OUR STORY

Our Mission

To enhance college and university campus climates for religious, secular, and spiritual identities through policy and practice.

Convergence on Campus, Inc. focuses on building the professionalism of the field where those working at the intersections of religious, secular, and spiritual identities take direct responsibility for supporting a campus wide conversation and policy shift for the benefit of all. Our work empowers campus professionals to work towards the future of diversity work that removes stigmas, opens communications, and fully incorporates religious, secular, and spiritual identities into broader life of the university.

From moments to movements

On September 22 and 23rd, 1998, Wellesley College was the host of a gathering called Education as Transformation (EaST) which laid the groundwork for hundreds of studies, journal articles, and thousands of initiatives on campuses that today have brought continued awareness about the need to support religious, secular, and spiritual identities on our campuses.  Almost 800 individuals from across the United States and the world would gather to ignite a conversation that sparked a movement in higher education.

From this gathering was born many things, most notably studies from the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), the launch of the Interfaith Youth Core, and the current Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS) all of which have radically changed the ways in which higher education approaches diversity work for religious, secular, and spiritual identifying students. Recent efforst by NASPA, the largest student affairs organization in the United States, and the revising of the Council of Advancement of Standards’ (CAS) policies regarding religious, secular, and spiritual programs, demonstrates that the time is now to institute large scale policy and practice changes within higher education. 

In both the United States and Canada, professionals have the opportunity to come together, building upon the experiences of students and moving forward a movement focused on enhancing the campus climate so as to create safe environments for all members of the campus community to express their identities.

What is convergence: Merriam Webster defines Convergence as the act of coming together and uniting in a common interest or focus. You have come here, religious professionals, higher education professionals, community professionals, to build a bond and to bring your wisdom, your skills, and your talents to a field that deeply requires all of you.  Islamaphobia, Antisemitism, aggression toward Atheists and Humanists, questions of inclusion, and the need to fully encompass the global citizenship narrative all are present in our world. These issues, and so many others, require each of us. I truly hope you come to realize with boldness and with intentionality the ways you may help change the narrative once and for all on our campuses for the betterment of society, and for the benefit of the world.  Welcome to Convergence.

 — Cody Nielsen,  Founder and Executive Director