Did you know that the greater Houston area is considered the most diverse urban region in the country?
Did you know that Harris County is the most populous county in Texas and the third-most populous county in the country?
Did you know that Harris County is included in the nine-county Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan area in the United States?
Did you ever consider how important it is that, with so many people from so many places, we understand who each other is? We can help!
Since 1969, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) has been helping our community learn more about each other through dialogue, collaboration, and service, as a demonstration of our shared beliefs. Under the umbrella of the Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships (IRCP) at IM, we offer educational opportunities and places where people can connect with individuals of diverse faiths and backgrounds through existing programs such as our Dinner Dialogues, Faith in our City, Interfaith Podcast Project, and iLEAD youth leadership and service programs.
In addition, our team can provide high-quality, engaging, and affordable interactive and experiential educational opportunities for schools, colleges, as well as religious, corporate, and community groups interested in understanding Houston’s cultural and religious landscape. Our expertise and resources can foster a deeper understanding of Houston’s religious diversity and help people and organizations appreciate our diverse and growing community.
Our work builds bridges by providing opportunities to learn about our community’s religious diversity. We focus on cultural competency, greater understanding of our community, and practical skills to navigate our diverse world. We believe that these attributes can contribute to healthier communities, classrooms, and workspaces, an increased confidence in interpersonal interactions, and a deeper understanding of the people and the world around us.
Choose from a House of Worship experience, classes, workshops, speakers, and presentations. Let us know if you need another kind of resource as well.
Visit our resource request form to learn more about our offerings.
Commonly Asked Questions
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston is Houston’s oldest interfaith service organization. We’ve been around since 1969 offering a variety of services, but all under the banner of “The Strength of Shared Beliefs.” We’re focused not only on helping people, but also on the way that we help people. We want to bring people together to learn, to connect, to understand, and we do much of that work across religious communities.
“Interfaith made our visits a lifelong memorable experience for our students…Greg’s proactive presence throughout the trip, even anticipating which turns might be missed by our buses, ensured that we moved all 100 middle school students on three busses efficiently and safely. He came back to school and thoroughly debriefed with our students, making sure they reflected on all the things they saw, noticed, wondered about, and learned. It was a truly complete experience.”– KIPP Houston Public Schools
“Interfaith Ministries has organized and led our yearly ‘World of Neighbors’ experience to different faith communities since 2017. Our participants have been able to learn about many different religions not only by visiting different houses of worship but also through visiting with people from these diverse faith traditions. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; participants regularly comment on how the visits are transformative, educational, and fascinating. In a city as large and diverse as Houston, people of different faiths need to know more about their neighbors.” – St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
“Thank you again for putting on Religion Beyond the Hedges last night. I can honestly say that it was one of the most meaningful events I’ve attended in my time at Rice. The fact that you were able to create an atmosphere in which students felt comfortable enough to share their personal beliefs and ask vulnerable questions was really inspiring…the work you do is so important…” -Rice University Student after attending IRCP’s “Religion Beyond the Hedges” program as part of Rice’s Interfaith Week, January 2019
We know that helpful and relevant information about religions is sometimes hard to find, and that religion is not a conversation that our culture trains us to have in constructive ways. We know these can be uncomfortable conversations; we also know that a community with a low level of religious literacy, knowledge of basic facts and concepts about different faiths, an even worse problem. We know there are ways to learn about each other’s religions that are interesting, interactive, and thoughtful. Religion and religious beliefs are a key part of the fabric of human culture; while a unique phenomenon on its own, religion is also a place where history, philosophy, art, literature, ethics, and anthropology intersect. In other words: learning about religion is never boring, and it’s usually relevant to day-to-day life.
Good question! It sounds like a new religion, but it’s not. Interfaith, or sometimes interreligious or multireligious work, is defined by the fact that it happens when there are different religions interacting with one another. It’s more about the interaction and engagement between religious experiences. These interactions between religions, these “interfaith” interactions, happen all the time, and they need to be done well. We’re interested in the importance of people understanding not only their own religion, but others as well. While we’re looking to create a more harmonious culture, we’re not in this work for feel-good, simplistic, “kumbaya” moments. Religious understanding can be a source of more meaningful collaboration, just as misunderstandings based in religion can be the source of enmity and conflict. In other words: knowledge of other religions isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
We seek to engage with people that aren’t religious. Many surveys show that nearly 25% of the adult population in the United States don’t affiliate with a religious tradition (see the work of the Pew Forum). 25% is a good chunk of the American public and needs to be part of the conversation. In addition, regardless of what you think about religion, most of your neighbors most likely belong to one! That sounds like a good reason to learn more about other religions.
I am religious; won’t interacting with other religions threaten my own beliefs? Or, aren’t I supposed to convert other people? Is that what you’re doing?
Our experiences have shown that learning about other religions doesn’t dilute one’s own faith. We are about education and relationship-building; indoctrination is not our work.
Interfaith Ministries is about helping people understand other religions, and what it means to be religious. Interestingly, IM is not a religious organization; we are an organization that takes the role of religion, and the role of religious communities, seriously. If you work for a non-religious/secular/government organization, that’s fine with us.
Public schools are not the places for religious instruction, indoctrination, or conversion; schools are places for education and understanding about religions. We’ve found that, when students learn more about religions, it helps put into context the learning they do in history and social studies courses. We’ve also found that the students we have taken to faith communities/houses of worship learn a great deal about their neighbors and their communities and can help become more well-rounded and informed citizens.
Contact us with the following form!
On the form you’ll fill out, there’s a place to list your budget and needs. Let’s talk about working together in a way that fits within your budget and also works towards compensating the high-quality work we offer.