Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars
on Religious Pluralism in the United States

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The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Scholars on Religious Pluralism in the United States will be held at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 8-August 19, 2019. The program is administered/hosted by the Dialogue Institute and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participants in SUSI are among the approximately 30,000 individuals who participate in exchanges managed by ECA each year.  

Dialogue Institute
Temple University (062-56)
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 315
Philadelphia, PA 19121-0843

You are among eighteen outstanding scholars from eighteen different countries who have been chosen to participate in this intensive six-week learning experience. The program is designed to include classroom work as well as frequent interactions with many Americans from diverse backgrounds. The course will offer a variety of learning opportunities including lectures, classroom discussions, cultural and religious site visits, trips to New York City, and a nearly two week-long study tour in Phoenix, Sedona, and Flagstaff (Arizona) as well as Washington, DC —all designed to increase your understanding of American democracy and the way in which religious practice is protected and expressed in U.S. society.

Program Hosts

The Dialogue Institute (DI) at Temple University was founded in 1978 to advance interreligious and cross-cultural understanding and scholarship through education, networking and resource development; it is related to Temple's Department of Religion. We are delighted to welcome you for a unique learning experience based at Temple University.

Leadership Team

Program Administrators and Senior Staff

Rebecca Mays is the Executive Director of the Dialogue Institute.  Ms. Mays holds a B.A. in English from Earlham College and an M.A. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She ha worked as a Quaker educator in schools and colleges and as a professional editor/publisher for the Religious Society of Friends at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Study Center in Media, PA. When teaching the Synoptic Gospels classes there, she became involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue work. Her interest grew to include the study of Islam as she completed a second M.A. in Religious Studies and Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University.  She currently serves on the Administrative Committee of the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia and on the Worship and Ministry Committee of her local Quaker meeting.

Rebecca Mays, M.A., M.A.

Academic Director







David Krueger, PhD

Program Director

David M. Krueger is a scholar, author, and educator who is passionate about public history and interfaith understanding. His areas of expertise include American religious history, violence, myths, and popular culture. Dr. Krueger is a sought-after lecturer and speaker and has frequently served as a narrator and scholarly contributor on the Science Channel. He received an M.Div from Palmer Theological Seminary, a ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in religious studies from Temple University. His book, Myths of the Rune Stone: Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America was published by the University of Minnesota Press. Dr. Krueger is a versatile and seasoned educator who has taught at Chestnut Hill College, Palmer Theological Seminary, Temple University, and Rutgers University-Camden. He has served as a deacon in the United Methodist Church and regularly attends a Mennonite church with his family. He is also the assistant director for the The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program based at Temple University. Although he grew up as a farm kid in Minnesota, he has come to love Philadelphia and its fascinating history since moving there in 1995. Articles and essays he has written have appeared in several publications including Religion Dispatches and The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. He is certified by the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides to offer tours of religious and historical sites in the city.  

Andi is currently a PhD student in the Religion Department at Temple University. Her dissertation topic is on the 2005 Iraqi Constitution and its resulting sectarian violence. She is working to identify how a Democratic intervention transformed the religious landscape of a primarily Islamic nation and if such an influence has the possibility to lead to religious pluralism within Iraq despite its current sectarian divide.  Andi earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics at SUNY University at Buffalo. She attended Arizona State University for her MA in Religious Studies with a focus on the Bremer Period of Iraq. 

Andi Laudisio

Administrative Director