Student Spotlight
Mark with friends from the Interfaith Forum
Keeping the (inter)faith

UIndy sophomore Mark Wolfe is not about to wait for graduation to start changing the world. A triple-major in pre-theology, youth ministry, and philosophy, Mark is the founder of UIndy’s newest registered student organization, Interfaith Forum. Interfaith Forum is dedicated to encouraging positive relationships among different faiths by strengthening personal faith values through education and service. In November of Mark’s freshman year, UIndy hosted a speaker named Eboo Patel, the founder and director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a nationwide interfaith organization based in Chicago. Mark and a few of his friends—now fellow Interfaith Forum leadership board members—were instantly inspired. Mark eventually landed one of Interfaith Youth Core’s 20 national fellowships, winning over several hundred applicants.

Mark with friends from the Interfaith Forum

Left to right: Faith Cougill ’13, Interfaith Forum treasurer Mark Wolfe ’13, Interfaith Forum founder & president Jenna Nawrocki ’13, Interfaith Forum vice president

“The Interfaith Youth Core Fellows Alliance is a one-year program to try to install interfaith leaders on college campuses,” Mark says. “The fellows work to promote interfaith initiatives and interfaith service projects on their respective college campuses.”

Mark was challenged to bring the interfaith message to UIndy; hence, the creation of Interfaith Forum. The Forum already has hosted several service projects and discussion events, including a November “What If?” Speak In event.

“Our primary goal with the Speak In was to rethink ways to do service by working together across faith lines,” Mark says. Besides his work with Interfaith Forum, Mark is also a part of the Honors College at UIndy, which he says “has been huge” for him. In addition to helping him make connections that have contributed to his interfaith work, the Honors College has set him up with grants to help fund international travel.

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“I got a grant to go on a Christian campus ministry mission trip to Sierra Leone last year, and I’m applying this year to go to Taizé, France, for a trip where Christians from all over the world make a pilgrimage together.”

Mark also lives in Honors College housing on the fourth floor of Central Hall.

“At first I had this stereotype that it would be a bunch of people I couldn’t relate to, but I love it,” Mark says. “A lot of my friends are living there now, too.”