Certificate in Religion in Public Life

A Joint Program with the Religious Freedom Center


Earn a graduate-level certificate focused on the constitutional and human rights issues that characterize the pluralistic social fabric of the United States of America.

Starr King School for the Ministry is pleased to partner with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC, to provide this pilot study program. The certificate enables you to understand the principles of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and builds your capacities to support and deepen habits of hospitable religious diversity.

The certificate consists of four courses taught online by Religious Freedom Center faculty. Each course also features a three-day immersion in Washington, during which students cultivate their relationships with one another and meet with religious, political, and civil liberties leaders. After completing these courses, each student will craft an independent capstone project.

Interested persons may also apply for individual courses as they see fit.

You might be interested in this certificate if you:

  • are interested in the history and significance of the First Amendment
  • wish to help your community embrace religious diversity as a social strength
  • intend to work across religious barriers for cooperative pursuit of the common good

Enroll today!

Whether you are a degree-seeking SKSM student or a community member who wishes to earn graduate academic credit, the first step to enrollment (for the certificate or for individual courses) is to apply online with the Religious Freedom Center. Please note the application deadlines listed on their website.

Once accepted to the program, you will be able to request enrollment for each course through SKSM during one of the registration periods for the appropriate term. Non-matriculated, or “special,” students will follow the registration instructions located here.

Certificate Courses: 

  • Foundations of Religious Freedom in the United States
  • Religious Liberty and Contemporary American Public Life
  • Religion and News Media
  • The Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief
  • Capstone Project


Rev. Christopher Schelin
Director of Contextual Education