The Interfaith Academy

2016 January Enrollment (Spring Semester)

Interfaith Academy is now accepting applications for the Interfaith Minister Program in Hawaii and on-line. If interested, call us at 808-799-4866. On the registration page, just click on the red words for more information. We offer in-person in Hawaii and online classes for individuals who wish to become Interfaith Ministers. As of August 25, 2014, we offer in-person classes in Honolulu and online classes. Our in-person classes are offered at 1350 Ala Moana, Honolulu. Our four classes start at 6:30 and end at 9:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In order to see the DVD videos in any class, you will need to have a password from the Academy and and a moodle account, which you will have after you register.

Online classes will use a six week term with one week between terms. There are two terms in a semester and most students will take one or two classes in a term. Full time students online students will take six credit hour courses each term and part-time students will take three credits. Starting late in an accelerated class is NOT a good idea.

In-person classes, will use a traditional semester and the last class for the semester end on November 20. A traditional full load for in-person semester is four classes. For details on what courses are offered and class schedules consult the Calendar.

To enroll as a part-time or full time student, please visit the enrollment page, complete the enrollment form, and forward your payment via Paypal ($100 per semester hour: thus a three credit course cost $300) If wish to pay using another method contact us at In-person students can register and pay in the first day of class. The formal class will start after introductions and late registration.

We look forward to meeting you in person or on-line!


What does an Interfaith Minister do?

Interfaith Ministry is being open-mined and knowledgable about one’s own religion and other major religious faith traditions in the world. Today, ministers must be able to organize and facilitate weekly faith services, perform weddings, celebrate with formal ceremonies key life passages, counsel individuals in times of crisis or challenges (illness, death, divorce, drug use, and family issues), manage nonprofit organizations that provide useful services to the public, and analyze public policy issues and provide help in issue advocacy. An Interfaith Minister may involve her or himself in all areas of service or specialize in one or two areas after achieving a working knowledge of all areas of ministry service.

Support and Legal Structure

The Academy is a nonprofit corporation in the United States and has 501(c)3 IRS status in the U.S. We offer courses in English and eventually in Spanish.  The minutes including financial information of both corporations will be posted in the Academy Blog.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Education lists their accepted accrediting bodies and for religious studies it only is the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). That organization ONLY accredits Christain and Jewish seminaries and does not accredit schools representing any other faith traditions including interfaith. ATS is a membership organization and there is little likelihood that its conservative school members would ever accredit an interfaith seminary. Thus, our Academy cannot be accredited under the existing situation. We are exploring the possibility of creating an alternative accrediting organization but they takes years to put it in place.

There are many ways to support the Academy. Please look here for more information.


Program of Study

In the education offered by the Academy, we stress comparative religion, philosophy as it relates to religion, and practical skills important to an Interfaith Ministers. Information on our Academy programs can be found here. Just click for more information.

Staring in the Fall 2014, we also offer in-person Short Public Lectures / Discussions on topics of interest to the general public in Honolulu. Most sessions within a module will last two hours with about half the time for lecture and discussion. Coffee and treats will be provided. Participates will be asked to donate $5 per session to cover costs. 


The Academy provides (1) training to enhance knowledge about the major (and some of the minor) world religions, (2) training for those who wish to become Interfaith Ministers, and (3) training to become more effective at helping other people.

Academy People

Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Lynch

Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Lynch


Read Bio >>

Rev. Dr. Cynthia E. Lynch

Rev. Dr. Cynthia E. Lynch

Executive Director

Read Bio >>


Other Board Members

Wayne Ford, Salvador Orozco Guillen, and Sylvia Elguea serve on both the boards of the American and Mexican corporations.


Faculty and Staff

click on the name in the table to see specific Academy Faculty Pictures and their Biographies.

Faculty of The International– Academy for Interfaith Studies
Rev. Dr. Thomas LynchRev.

Dr. Cynthia Lynch

Mr. Larry Stone

Dr. Sharon Parsons

Rev. Jean Leone

Rev. Tim Miner

Dr. Linda Sonna

Rev. Letty Gonzales


Our Educational Approach

All programs and modules are developed from a secular point of view and are not designed to promote one religion over another or atheism. Instead stress is placed on promoting religious understanding and appreciation for its contribution to human society.

Courses are done OnLine and in-person in Honolulu using lectures and discussions based on assigned readings and study questions. Students are asked to read the assigned readings, videos, or audios, and study questions before each session. Students should answer the study questions for each lesson and send them to the instructor for his or her feedback to the student.  Some of the questions and answers for these sessions shall be used in the end of the year review.

Depending on the course, students may also be assigned independent or group exercises, which will be reviewed and commented upon by the instructor. Students are encouraged to work together in study groups.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy (Based on recommended IRS language)

The International Academy for Interfaith Studies admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


“Click Here to Take a Look at Our Courses on Moodle”