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Colleges apply for Obama’s interfaith service program

More than 250 colleges, universities and seminaries have submitted plans to the White House for yearlong interfaith service projects in response to a campaign launched by the Obama administration.

Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said officials had hoped for 100 participants.

"They don't have to agree about their different beliefs, but we feel like they can agree on issues of service and strengthening our communities," he said August 2. "And so many of them are responding and saying . . . we want to take you up on this challenge."

Projects range from that of Adrian College, a United Methodist-related school in Michigan, which will combat sex trafficking, to that of Southern Utah University, a state-supported school, which will help hungry families.

The "campus challenge," which was launched in March, grew out of recommendations from advisers to DuBois's office who called for projects on more than 500 U.S. campuses by the end of 2012.

Eboo Patel, president of Interfaith Youth Core and one of the advisers, said he was pleased with the diversity of the participating schools.  —RNS

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