Common Reading Experience

Sharing the Univ Experience

When the book Acts of Faith was first mentioned as the recommended reading for the semester, I was admittedly a bit skeptical. I am not a religious person, though I have nothing against those who are, but I did not want to have a book about religion pushed on my fellow students and me. It seemed like it could be crossing a line, and did not appear interesting in the first place.

However, I was pleasantly surprised as I began reading Eboo Patel's book. He has a really great mission going, and I am interested in his inter-religion youth groups. It is a great concept, to have young people from diverse backgrounds, in the most conflicting of cultural aspects, coming together to share common morals and do wonderful things in the world--and it is so impressive and fantastic to see that it is not just a concept, but is actually, and effectively, being played out.

I am looking forward to Mr. Patel visiting NIU, and time permitting will definitely come out to see what he has to share.

- Student of Common Reading Experience

Common Reading Experience 

Brief summary of Acts of Faith

This year the Common Reading committee has selected Acts of Faith, by Eboo Patel as its common reading book for the 2013-2014 academic year. Eboo Patel is a social activist and co-founder of the Interfaith Youth Core based in Chicago. In Acts of Faith, Patel discusses his passage from adolescent apathy to an urgency to be a part of something during his college years. Through his serendipitous journey, Patel reflects on his own beliefs, his interactions with non-believers and believers of many different faiths, and his call to act on his own passion to develop the Interfaith Youth Core to bring people together to promote civic engagement through service learning and dialogue. Acts of Faith opens a door to discussion on formulating identity and determining belief systems, a topic that is developmentally relevant and often on the minds of our students as they navigate their transition in and through to college.

The book is required in many UNIV 101/201 courses and general education courses typically taken by first-year students. The book can be purchased at the University Bookstore, at popular booksellers, or online (both used and new copies).  It’s also available for e-readers, can be downloaded through the NIU Libraries' catalog, and can be borrowed from the DeKalb Public Library.

Visit the EVENTS link to discover how the book is being used at NIU and learn about all of the exciting opportunities to get involved!

Click here to Suggest 2014's Common Reading Textbook

Faculty and Students speaking about Acts of Faith 

Introducing the Interfaith Youth Core

Eboo Patel's speech on Boston Marathon Bombing


Click here to access the Interfaith Youth Core Website