Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership
The Mission of the Miller Center is to provide current and future religious and ethical leaders with the knowledge and skills to serve in a religiously diverse society. Our work is rooted in the cultivation of authentic personal and institutional relationships across lines of difference. It is our conviction that through study, dialogue, and joint action, we can help create a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world. The Miller Center staff works with clergy, academics, and communal leaders, as well as graduate students and seminarians. We are involved in both local and national initiatives, using a combination of in-person and online educational tools.
Drawing on a rich institutional legacy of interreligious and cross-cultural initiatives and partnerships, the Miller Center staff and affiliated faculty work in four interrelated areas of education and leadership development:
In partnership with other member schools of the Boston Theological Institute, the Miller Center coordinates Hebrew College’s graduate courses and certification programs in interreligious education and leadership
The Miller Center offers various workshops, seminars, and fellowships for clergy, educators, and non-profit leaders relating to issues of religion and public life.
The staff and affiliated faculty of the Miller Center offer various adult education courses on the religious thought and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
The Miller Center, in collaboration with other academic and communal organizations, produces both scholarly and popular written works on interreligious and cross-cultural engagement
The Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership is a member organization of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs and the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations as well as an affiliate of the Association of Theological Schools but is not an accredited member of the Association. Miller Center was established through a generous gift from Dan Miller, a member of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees and husband of the late Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller (of blessed memory), MAJS’05.
Rabbi Or Rose
Betty Ann graduated from Stanford University in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in human biology. Her work in philanthropy and volunteerism began at Stanford as a student volunteer for a newly founded quarterly magazine, Surviving, which was among the first publications to address the physical and emotional issues faced by cancer survivors such as Betty Ann.
After raising two sons, Adam and Matthew, her focus turned once again to her interest in Judaism, and in compassionate care: she became involved in the early 1990’s at The Rashi School as a parent and a board member; completed Hebrew College’s Me’ah program in 1999; was a founding member of the Advisory Council for Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Jewish Healing Connections; received her Masters in Jewish Studies in 2005 from Hebrew College, where she was a founding member of Journeys on the Hill, the predecessor to CIRCLE, the Center for Inter-religious and Communal Leadership Education; and entered the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Hebrew SeniorLife in 2008.
While her health issues did not allow her to complete her chaplaincy certification, she was indeed a chaplain to those who knew her, and was a member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Betty Ann and her husband Dan met and became inseparable in 1974 while presidents of their respective B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) chapters. They were married for nearly 36 years, prior to her death in August 2015.
- Rabbi Or Rose, Director
- Tom Reid, Assistant Director
- Reverend Soren M. Hessler, Senior Consultant
- Marilyn Stern, Community Engagement Administrator
- Phoebe Oler, Community Engagement Assistant
- Nona Woodle, Graduate Research Assistant
- Batya Ellinoy, Graduate Fellow
- Joey Glick, Graduate Fellow
- Hyunwoo Koo
- Axel Marc Oaks Takács, Managing Editor, JIRS
- Silvia Glick, Associate Managing Editor, JIRS
Boston Interfaith Leadership Initiative (BILI)
BILI is offered to undergraduate students at partner institutions.
Boston Bridges Fellowship for Religious and Communal Leaders
For emerging religious and communal leaders.
State of Formation Fellowships
For current graduate students and new professionals
Residential Interreligious Fellowship Program
To cultivate interreligious leadership skills and develop religious literacy in and among graduate students living at the Walker Center of Ecumenical Exchange in Auburndale, MA.
The staff and affiliated faculty of the Miller Center offer various adult education opportunities at synagogues, churches, mosques, and other community organizations on the religious thought and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Among the newest courses offered in fall 2018 is “Parenting as a Spiritual Journey: Jewish & Muslim Perspectives” with instructors Dr. Celene Ibrahim from Tufts University, Rabbi Or Rose from Hebrew College, and Najiba Akbar, MSW, Integral Coach. The interactive seminar provides participants the opportunity to reflect together on the joys and challenges of parenting from Muslim and Jewish perspectives. Session topics include: Marking the Sacred Rhythms of Life: Calendar & Lifecycle Events, Talking about God & Spirituality: Voices of the Past & the Present, Our Homes as Sacred Laboratories, Balancing Self-Expression & Communal Belonging and Honoring Commonality & Difference in Our Families & Communities.
Information about open enrollment courses will be available here. Our staff are also available for customized learning opportunities for individual communities. Please contact Rev. Soren Hessler or Rabbi Or Rose for more information.
