Diversity matters at Loras College because we are an inclusive community of people from many backgrounds and experiences
Our commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition! Loras College is a Catholic, diocesan college explicitly oriented to promote service of both church and world through encouraging all members of the community in development of their “diverse professional, social and religious roles.” The college strives to be a community demonstrating the highest standards of the Catholic intellectual tradition and welcoming all people into a dialogue to promote core values of truth, respect, responsibility, excellence and service. Learn more
Commitment to providing and promoting interfaith opportunities and dialogue for students, faculty and staff. As part of Loras’ identity as a Catholic institution, the Second Vatican Council’s Nostra Aetate declares, “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in [other] religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men” . Loras and its students have been nationally recognized for their commitment to interfaith community service. learn more
Religious Diversity and Inclusion
Religious diversity at Loras is represented by students of diverse faiths including Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, and many other Christian denominations. Loras embraces Catholic Social Teachings and our Catholic Identity Statement that include celebrating the spirituality of all people, seeking an understanding and acceptance of those around us, so that we may better understand our ability to contribute positively to the world, together.
Some course offerings encourage an analysis of faith and religion through the comparison of Catholic, Christian and other faith traditions, and our faculty and staff have taken leadership roles in several groups designed specifically to garner a better understanding of faiths other than Catholicism.
In its fourth year, the Children of Abraham program, is a series of conversations between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all open to the public. Each conversation is focused on a specific topic, ranging from various prophets (Abraham, Moses) to the understanding of God to dimensions of experience (conversion, suffering) to social concepts and behaviors (peace, discrimination). Following the gospel principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” and oriented toward peace-building through nurturing relationships between people, the Children of Abraham program emphasizes listening and learning and does not involve debate or any attempt at persuasion. The result has been the formation of cross-cultural friendships and inter-religious respect and understanding.
For the past three years, Loras has invited the imam at the Tri-State Islamic Center to come to campus to lead a discussion of the Qur’an for anyone, from campus or the Dubuque community, who wishes to participate. The sessions involve hearing the text translated (also with written translations on hand) and then explained from Muslim perspective, followed by questions and discussion. The purpose of the sessions is to expose participants to a different perspective that provides depth of understanding through repeated experience and sympathy through personal experience.
DuTalk©: Dialogue, Difference, Democracy
DuTalk© was begun in 2009 in response to requests from faculty, staff and students for more opportunities to learn skills in valuing inclusion. Loras College defines inclusion broadly, beyond protected classes, as all forms of difference. We believe that respectful, civil discourse is the best way to put our expressed value for diversity into practice. DuTalk Ground Rules & Guidelines (pdf)
Loras College Intercultural Programs support a multicultural understanding that weaves the Loras College commitment to diversity into the educational, spiritual, academic, cultural, and social fabric of the campus. We provide leadership in education that celebrates individual differences of people within the Loras and Dubuque community by providing support for the tapestry of ideas and experience to which each person contributes to its overall environment. In facilitation of such endeavors, we especially encourage students of minority and international backgrounds to participate in its support effort focused on mentoring and leadership development to strengthen their overall educational experience.
We also administer and support a variety of programs, as well as interpersonal activities that facilitate the adjustment of the multicultural and international students to the college.
At Loras, over 500 student-athletes not only represent a diverse group of students, but immerse themselves in groups, situations and organizations, through athletics and beyond, that support diversity and inclusion. Our student-athletes come from 17 states and 8 different countries.