INTL 1200 Certificate in Religion & Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 was born in response to the genocide of over six million Jews in Nazi Germany. And yet, its values were conceived hundreds of years prior by religious communities that, in their own geographic and cultural contexts, advocated for protections for human’s inalienable rights.

Rutgers University · February 17, 2021

Peaceful CoexistenceReligious Literacy + Legal Literacy =
Peaceful Coexistence

In this Global Communities course offered for college credit by Rutgers University, students will use both legal studies and religious studies to examine the origins, developments, effects, and critiques of four legal frameworks: freedom of religion, freedom for religion, freedom from religion, and freedom within religion.

By studying international case studies, students will cultivate their cross-cultural, inter-religious, and intra-religious understanding about how the rule of law can be used to promote and protect the human right to “freedom of religion or belief” for people of all religions and none. Special attention will be given to the critical examination of the limitations of human-rights frameworks and the limitations of rule-of-law responses to human rights abuses.

Why is this such an urgent subject? Over three-quarters of the world’s population lives in countries with high levels of government restrictions on religious people; these restrictions correlate with increased levels of social hostilities and violence. The legal framework of human rights has been a proven, albeit limited, remedy in de-escalating such conflicts, demonstrating that the promotion of peaceful coexistence can be an effective security strategy.


Dr. Nathan C. Walker

President, 1791 Delegates

Not Enrolled
280 for Course Collection. Free for Rutgers students.

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.