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The Interfaith Centre

The Interfaith Centre is a community hub on campus where inclusivity is standard, questions are always welcome, and the differences between people and cultures are explored and celebrated.

Interfaith Centre group meeting

We remain committed to supporting student success and our staff and chaplains are available to assist you via phone or email. If you need spiritual support, please contact a member of our team at one of the contacts listed below: 

Meet the Interfaith Centre team

Our chaplains serve on a volunteer, part-time basis and represent a variety of different faith communities.

Art Kung, Christian, University Campus Ministries

Art KungAs a SAIT alumnus, Art enjoyed a life of adventure in the air ambulance industry — bringing help and hope to some critical scenarios over the years.

His intense career experiences stirred in him difficult questions of life and death, meaning and purpose. Art says his journey has led him through a "theology of grace" into deeper spirituality, community and conviction.

What's a chaplain?

Oooo, great question. I feel it means different things to people. Some would look to us as pastors or priests with whom they can find likeminded community and spiritual guidance. Others are looking for a safe place to ask questions and gain perspective. Essentially, I guess we’re sounding boards — people who can speak encouragement and offer perspective.

Ask me about...

Anything! I absolutely love: hockey (sports in general, but come on, I'm Canadian), coffee (fresh, hand ground in my office or in my "second office", The Odyssey), technology (ask me about my watch), family (I'm blessed with the best wife and son in the history of the world), spirituality (meaning and purpose — for me, the answers are nestled deep in my own faith journey), food and culture, the list goes on.

What does interfaith mean to me?

To me, interfaith is about not merely tolerating different faiths or non-faith but finding ways to celebrate each other while recognizing the differences.

Contact

art.kung@sait.ca
403.542.0414
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Reverend Tim Nethercott, Christian (United Church)

Tim NethercottBefore becoming ordained in the United Church of Canada, Tim had careers in book publishing, teaching English and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Tim describes himself as a "religious mongrel," since he was raised in the Evangelical church and spent a number of years in the Roman Catholic world. Like many young people, he became "allergic" to his own faith tradition in his 20s and left the Church for several years. He practiced Buddhism for two years, then finally returned to his own religious tradition.

He was formed for ministry at Queens University in the Canadian tradition of the Social Gospel, which places a high value on the struggle for social justice. Tim is a vigorous LGBTQ advocate.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain is a religious leader who works in a public institution rather than in a faith community like a church or a synagogue. Chaplains attempt to bring the spiritual wisdom of their faith tradition to the overall culture of the institution they serve and to individuals who seek them out for support.

Ask me about...

LGBTQ people and Christianity. The United Church of Canada, in which I am ordained, has been on the path of affirming sexual and gender minorities for over 30 years.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means having the humility to learn from people of other traditions. I find that one of the best ways to learn about my own faith tradition is to interact with people of other traditions.

Contact

tim.nethercott@sait.ca
403.202.0180
Tuesdays, 10 am – noon

Reverend Cristino Bouvette, Roman Catholic

Cristino BouvetteWhat's a chaplain?

I'm still figuring that out! Although I’ve been a priest for seven years and have always remained connected with university students and young adults, I’m still learning about the best way to serve people at this stage of their life on and off campus.

Ask me about...

Food and climbing. I have a very large Italian family on my mother's side, so I basically grew up in a kitchen. In the last five years, I have discovered rock climbing and am a proud member of the Calgary Climbing Centre community.

What does interfaith mean to me?

The freedom to explore the meaning of life and who (if anyone) decided we should be here is the most enriching experience of being human. Faith traditions give us a way to consider these important topics, and when doing so side by side we learn to look and listen together.

Contact

403.463.2133
Fridays, 10 am – 2 pm
Let's connect on Facebook.

Imam Fayaz Tilly, Muslim (Sunni)

Fayaz TillyImam Fayaz Tilly attended the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Buffalo, New York, where he memorized the Holy Qur'an and acquired the knowledge of the basic Islamic sciences. Upon becoming a Hafiz (one who has successfully memorized the Qur'an), he enrolled in the seven-year course of Islamic Sciences at Darul-Uloom.

