Religious Freedom Center to Host NCSS Religious Studies Summer Institute

The Religious Freedom Center is located in the Newseum, a Washington, D.C., museum dedicated to the First Amendment.

Today the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute announced that it will host the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Summer Religious Studies Institute at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The program, to be held July 10 – 12, 2018, will convene K-12 educators in the nation’s capital to explore issues of religious freedom and diversity in the classroom. Educators will learn about religious studies as an academic discipline, and have the opportunity to develop working relationships with leading religious studies subject matter experts and curricular resource providers.

“The Religious Freedom Center is pleased to work with the National Council for the Social Studies to provide such a rich opportunity for educators to learn the constitutional and academic approaches to teaching about religion,” said Kristen Looney, director of the Religious Freedom Center. “Our goal is for teachers to go back to their classrooms feeling confident and competent in navigating the difficult discussions that naturally arise when addressing the intersection of religion and public life.”

The NCSS Summer Religious Studies Institute is limited to 60 participants. For more information and to register, please visit

In keeping with its mission to increase awareness and understanding of First Amendment rights as they apply in public schools, the Religious Freedom Center will also present at two additional summer institutes that offer professional development for educators on issues of religion and religious studies.

“Religious Worlds of New York: Teaching the Everyday Life of American Religious Diversity,” presented by National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in New York City, will bring 25 K-12 educators from across the U.S. to explore the diverse religious landscape of New York, and learn strategies for teaching about religion from an academic rather than devotional approach. Applications for the program, which will be held July 9 – 27, 2018, are due March 1. For more information and to apply, please visit

NEH, in partnership with the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, will also present “Religious Landscapes of LA,” a two-week summer institute from July 9 to 20, 2018, in Los Angeles, that will give K-12 educators the tools to teach about religious diversity in way that honors our differences but also cultivates awareness of shared ethical norms and values. Applications are due March 1. For more information and to apply, please visit


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