College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion

Opportunities for Internships and Travel for Religion Students

Increasingly, opportunities for cross-cultural experience are coming to Indianapolis. As mentioned elsewhere on this web site, Indianapolis is home to an increasingly diverse population of people representing not only the ethnic and cultural communities, but also the religious heritage of the world's major traditions. Whether one wants to experience worship in a Protestant, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox church, a Hindu temple or Islamic Mosque, one need not look further than the urban setting of Butler University. However, there is no experience in this country that will facilitate one's understanding not just of other cultures, but also of one's own, in the way that is possible through time spent in another country and culture. For this reason, Butler works hard to provide the widest possible range of opportunities for students to do precisely that.

Butler's study abroad program is closely linked to the Institute for Study Abroad, which is housed in the Interfaith Center not far from the Butler campus. In addition, external grants for study trips involving collaboration with a professor are available on a competitive basis. The Center for Faith and Vocation works closely with Butler's Religion program to provide relevant internships and travel opportunities that focus more specifically on areas of interest to religion majors. Whether your interest is in church ministry, religious publishing, inter-faith dialogue, or something else, chances are that it is not only possible to arrange such an internship, but that one or more students has already done just the sort of internship that interests you, leaving a precedent and established relationships that either the Department of Philosophy and Religion or the Center for Faith and Vocation can draw on to provide you with practical internship experience to complement the academic side of your education.

The Center for Faith and Vocation, through the generosity of the Lilly Foundation which provided the grant that established it, provided several subsidized field seminars in religion, which enabled groups of students to travel with faculty members from Religion and other programs to interesting destinations such as Nicaragua, South Africa, and Latvia. Another grant allowed a small group of professors and students to explore aspects of how science, technology and society intersect in India, with particular focus on religion and contemporary practice of Ayurvedic and Western medicine.

Whether encountering vibrant communities engaging matters of social injustice, or traditional congregations struggling to navigate the new situations facing increasingly secularized Europe, whether standing at an important place of pilgrimage or a site where thousands lost their lives in the Holocaust, students in the Religion program at Butler have had their horizons broadened through the opportunities for real-life experience that Butler University provides.

In May 2012, Dr. James F. McGrath took students on a 9 day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, and he will be leading a trip again in May 2014. For more information, please contact Dr. McGrath at jfmcgrat@butler.edu. A syllabus for the course can be found here, and the itinerary and other relevant details can be found on the EF Educational Tours web site.