Church Member Heads Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre
Brian Adams, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was appointed Director of the Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre last year. He feels deeply about the Centre's place in campus life and its potential to help students succeed.
The Centre is a venue where people from diverse faith, religious and spiritual traditions can deepen their own understanding of their faith and actively participate in interfaith dialogue, education and action.
“The work we do here,” says Brian, “contributes to a culture of peace in the university, Australia and internationally.”
He believes that students who grow their faith and their respect for the faith of others, while gaining knowledge for their chosen career, will do well in their studies and make significant contributions to society throughout their lives. “They will go on to be articulate and informed interfaith players on the world stage.”
Belonging to a non-mainline Christian church, Brian has a perspective others may not have regarding non-Christian traditions. “Coming from a smaller Christian faith that has suffered from misunderstandings in the past, I feel great empathy for those religious groups who incur prejudice,” he says.
“In a world that unfortunately features so much religious conflict, there is a great need to enhance inter-religious communication, to ensure that every faith treats every other faith as equals.”
The Multi-Faith Centre hosts events, symposiums, meetings and celebrations of the many cultures found in the student body. It is also a place where people with a common interest can sit down to share ideas and goals.
“We recently hosted a meeting between university researchers, cultural group leaders, religious teachers and other individuals who are concerned about high school drop-out levels in the region,” said Brian. “They wanted to share their understanding and focus on a direction to help youth complete an education.”
The Centre's unique design allows for both small meetings and large conferences, and has a prayer room for Muslim students. Brian hopes to get funding for improvements to grounds surrounding the Centre.
“This could be a place of peace for meditation; upgrades to the grounds and existing structure could allow for outdoor functions.” Brian loves the facility, the work that goes on there, and its future potential.
He also sees it as a drawing card for students considering university options.
“I hope students will see the Centre as a source of renewal as well as a place to learn and connect with others. I want it to be a place where institutions and organizations in Australia can collaborate to fulfil common purposes.”
Brian currently serves as bishop of the Brisbane Ward in Queensland. He has Masters degrees in International Development from Utah State University and Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Queensland and is completing doctoral work in Political Science.
Brian met his wife, Carolyn while working at Michigan State University in the United States. They have two daughters and one son, and are expecting a baby girl in June.