AMST 4000 Out of Many, One

Religious pluralism is a vision of the world in which diverse religious communities and non-believers engage each other in beneficial ways, maintain their distinct identities, and thrive and defend each others’ right to thrive. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment encapsulates an ideal of religious freedom amid incredible religious diversity. Yet, simply by turning on the news today, it’s easy to see how this ideal is being challenged from many sides. Distrust between and about faith communities is increasing, as are polarization and hate crimes against marginalized and minority faith communities. To achieve the vision of pluralism, we need to do more than simply acknowledge our differences – pluralism requires us to actively engage with, and across, our differences.

1791 Delegates · December 31, 2020

The American idea is rooted in a vision that people from varied religious and ethnic backgrounds can unite to create a single nation: E Pluribus Unum, “Out of Many, One.” Consistent with this idea, the Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute has built this course to help community leaders cultivate a thriving American religious pluralism. The course will equip leaders with tools for how to promote and protect everyone’s rights, freedoms, and safety to worship, or not, according to their conscience. Religious pluralism isn’t just a nice idea – it’s critical to the health of our democracy and society.


Zeenat Rahman

Director, Inclusive America Project
Aspen Institute

Dr. Allison K. Ralph

Assistant Director, Inclusive America Project
Aspen Institute

Dr. Nathan C. Walker

President, 1791 Delegates

Brittany R. King MA

Delegate, 1791 Delegates
Learning Management System Administrator, ZERO TO THREE

Not Enrolled
280 for Course Collection
45 hours for 3 college credits
9 hours for 1 digital badge

College, Graduate, Professional Development

  • Many People, Many Faiths, One Nation: A Primer on Religious Pluralism
  • Principled Pluralism: Report of the Inclusive America Project
  • Pluralism in Peril: Challenges To An American Ideal
  • Conscience, Community and Citizenship: Religious Pluralism in an Age of Religious Nationalism
  • America the Inclusive: Building Robust Community and Interfaith Partnerships
  • Religious Diversity and Youth Development
  • Religious Pluralism: The Foundation of Faith-Based Action

Civic Education for a Common Good

We apply the U.S. Department of Education’s Consensus Statements about Constitutional Approaches for Teaching about Religion

▸ Our approach to religion is academic, not devotional;
▸ We strive for student awareness of religions, but do not press for student acceptance of any religion;
▸ We sponsor the study about religion, not the practice of religion;
▸ We expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view;
▸ We educate about all religions, we do not promote or denigrate any religion;
▸ We inform students about religious beliefs and practices, it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief or practice.

We apply the American Academy of Religion’s “Religious Literacy Guidelines”

▸ “Religious Literacy Guidelines for College Students.” American Academy of Religion, 2019.
▸ “Teaching About Religion: AAR Guidelines for K-12 Public Schools.” American Academy of Religion, April 2010.

We apply the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Frameworks for Religious Studies

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, “Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework.” Silver Spring, MD: National Council for the Social Studies, 2017.