Sustained Dialogue

Modeled after the tenets of the nationally renowned Intergroup Dialogues Program, Sustained Dialogue is a student-centered, dialogic social justice education model that fosters student engagement and learning across differences. Sustained Dialogues focus on race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ability. 

Sustained Dialogue aims to bring people together from diverse backgrounds to address and resolve deep-rooted issues that are dividing the campus and community along political, religious, cultural, social, racial, or socioeconomic lines.

Community Members Invited to Sustained Interfaith Dialogues Throughout 2014-2015

With the goal of fostering knowledge and understanding within the local community, faculty and staff at Lebanon Valley College have planned six dialogues involving a diverse panel of religious leaders for the 2014-2015 academic year. Each dialogue begins with a statement regarding a particular issue or topic on the part of each religious leader. Then panelists and audience members are invited to present questions or comments to the gathered group. A light pizza lunch is provided.

The first dialogue, to be held in Miller Chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m., will focus on the topic of gender roles within religious communities. What does it mean to be a man in each of the religious traditions represented? What does it mean to be a woman? Panelists will briefly illustrate responses by sharing about archetypes from religious tradition.

The panel of six religious leaders includes Rabbi Paula Reimers of Congregation Beth Israel, Jay Deshpande from the Hindu community, Father Job Foote of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Irshad Jaffri from Lebanon Valley Mosque, Rev. Shellie Sterner from the United Methodist Church and Shosu Geoff Dunaway from the Blue Mountain Lotus Society. Dr. Matt Sayers, assistant professor of religion at LVC, serves as moderator.

"Friendly, thoughtful dialogue among faiths is a key ingredient for enhancing mutual understanding and respect among cultures and religions," according to Paul Fullmer, Chaplain at Lebanon Valley College, "which becomes increasingly important as our society becomes increasingly globalized. We certainly won't all agree on all points of our discussion, but chances are that we will learn from one another."

Sustained Dialogues (SDs) are conducted at colleges and universities across the United States. They typically focus on social issues within a particular area such as ethnic background, social status, genders, political affiliations and religion.

The dialogues at Lebanon Valley College are free and open to the public. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, dialogues have been scheduled in the lobby of Miller Chapel at 11 a.m. on Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, and Mar. 17. To register, call 717-867-6135 or email