The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement hosted its second Faith Leaders Breakfast on Aug. 24 with a goal of reinforcing Niagara University’s commitment to the faith community.

Twenty local pastors, reverends, deacons and other faith leaders gathered in Bisgrove Hall to enjoy breakfast and listen to updates on faith-based initiatives and programs at Niagara University.

Updates included:

  • Jay Stockslader, director of continuing education at NU, discussed the newly created Urban Ministry 2.0 program, which will be held during the fall semester. The certificate program will feature two courses: Urban Ministry: Facts, Figures, History and Relevance in Today’s World and Pass the Salt – Counseling with Personal Faith, Integrity, Discernment and Compassion. These courses will give an in-depth look at ministry and its impact on the faith and overall community.
  • Another continuing education course will focus on the rebuilding of the Buffalo-Niagara region and how religious and sociocultural dynamics impact this growth. Rebuilding a City: Secrets to our Area’s Success will be led by the Rev. Al Warner, founder of Set Free Inc., a networking ministry that connects leaders to build relationships and strategize for city transformation.
  • Currently in the proposal stage, the Center for the Study and Practice of Religion is expected to achieve two goals: Engage in, promote and support scholarship on all facets of religion, including religious faith and practice; and work with other offices and departments on campus to facilitate opportunities for Niagara University students, employees and members of the broader community to engage their faith and deepen their experience of religious practice. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Craig Rivera at ude.aragain@rjc or 716.286.8095.
  • Capacity College, a new program developed by ReNU Niagara in commemoration of its 10thanniversary, is geared toward grassroots organizations. Its purpose is to empower those who attend to take what they learn and apply it to the work that they do within their organization(s). The first course topic, grant-writing, will be held for nine weeks during the fall semester.

The Levesque Institute was established in September 2011 to reinforce Niagara University’s commitment to the region by strengthening existing community partnerships and forming new town-gown relationships. It encompasses three of the university’s flagship service-oriented programs, ReNU Niagara, Learn and Serve Niagara, and Border Community SERVICE. The institute also serves as the primary resource for community members looking to partner with NU’s student, faculty and staff.