After completing his degree (masters equivalency) in 2002, he returned to Canada to serve the Muslim community of Calgary, Alberta. Imam Fayaz is the founder and director of Tahfeez-ul-Quran, a Quranic memorization program in Calgary.

Contact

Fayaz.tilly@sait.ca
403.681.7834
Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 am – 3 pm (by appointment only)

Sarah Ward, Interfaith Centre Coordinator

Ask me about...

What I’m reading right now, how meditation has improved my life and how a non-religious person like myself came to be the Interfaith Centre coordinator.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means helping students and staff thrive in an environment where people of all faith and non-faith traditions can come together and work towards creating a strong, supportive and diverse SAIT community.

Contact

sarah.ward@sait.ca
403.210.4358

Religious accommodations

Every member of the SAIT community — students, staff and faculty — has the opportunity to profess and practice their faith without fear of discrimination. 

If you're looking for accommodations for documented disabilities or health conditions contact  Accessibility Services.

Vaccine exemptions accommodation

SAIT has finished reviewing its process for handling vaccine exemption requests. A committee has been established and a new set of criteria has been developed. The purpose behind asking all applicants to complete this new process is so that SAIT can review all requests fairly and thoroughly.

In order to apply for a religious accommodation request, you will need to complete this form and attach a letter from your local faith community leader. There is specific information that is required from your faith leader. The form must be filled out accurately and completely to be considered for accommodation.

As well, students will be asked to answer specific questions and provide a robust explanation in their own words. SAIT is not looking for cut and paste information from websites or signed form letters that can be downloaded, but you may attach those documents to the application as supplementary information.

For further questions or concerns, please email vaccine.exemption@sait.ca.

Religious observances accommodation

If you need an accommodation for religious observance,  complete the request form a minimum of 10 days prior to the observance. Forms must be completed electronically and emailed to the  Student Engagement team. Requests will be accommodated whenever possible. Students are required to make up missed work and meet all course requirements. 

Please note, this list is not exhaustive — additional dates may be found on the Interfaith Calendar.

Eid-al-Adha* Islam July 19, 2021 (sunset) to July 23, 2021
Rosh Hashanah Judaism Sept. 6, 2021 (sunset) to Sept. 8, 2021
Yom Kippur Judaism Sept. 15, 2021 (sunset) to Sept. 16, 2021
Sukkoth Judaism Sept. 20, 2021 (sunset)
Shemini Atzeret Judaism Sept. 27, 2021 (sunset) 
Diwali ( Deepaval) Hindu/Sikh/Jain Nov. 4, 2021
Hanukkah  Judaism Nov. 28, 2021 (sunset) to Dec. 6, 2021 (nightfall)
Christmas (Orthodox) Christianity Jan. 7, 2022
Lunar New Year Buddhism Feb. 1, 2022 Year of the Tiger
Ash Wednesday Christianity March 2, 2022
Nowruz Baha’i/Zoroastrian March 20, 2022
Passover Judaism April 15, 2022 (sunset) to April 23, 2022 (nightfall)
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday Christianity April 14, 2022
Vaisakhi Sikhism April 14, 2022
Holy Friday (Orthodox) Christianity April 22, 2022
Easter (Orthodox) Christianity April 24, 2022
Ramadan* Islam April 2, 2022 (sunset) to May 2, 2022
Shavuot Judaism June 4, 2022 (sunset) to June 6, 2022 (nightfall)
National Indigenous Peoples Day Indigenous June 21, 2022
Eid-al-Fitr* Islam May 2, 2022 (sunset) to May 3, 2022
*Some observances are based on the lunar calendar, and may vary by one or two days.

Interfaith Centre student leaders

Our student leaders assist with the development and delivery of Interfaith Centre programming and events. We are currently hiring new student leaders for the 2021/2022 academic year. Please visit SAIT LEADS to learn more about current Interfaith Centre student leadership opportunities and to apply.

