REL Course Catalog

Intensive Courses for Religious & Civic Leaders

REL 100: FOUNDATIONS of Religious Freedom

This intensive course explores the meaning and significance of the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment from our nation’s colonial and founding periods to the mid-20th century. Using primary source material, participants study the roots of religious freedom in colonial America, with special attention given to the Puritan Commonwealth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the radical experiment of “no establishment” and “free exercise” in Rhode Island.


REL 200: Religious Liberty and Contemporary American Public Life

In this blended learning course, emerging and established religious leaders will study the evolution of the First Amendment’s religious freedom principles from the 1940s through the civil rights era and into today. Participants will address contemporary issues that concern the constitutional relationship of religion and government, along with current debates over the meaning of the free exercise of religion.  (This course is not offered in January 2019.)


REL 300: Religion and News Media

This intensive course begins with a historical exploration of the complex interaction between religion and media, with special attention to the frameworks provided by the First Amendment. Participants examine ways the media currently reports on religion, interprets the role of religion in public life, and portrays the beliefs/practices of religious individuals and groups. Students also investigate how religious communities use media to proclaim their beliefs (and the beliefs of others) to their adherents and the broader public.


REL 400-I: women, peacebuilding and religious freedom

In this intensive course, students will gain a common practical framework to examine issues of women and religious freedom, particularly global women’s roles in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. The course attendees will be exposed to historical and contemporary women’s voices that played a role in religious freedom through case studies, film, in-person lectures, and interviews with religious freedom headliners.


REL 600: islam and religious freedom

In this intensive course, students will gain a common theoretical framework to examine issues at the intersection of Islam, Muslims, and religious freedom. The course will include a primer on international human rights law, Islamic law and theology, and religious freedom provisions that impact Muslims as minorities and non-Muslims in Muslim-majority states.


REL 700: African Americans and religious freedom

This blended learning course designed for graduate seminary students will critically engage the contentious politics of race and religious freedom in American public life. Particular attention will be given to the how and in what ways power, violence, identity, and pluralism form and frame the discourse of religious freedom across time and space. The course will feature a team of scholars and professional experts actively engaged in addressing these issues in multiple contexts.


To learn more about our additional intensive course RLIT 100-I Religious Literacy: Theory and Practice, visit our EDU Course Catalog.