The Interfaith Academy


Interfaith Academy is now accepting applications for the Interfaith Minister Program in Hawaii and on-line. If interested, call us at 225-270-0764 but do recall the time difference in Hawaii. Alternatively, send an email to On the registration page, just click on the red words for more information. We offer in-person classes in Hawaii and online classes regardless of location for individuals who wish to become Interfaith Ministers.

We recognize that online classes are often a challenge to new students and they may not be the best form of education for you. In order to give you a better idea of the format for this course of study, we offer a  FREE online course. If you are interested, just ask Rev. Dr. Thomas Lynch to temporarily enrolled you as a student at his email address (

If you enroll in the trail class with Rev. Lynch, our webmaster will contact you with the needed information to get you started. That class, on the first 300 years of Christianity, is on our Moodle platform. You will be asked to view 24 thirty minute DVD videos and after each one answer a few questions and send your answers to Rev. Lynch, who will give you feedback on your work. At the end of all the video lectures, you will also be asked to read a book and also answer some questions. That is it. The class is self-paced. If you like the format, and you are comfortable navigating Moodle, you can continue by merely paying the normal tuition for more classes.

Our in-person classes are offered at 1350 Ala Moana Blvd. in Honolulu. Classes are offered based on demand. Most of our students take classes online. In-person classes use a traditional semester schedule. 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 on the first day of class.

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 aa well as other major religious faith traditions in the world. You are not asked to leave any faith tradition that is meaningful to you. Interfaith is realizing and acting on the understanding that we are all God’s creation and we can only begin to grasp the meaning of God through our respective cultures and how each faith tradition approaches G0d.

Today, in our interconnected and globalized world, ministers must be able to organize and facilitate weekly faith services, perform weddings, celebrate with formal ceremonies for 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 other languages as demand evolves. We post information on our Academy Blog.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Education lists their accepted accrediting bodies. For religious studies, accreditation is possible through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and that organization currently accredits only Christian and Jewish seminaries and does not accredit schools representing any other faith traditions including Interfaith. Currently, ATS is a membership organization and there is little likelihood that its conservative institutional members would in the near future accredit an interfaith seminary. Thus, our Academy cannot be accredited under the existing situation. However, 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.

We also offer in-person discussions on topics of interest for the general public in a “Meet Up” format on the first Tuesday evening of the month. Most sessions last about two hours and include a 30 minute video lecture followed by a robust discussion over coffee and treats.


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) publishes books on interfaith and spiritual topics.

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 serves on the board of our American corporation.


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 Lynch

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 using Moodle with the exception of the trial course.  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”