Our History

Student Christian Foundation 1945-55

Social Justice, Environment, Spirit

Gaia House Interfaith Center is a meeting place for people of many faith traditions and cultures. From the very beginning, it has always been a place where diverse groups of people could come together to share fellowship and community. The exact nature of this community, however, has changed over the years.

Our center was incorporated on April 14, 1943 as the Student Christian Foundation, an interdenominational student ministry that brought together Christians of diverse denominations at a time when racial tensions were dividing all aspects of life throughout our region. Over time, we built a new home for ourselves, changed our name several times, and expanded to serve people of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures.

We are currently home to a variety of meetings, dinners, and other events attended and organized by people of many faiths including Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Native Americans, Wiccans, and several Christian denominations. In some cases, we're one of the few or only places where an interest group or faith has a physical location to call home. We're one of the only places in Southern Illinois where so many diverse groups gather openly and freely in one place to engage in dialog and share in community.

We also have a rich history of supporting and participating in social justice and environmental action. In October of 2013, an overview of this history was published in a special newsprint publication titled "Carbondale's Emerging Culture of Peace".

University Christian Ministries 1955-1961

Interfaith Center 1961- Now