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Jeff Long

Learn from Internationally Known Faculty

Dr. Jeff Long, professor of religion at Elizabethtown College, publishes and speaks internationally on the subject of religious pluralism.

Leadership and Patel

Why Interfaith Leadership Studies?

Interfaith leadership and service are increasingly important in the arena of global politics, but also matter greatly in local communities, suburbs, and cities. We have national partnerships with Eboo Patel's Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, and have sponsored students to attend the IFYC Interfaith Leadership Institute.

Interfaith

Why Religious Studies?

In the 21st century, religion is as powerful a force in the world as it has ever been. In our program, you can learn about the religions of the world from books, and also from real-world experiences. We have connections with many local and regional churches, synagogues, and temples.

Krystal Dove '11

[Taking Sanskrit I] was easily one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. That was the semester I fell in love with India. --Krystal Dove

Krystal Dove ’11 of Carlisle, Pa., earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and is back at Elizabethtown College pursuing a second major in Religious Studies—a discipline she accidentally fell in love with while fulfilling a Core requirement.

“The story of how I became religious studies major is a complicated one. I had always been interested in languages, cultures and religions,” said Krystal. “In my sophomore year I decided to take what was then called Hinduism with Dr. Jeffery Long. I had heard good things about his classes and really just needed to fill the non-western heritage core.”

In that first class, Dr. Long asked everyone in the class to explain why they were there. Krystal explained that she had been interested in studying Hinduism after reading about Hindu deities during a personal study of world mythology and that she was very impressed that Elizabethtown College offered classes in Sanskrit—the ancient language in which most Hindu religious texts had been written.

“Dr. Long was suddenly really excited. He told me that Sanskrit I met at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon and I should be there,” she said, adding that because her schedule already was full, she dropped a required course. “[Taking that class] was easily one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. That was the semester I fell in love with India.”

That spring, Krystal took Sanskrit II, continued working on her Spanish major and Human Services minor and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, during her junior year—which she cites as her most memorable College experience. Although, by the first semester of her senior year Krystal had enough credits to graduate a semester early, she decided to finish out the year, taking more Religious Studies courses, including Buddhism.

“[In my] senior year, I met a lot of other religious studies majors, minors and dabblers and realized that they are ‘my’ people and some of my best friends,” she said.

Krystal considered declaring a Religious Studies minor or adding it as a second major, but to graduate on time, she finished her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She returned to the College in the fall of 2011 for post-baccalaureate studies; this means she will take a few additional classes to fulfill a second major under her original degree.

Krystal was attracted to the friendliness of the Elizabethtown College campus.

“I liked the small size (unlike the state schools) and the secluded campus (unlike those in downtown areas). People were friendly and remembered my name even before I decided to attend the college,” she said.

While on campus the first time around, Krystal worked on campus in The Jay’s Nest as a team leader, an experience she says gave her leadership and life experience. Outside of school and a part-time job, Krystal serves as secretary of the board of directors for the Central Pennsylvania Swing Dance Club.

Elizabethtown College