Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Professional Development

Professional Development


Tier 2

We’re here to support the next generation of educators and researchers.

It isn’t possible to understand American culture without understanding religion’s social and historical roles. The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture provides professional development opportunities for both K-12 educators and college-level teachers and scholars.

University-Level Professional Development

Our Young Scholars in American Religion program, supported by Lilly Endowment, is designed for college-level teaching professionals early in their academic careers. In addition to honing teaching and research methods, the program offers practical advice on the tenure process, publication, and grant writing.

Unlike one-time conferences, the Young Scholars Program provides participants with a community of peers with whom they develop ongoing relationships. The program is limited to approximately a dozen participants, who come to Indianapolis over a two-year period for their series of seminars. Past participants tell us the colleagues they met in Indianapolis remain an important part of their academic careers.

K-12 Professional Development

American religious practice and history informs our understanding of American history, government, literature, and many other fields of study. Yet many elementary and secondary educators are not sure how to incorporate this material into their lesson plans.

In 2010, the Center hosted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute on the role of religion in American history. Twenty-four teachers from across the nation partnered with nationally renowned scholars to explore this topic and develop classroom materials based on what they learned.