In collaboration with the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, Miller Center staff will be offering the following courses, which may be taken for credit or audited for non-credit:
- Introduction to Christianity (January 2019). Instructor: Rev. Soren Hessler. This intensive course will be conducted on-site at churches and Christian organizations in greater Boston, providing students the opportunity to network with other important actors in the religious landscape and exposure to the various expressions of Christianity in Boston.
- Introduction to Islam (2019-2020)
- Introduction to Pluralism (2019-2020)
- Be enrolled at a BTI school, either for a degree or for continuing education
- Take four courses related to Interreligious Leadership*:
- Core course: “Interreligious Leadership in Theory and Practice” (one-week, interdisciplinary intensive held during the January term at Hebrew College) or an equivalent course
- Comparative theology and/or text study
- History of the interaction of two or more religious traditions
- Ethics or social/environmental justice in two or more religions traditions
* Students must take at least one of these four courses at a school other than their home institution (in-person or online)
- Participate in a mentorship relationship with a clergyperson, intellectual, activist, or artist involved in interreligious leadership (20 hours annually; arranged with the certificate coordinator)
- Join the cohort for an annual winter dinner and reflection session (December)
- Attend the annual interreligious leadership retreat hosted by Hebrew College (April or May)
- Write a capstone paper (10-15 pages) synthesizing one’s learning about interreligious leadership, including an exploration of a leadership challenge (to be reviewed by the coordinator and a BTI faculty committee member).
- Interested students will submit a brief application which will be reviewed by the certificate coordinator and a member of the faculty advisory committee
- Participants will submit an annual progress report to the certificate coordinator
- All work for the certificate will be completed by November 1st for fall graduation or April 1st for spring graduation.
Faculty Advisory Committee
- Or Rose, Director, The Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership, Hebrew College
- Emmanuel Clapsis, Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School
- Andrew Davis, Associate Professor of Old Testatment, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
- David Decosimo, Assistant Professor of Theology, Boston University School of Theology
- Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Hartford Seminary
- Celene Ibrahim, Faculty, Boston Islamic Seminary, & Muslim Chaplain, Tufts University
- Daniel Judson, Dean, The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College
Rabbi Or N. Rose
Director, Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership
Journal of Interreligious Studies: Provides a vehicle foracademic discourse to effect practical change in the field of inter-religious dialogue. The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue™ seeks to bring together religious, civic, academic, and non-profit leaders of all ages and backgrounds to ensure that lessons derived from scholarship are directly applied through practical programming for religious communities through peer-reviewed content.
State of Formation Blog: Founded as an offshoot of the Journal of Interreligious Studies (JIRS), this blog is a program of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership at Hebrew College and Boston University School of Theology. Through mentoring, emerging interreligious leaders are given the opportunity to develop their public voices as thought leaders through blogs they author during their State of Formation fellowship.
My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformations. Edited by Jennifer Howe Peace, Or N. Rose, and Gregory Mobley
Words to Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement. Edited by Or N. Rose, Homayra Ziad, and Soren M. Hessler
Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Defining a New Field. Eboo Patel, Jennifer Howe Peace, and Noah J. Silverman. A groundbreaking academic anthology that explores the emerging field of interreligious/interfaith studies.
Undergraduate Mentoring Symposium
Mentoring Undergraduate Students for Formation in Religious and Interreligious Leadership
Together with the Office of Religious Life at Boston University, the Miller Center hosted a symposium on mentoring undergraduate students for formation in religious and interreligious leadership on March 7-8, 2018. The symposium is supported by a grant from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) to the Office of Religious Life at Boston University to cultivate resources for undergraduate mentoring for students emerging into religious leadership
The symposium gathered religious professionals at schools in greater New England with established mentoring programs to share their practices. Those professionals expressed interest in contributing chapters for a resource book chronicling the varieties of successful mentoring programs for undergraduate students emerging into religious and interreligious leadership across the country. The symposium organizers, Br. Lawrence A. Whitney, University Chaplain for Community Life at Boston University (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Rev. Soren M. Hessler, Associate Director of the Miller Center (email@example.com), together with Rev. Dr. Jennifer A. Quigley, Assistant Professor of New Testament & Early Christian Studies and Louisville Postdoctoral Fellow at Drew University (firstname.lastname@example.org), are coordinating and co-editing the affiliated book project. The call for papers can be found here.
As the book project progresses, updates will be posted to the Miller Center website.