Million dollar gift to support interfaith work at LSE

Endowed gift to ensure Faith and Leadership Programme's current and enduring legacy.

LSE’s Faith and Leadership programme

Shaping a more peaceful world by building relationships and transforming attitudes across religious divides.

Since launching in 2014, the LSE Faith and Leadership Programme has been equipping LSE students of diverse faith backgrounds to lead across religious difference. For the past four years the programme has been supported generously by alumnus David Beecken and his wife Kitty. The School is delighted to announce that the Beeckens have now pledged to endow the programme, ensuring its sustainability and impact will extend to generations of LSE students.

The Faith and Leadership Programme is the flagship programme of the LSE Faith Centre which works to promote interfaith leadership and critical research around religion within LSE, within government and to wider publics. This extra-curricular course combines an overview of the teaching and practice of world religions with leadership development in skills such as conflict resolution, reflective practice and communications. Alumni of the programme are now working all over the world in NGOs, government and diplomacy, helping to shape a more peaceful world by building relationships and transforming attitudes across religious divides. 

BeeckensCanterbury747x420David and Kitty Beecken with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in 2018.

The Revd Canon Dr James Walters, Director of the LSE Faith Centre, says, “We are indebted to Dave and Kitty, who have supported our Faith and Leadership programme for the last four years. It is wonderful news that they are now endowing the programme to help us build on its success. Religious tensions appear to be increasing all around the world, so it is crucial to bring future leaders of different faiths together to develop the friendships and skillset necessary to meet this challenge.” 

On making the pledge, David Beecken commented: “Meeting former Faith and Leadership participants at the Alumni Network Launch earlier this year gave us a wonderful opportunity to see the real impact of this program – young people who are able to take their own faith commitments seriously while building bridges across divides in all different parts of the world. We are proud to support this work which we hope is sowing the seeds of a more peaceful future.”