Mary (third from left) and Womack (second from right) <br> with friends from Masjid of al-Islam.During my first semester at Candler, I was privileged to take “Islam in America” with Deanna F. Womack, assistant professor in the practice of history of religions and multifaith relations, who provided many opportunities for students to participate in Christian-Muslim dialogue in Atlanta. For example, she organized a trip to Masjid of al-Islam, Atlanta’s oldest historically Black mosque. Visiting Masjid of al-Islam was an incredible experience which yielded many connections for me, including the pleasure of interviewing a woman who helped me with my final project for the course: a children’s book about Christian-Muslim dialogue called “Mary and Asma Talk About God.” 

Dr. Womack also made connections for students on campus by organizing visits to the Friday Muslim prayer services. I began friendships with female Muslim Student Association students that still continue today. In class, we hosted several Muslim speakers ranging from feminist scholars to a spokesperson from Atlanta’s Islamic Speakers Bureau.

“Islam in America” exposed me to thoughtful and important articles and issues concerning fellow U.S. citizens. The course provided amazing perspectives on Muslim-American identity and religious plurality in America, and also offered excellent theoretical material paired with practical, hands-on interreligious experience. I am so grateful I was able to begin my graduate education with this incredible multifaith experience in the diverse city of Atlanta.

Read more about multifaith at Candler.