The Interfaith Center of New York and Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York are pleased to announce a new educational program, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In July of 2012, we will host an N.E.H. summer institute for school teachers, entitled Religious Worlds of New York: Teaching the Everyday Life of American Religious Diversity. This innovative program will help public, private, and parochial school teachers teach more effectively about the rich religious diversity of the United States, and make an important contribution to long-running debates about the role of religion in American public education.
The three week institute will bring together 30 teachers from throughout the country, to work with leading scholars in religious studies, as well as a wide range of local religious leaders. It will introduce participants to six religious traditions that are part of the fabric of American life, help them distinguish between academic and devotional approaches to the study of religion, and offer them the pedagogic tools they need to teach their students about contemporary “lived religion,” in addition to the conventional “world religions” curriculum. The institute will thus help to transform secondary school religious studies pedagogy, by empowering teachers to teach about the everyday lives of Americans from diverse religious traditions.
The Religious Worlds of New York summer institute grows out of a rich history of collaboration between the Interfaith Center of New York and Union Theological Seminary. Founded in 1997, the Interfaith Center is a secular nonprofit organization that works to foster cooperation among New York’s religious communities and civic institutions, and to educate a range of publics about the religious diversity of the city. Established in 1836, Union Theological Seminary is an independent, multi-denominational seminary that seeks to educate leaders for ministry in churches and related organizations, extend the work of social justice, and enrich the academy through teaching and research.
For more information about the institute see www.religiousworldsnyc.org , or contact Dr. Henry Goldschmidt, Education Program Associate at the Interfaith Center of New York, at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 212-870-3514.