Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that promotes interfaith cooperation. His blog, The Faith Divide, explores what drives faiths apart and what brings them together. He is also author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (Beacon Press, 2007).

Posts By This Author

A Model for Higher Ed

by Eboo Patel 07-10-2015
Admission requirements at Berea include being smart, being willing to work hard, and being poor.
HigherEd

Frannyanne / Shutterstock

IN A BID to relive our traveling days, my best friend from college and I took a weekend road trip to Berea, Ky., to check out a folk music festival. We got to be dancing fools again for one beautiful, moonlit night, imbibing hippie music to our hearts’ content.

We also got a heart full of something else—a little thing called the American Dream.

In addition to being home to a cool new music festival, that little holler in Kentucky is home to Berea College. I’ve stepped foot on more than 100 campuses in my 10-plus years running Interfaith Youth Core. Berea is unique.

Maybe it’s because it was started in 1855 by a slave owner’s son as an interracial, co-educational school seeking to live out the school’s motto, drawn from the book of Acts, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.” Maybe it’s because the admission requirements include being smart, being willing to work hard, and being poor. Maybe it’s because the tuition is free. Maybe it’s because all students have a 10-hour-a-week campus job, ranging from office work to janitorial work.

Yes, you read all that right. A man whose family owned slaves took the Bible seriously enough to risk his life to start a college that educated blacks and whites and men and women, together, a decade before the civil war came to a close.

Christian Nation vs. Secular Country?

by Eboo Patel 05-06-2015

"The old hatreds shall someday pass; the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve." 

Is the Language of Business Enough?

by Eboo Patel 03-09-2015

If we are closed to faith language, we may find ourselves burned up and frozen out. 

People Get Ready

If Jen Bailey is emblematic of her generation in any way, we have a lot to be hopeful about. 

On Being A Muslim Parent

by Eboo Patel 11-06-2014

Would his first taste of Islamaphobia come at the age of 5 during show-and-tell. 

A Theology of Interfaith Cooperation

by Eboo Patel 08-05-2014

We can work with others even while disagreeing on significant issues.

The Strength to be Uncool

by Eboo Patel 06-04-2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs, left, giving advice to a young writer in the film "Almost Famous." / Columbia Pictures

A lot of problems stem from people lacking the courage to follow their moral core.

Studying Interfaith Leadership

by Eboo Patel 04-03-2014

This may be a field whose time has come.

'Nones' and the Common Good

by Eboo Patel 02-04-2014

What will happen to U.S. civil society as the pews empty out?

A Daringly Astute Faith

by Eboo Patel 12-11-2013

Just like that, the pope had gotten to the heart of Islam, my religion.

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