campus partner(s)

American Academy of Religion






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Timothy Rennick

American Academy of Religion

Grant Summary

$75,000 over 23 months. In a context of growing and often violent conflict between religious ideologies, the academic study of religion plays an increasingly crucial role in undergraduate liberal education. The evolving nature of the field—both with regard to global events and to the changing nature of the discussion of values within the modern academy—necessitates a re-assessment of the undergraduate religion major and its role within the larger goals of liberal education. The American Academy of Religion (AAR) proposes an initiative to bring teachers of religion, administrators, and major stakeholders together to think, discuss, and write about the challenges faced by the discipline and to posit potential solutions. Through seven major initiatives—including intensive working group meetings, a Chairs / Leadership workshop, a special edition of Religious Studies News, "seed grants" to member institutions, and two special sessions at consecutive Annual Meetings of the AAR—the working group will draft and revise a White Paper outlining recommendations, best practices, and potential assessment tools for re-imagining the undergraduate major in religion.