Each summer, Religion and Public Life offers a an intensive professional development program for educators, the Religious Literacy Summer Institute for Educators. The 2021 Summer Institute will include both self-paced and live online components. Self-paced modules on foundational ideas in religious literacy will be available starting in mid-June. Live conversations, panels, and individual support sessions will take place via Zoom the week of July 12-16th, between the hours of approximately 12pm and 5pm Eastern time. There will be no on-campus programming for this year's Summer Institute.
The Institute is open to educators teaching at the middle school, high school, and community college levels in any discipline. This training introduces educators to a powerful set of specific methods and frameworks that will enable them to teach about religion in pedagogically rich and constitutionally sound ways.
Participants use teaching resources developed by Religion and Public Life and engage in lesson planning in collaboration with peers and with support from RPL staff and fellows. We focus on teaching content that is already embedded in teachers’ current curricula, including courses such as history or literature courses, in addition to courses in world religions.
The mission of Religion and Public Life is to enhance and promote the public understanding of religion. We train educators and other professionals to recognize the complex religious influences that are critical to understanding modern human affairs. Rather than learning about religion as an isolated set of beliefs and practices, we train teachers in the ability to discern and analyze the fundamental intersections of religion and social/political/cultural life through multiple disciplinary lenses. We believe this work is critical for the larger project of education for engaged and informed democratic citizenship. Learn more about our approach.
Thanks to a generous gift from the Once Here Foundation, the Institute is free of charge. Applications will open in early February 2021, and are highly competitive. Check this page or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
What teachers say about the Summer Institute
“I have taken a lot of PD over the years and this workshop hit me at my core, in my heart almost. I was challenged academically, pedagogically, and intellectually AND I felt the importance of this work from a moral stance, something that initially drew me to teaching but perhaps has waned over the last 13 years. I really appreciated that I felt a renewed spark for my craft and profession. Thank you.”
“Thank you for giving me even more reason to be a voice for peace, empathy and compassion in the classroom. I plan to introduce the method almost in its entirety. I think the four tenets or assumptions regarding religion (internally diverse, etc.) are significant and accessible to students. Galtung has given me a new way to think of religion in terms of the themes of power, violence, and peace, which I intend to thread and revisit throughout my course.”
"The most beneficial, positive, and transformational educational experience in my time as a teacher.”