments across Europe

    • the mechanisms of local councils

  • Presentations from CFCF supporters, FFL,KAICID, OSCE (and hopefully European Council and the UN).

  • Insights into the significance of effective communications.

  • leadership and management

  • Faith as part of Civil Society

Course schedule:

The course will be an online programme internationally with a follow-up mentoring session locally. Provisions will be made for face to face sessions through our local coordinators; First term commencing Wednesday 17th November 2021 – 8th December.

Non formal teaching time will be included, the time will include individual/group tutorials run by each institution allowing individual and group mentor time to be coordinated locally. During the term some group networking and non-scheduled meetings with key individuals, politicians, faith leaders, city mayors will be organised both internationally and in the four cities / counties.

Each international formal session will be maximum of one and a half hour duration (including a 5-minute comfort break) - Course reading and other materials, plus links to specific websites will be provided at the outset and throughout

Each academic institution will also connect with its students, helping their development though the term and more particularly as they graduate the programme. One-to-one mentoring and local leadership programmes will be run by local coordinators in each of the four universities. The course will include key performance measures set against planned outcomes.

Leadership Programme; Champions of Change, Outcomes
  • A cohort of up to 20 committed individuals form four localities willing and able to undertake leadership roles in their respective communities/cities/academic institutions

  • The creation of a strong collaboration between academic and other institutions in EU and UK

  • A collaborative network of trained students actively engaged in the faith world

  • The creation of a programme easily replicated by other academic colleges/universities with local variances built in.

  • Showcasing of a programme that combines academic rigour on faith and belief leadership with practical outputs and outcomes

  • Sustainability of the programme

  • Equipping of students with tools for sustainable inter religious and cultural dialogue

  • Sessions to be developed with and through the University institutions, CFCF team, and The Institute of Leadership Management (ILM), forging stronger, meaningful relations

  • More influential younger individuals engaged in the sector

Course Outputs

The shaping and delivery of 3 block modules of 4 1.5 hour sessions

  • Up to 18 hours on zoom

  • 10 hours of networking and meeting leading figures and institutions across Europe and learning about the Interfaith sector; 10 hours locally.

  • Placements or engagement package with local authorities (depending on the locality)

  • 2 hours of Public relation training

  • 2 day face to face seminar, (If funding permits)

    • Understanding of the faith Sector across Europe, its differences and challenges, including the role of CFCF, other organisations and key bodies

    • Insights and theories of leadership and management

    • The importance of effective communication

    • Religious dialogue a tool for collaboration: how to start an interfaith group

    • Evaluation

    • Assignments undertaken and completed

    • Sessions delivered by KAICIID Fellows /experts in   civil society sector

    • The active attendance by all participants throughout the term

Course Outcomes
  1. The placement of participating students into the sector who begin to seed change and enhanced developments in interfaith across & between borders

  2. Funds secured for ongoing course and so creating course viability and sustainability

  3. A clear trajectory for the students and their engagement and the programme itself

  4. Greater participation in the faith and civil society sector across EU cities by younger individuals – the course participants

  5. Demonstration of collaboration between academia, interfaith, and civic society

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