Adrian Oida

Adrian OidaMy name is Adrian Oida, I am a social butterfly, pursuing the business administration program at SAIT. I was born in the Philippines, lived in BC for a couple of years, then moved to Alberta. Since then, I have been raised in Canada as a believer in Roman Catholicism.

My hobbies include listening to music, stargazing, outdoor activities, and learning new things. With the help of chaplains, I desire to develop wisdom and positive solution-based thinking as an interfaith student leader.

I strive to improve my cultural awareness, critical thinking, and applied knowledge to succeed in a diverse team. Learning about the cultures around me is exciting. I feel that I can accomplish many goals when we embrace diversity to overcome the challenges we face today.

Akshita Sharma

Akshita SharmaHello everyone, my name is Akshita Sharma, and I am an international student from India. I’m pursuing Business Administration diploma (Financial Services) from SAIT in my last semester.

I absolutely enjoy eating out, trying new restaurants, and swimming. I was brought up in a Hindu household and only had knowledge about my religion and traditions, through being an Interfaith student leader.

I wish to learn and understand different cultures and beliefs and hopefully embark my understandings to other SAIT students with the help of the chaplains.

Mahnoor Ahsan

Mahnoor AhsanHello! My name is Mahnoor (Mahh-noor), and I am in my second year of the Business Administration program, majoring in Human Resources. My hobbies include, annoying my cat, online shopping, painting, and being active (especially hiking).

I wanted to join the Interfaith Centre at SAIT because I really want to emphasize how similar we are, rather than highlight our differences. Interfaith to me means coming together and finding our similarities within our religion, spiritual practice, or whatever you believe in.

No matter what your practice is, one thing we all want is peace and acceptance, and I believe that we can replicate that environment that can be a safe space for everyone at SAIT. I hope you can join us and be a part of our Interfaith Interface discussions every Thursday!

Yen Nguyen

Yen NguyenHey everyone! My name is Yen Nguyen, and I come to campus from Vietnam. I am pursuing a diploma in Business Administration and being a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Beta Sigma Tau Chapter.

I love learning about differences between people, beliefs, and cultures, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to share my journey here at Interfaith Centre with you all, as a Student Leader.

To me, the Interfaith Centre is the most inclusive, diversified, and respectful environment that I have ever been involved in! So if you have any questions - no matter how big or small - feel free to reach out to our Chaplains!

Outside of class, I love to do volunteer, calligraphy, read, and watch soccer matches (I rarely miss any soccer matches of my national team!)

What's on at the Interfaith Centre

Interfaith schedule of services

Weekly Activity Time/ location
Thursday Interfaith Interface Noon / MS Teams

Interfaith Interface

Interfaith Interface is a safe, inclusive and inspiring activity where students from different spiritual backgrounds and diverse cultures come together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue. Sharing and learning from one another can help to enhance our sense of purpose and better understand our place in the bigger picture. We look forward to seeing you there!

Speed faithing

Kick-start a classroom conversation about ethics, religion, diversity, cross cultural communication and more with help from one or all of our chaplains. Book a session for your class through student.engagement@sait.ca.

Memorial and grief support

Our interfaith chaplains work collaboratively within SAIT to provide support for staff and students dealing with the loss of a colleague or classmate. Contact the Interfaith Centre for more information.

Community spaces

Please note: All of our community spaces are currently unavailable for use or booking due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Everyone is welcome at the Interfaith Centre. We invite you to:

  • drop by the Interfaith Centre anytime for a chat — MB305, Stan Grad Centre, 9 am - 4 pm 
  • take a deep breath in our meditation space — MB314, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 
  • host a group chat in our meeting space — MC311, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm  

Connect with us

Sign up for the Interfaith mailing list so you don't miss out on our monthly newsletter, news about events and supports for SAIT's interfaith community!

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