ICRS' Virtual Students Orientation 2021
The Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies is pleased to welcome two new students for the 2021 academic year in a virtual new student orientation on August 20, 2021. The two students are Muhammad Irfan Syaifuddin, lecturer at the Tarbiyah Faculty, IAIN Surakarta, and Safitri who is now working in the tourism industry as a trainer in a hotel in Solo.
This event was attended by the ICRS Director, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, Associate Director, Dr. Fatimah Husein, Core Doctoral Faculty, Dr. Dicky Sofjan, and Dr. Leonard C. Epafras, and, finally, Prof. Michael N. Northcott as visiting professor at ICRS. From the members of the consortium, Dr. Robert Setio, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Ambassador of Discourse at Christian University, and Dr. Moch. Nur Ichwan from the State Islamic University - Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta. Also attending were several ICRS staff, including Hendrikus Paulus Kaunang (Academic and Media Coordinator), Ida Fitri (Partnership & Networking Assistant), Any Marsiyanti (Research Administrator), Cendy Vebriana (Secretary), Golldy Jadmika Suryasmoro (Financial Officer), Ramang Nurdiyansah (Study Program Financial Officer), and David Akbar (International Scholar Host).
On this occasion, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, Dr. Leonard Epafras, Dr. Robert Setio, and Dr. Moch Nur Ichwan introduced ICRS, institutionally, as a consortium of three universities in Yogyakarta: Universitas Gadjah Mada, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, and Duta Wacana Christian University. Therefore, the lecturers at ICRS also come from these three universities and enrich the perspective of the interreligious studies in ICRS. Students of ICRS also may use facilities at UIN Sunan Kalijaga and UKDW, including library access as well as taking courses. Dr. Leonard Epafras then explained that at its 15-year anniversary, ICRS adopted the tagline 'Engaging Diversity' and its vision was summarized in the abbreviation ICRS itself: 'I' carrying the added meaning of inter-religious and inter-disciplinary Studies; 'C' stands for contributing to building a compassionate and just world; 'R' stands for research-based learning and critical thought, and 'S' stands for service-motivated leadership. Epafras also shared that ICRS has produced 55 alumni with 26 of them international alumni drawing from 18 countries. ICRS alumni serve in various occupations: academics, lawmakers, religious leaders, NGO activists, researchers, and business. ICRS also collaborates with universities from around the world as well as various international government entities. This includes research projects and development programs that involve ICRS students.
Regarding the study plan at ICRS, Dr. Fatimah explained that ICRS students are expected to graduate in four years or eight semesters with a specific study plan. In the first year, students will take 20 credits of courses which consists of six subjects. The first semester’s courses incldue Theories of Religion and Society, Approach to Interreligious Studies, and Inter-religious Hermeneutics. And for the second semester, Research Design and Methods, Religion and Contemporary Issues, and History of Religion. In the third semester, will finish their research proposal and preliminary paper so they can undergo the comprehensive examination and begin their dissertation research in the fourth semester. In the fifth semester, ICRS students are expected to have the first Dissertation Promotion Club to present the progress and obstacles of their research to the promoter, co-promoter, and other students. In semester six, students are expected to submit articles in international journals. Moreover, in the seventh semester students are expected to have the second Dissertation Promotion Club and in the eighth semester, they can defend their dissertation. Dr. Fatimah Husein argues that due to this schedule, students are encouraged to be focused to pass every step well so they can finish their studies on time. In addition to that, Dr. Bagir also reminds the new students that four years is a very short time. Therefore, students should use their study time effectively, and all faculty members of ICRS as well as all students, are one family that are open to help each other to fulfill the study plan.