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Best Resources for Teaching Religion

Best Practices in Teaching Religion

The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion supports teachers of religion and theology through meetings, workshops, grants, a journal and other resources that make the scholarship of teaching and learning accessible to teachers.  The center offers summer workshops and colloquies for faculty at various stages of their careers, and programs with special foci for faculty with unique perspectives and needs. Learn more on the Workshop and Colloquy page.

The Wabash Center’s Resources page provides links to valuable teaching resources and faculty development material, including scholarship; resources for teaching theology and religion; an Internet guide to religion that includes syllabi, electronic texts and journals, websites and online bibliographies that support and encourage the incorporation of electronic resources into teaching.

In addition, Wabash Center’s Teaching Theology & Religion page links to current and past issues of the center’s peer-reviewed journal on teaching strategies and practices. Included are detailed guidelines for teachers and scholars interested in submitting articles for publication.

The Center for the Study of Theological Education has conducted a first-ever study to learn how seminaries in the United States are addressing the challenge of educating religious leaders to work effectively in a religiously diverse world. From the study, the center has developed resources to assist schools and faculty interested in providing multifaith education. Through the site you can develop a usable definition of multifaith education, identify the multifaith education programs of top schools, explore notable course descriptions and learn about valuable extracurricular programs and opportunities for seminarians.

Religious Archives, Research and Other Scholarly Content

The following sites provide rich information about current and past trends and scholarship in religion and religious practices. The emphasis is primarily, but not exclusively, on the United States and Canada, and most of the material addresses Christianity. Judaism and Islam are notable secondary emphases, though some of the studies document facts about all religious communities in North America.

ATLAS for ALUM is the quasi-public face of the American Theological Library Association Serials initiative. The association is a membership organization of religion school libraries and librarians that archives full-text collections of more than 140 major religion and theology journals. Alumni of member schools can apply to their alma mater for a password into the website’s collection.

The Association of Religion Data Archives provides public access to the highest quality survey-based data on American and international religion. The Teaching Tools home page includes many tools to assist educators.  These include learning modules, syllabi, lesson plans, a religion dictionary, religion quizzes, an interactive religion timeline, and an ARDA YouTube channel with worship videos for over two dozen religion groups.

Faith Communities Today is the public outlet of a consortium of 26 religious communities, scholars and research institutions that use a common questionnaire to conduct longitudinal studies on life in U.S. congregations. The collaboratively developed survey instrument makes it possible to draw reliable comparisons across America’s religious, ethnic and racial subpopulations and provides the most accurate survey-based perspective on how our many faith communities are similar and dissimilar.

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research engages in cutting-edge, policy-relevant research on emerging trends in North American religion. Institute scholars provide reliable information on a wide range of topics related to what is happening in religious life today.

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship produces and archives scholarly papers, practical articles, worship-planning aids and publications centered on the topic of worship renewal.

The National Congregations Study is an ongoing study of life in America’s churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey features up-to-date information about worshippers, congregations and pastoral leaders.

The National Study of Youth and Religion offers significant insight into the religious lives of American youth from adolescence into young adulthood.

The African American Lectionary highlights the African American ecclesial traditions, recognizes days on the liturgical calendar that are celebrated across a variety of African American ecclesial traditions and provides resources and perspectives unique to the experience of being both African American and Christian.

Pulpit & Pew is slightly dated, but still the best, most extensive interdenominational research project to assess the state of the pastorate in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century.

RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS is a nonprofit organization that provides networking, tools and training for reporters who cover religion. Three sister sites provide insight and information from around the world on current topics and issues in religion:

 Religion Headlines provides automated web feeds from top religion blogs, academic sites and mainstream media outlets, categorized by faith group;

 Religion News is the largest single source of breaking news stories about religion, spirituality and ethics;

 ReligionLink is a regularly updated source of religion story ideas, with links to highly reliable source material.

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is an award-winning PBS program that offers short video news articles covering and analyzing cutting-edge national and international events in the religious world.

Krista Tippett on Being features expanded audio interviews with newsworthy religious leaders and thinkers addressing religion, meaning, ethics and ideas.

Grants, Fellowships and Other Religious Funding

Recognizing that support for research by current and future academics is crucial to the long-term well-being of religion teaching, the following organizations offer financial assistance to select students, teachers, scholars and academics pursuing intellectual inquiry and improved teaching practices.

The Louisville Institute administrates six grant programs to support pastoral leaders and academics whose work can benefit the church. Explore the institute’s first-book grant program for minority scholars, dissertation fellowship program and programs encouraging collaboration between scholars and clergy.

The Forum for Theological Exploration supports the next generation of pastors, educators and scholars through volunteer programs and study and research fellowships. Explore criteria for undergraduate, seminary, minority and doctoral students.

The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion offers grants to projects that help improve religious education

For more resources and perspectives on teaching religion, explore the Insights Into Religion Theological Education section of our website.

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