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Who We Are

Mission, Vision, and Values

Value Proposition

The National Museum of American Religion invites all people to be inspired by the Constitution’s bold commitment to the ideal of religious freedom and to be moved to seek its preservation for future generations.

The National Museum of American Religion will be:

  • Inclusive
  • Honest
  • Thoughtful
  • Empathetic
  • Relevant
  • Inspiring
  • Inquisitive
  • Interactive
  • Committed to accessibility
  • Family-centric

Mission

The National Museum of American Religion explores the impact of religion on America, and America on religion. Committed to honesty and inclusivity, it tells stories of individuals, institutions, and movements that have formed the distinctive religious history of our nation. NMAR invites all people to discover how the ideal of religious freedom, as expressed in the Constitution and experienced by people throughout United States history, has shaped our social, political, economic and cultural lives from the period before European colonization to the present day.

Vision

The National Museum of American Religion will be the nationally recognized center for presenting, interpreting, and educating the public about the impact of America’s fragile experiment with religious freedom on the United States and the lives of people who have made this country their home. It seeks to inspire civil dialogue and debates about this complex and moving story, while also challenging assumptions and understandings about religion’s impact on history and contemporary life.

Advisory Committee

Reza Aslan

Professor Creative Writing, UC Riverside

John M. Barry

Author, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul

Kit Bigelow

Advisory Board at Religious Freedom Institute

Ann D. Braude

Director, Women's Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School

Catherine Brekus

Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America, Harvard Divinity School

David F. Holland

John A. Bartlett Professor of New England Church History, Harvard Divinity School

Diana Butler Bass

American Historian of Christianity

Jamil Drake

Assistant Professor of Religion, Florida State University

Roger Finke

Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and International Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University

Thomas Farr

President, Religious Freedom Institute

W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Founding Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Hannah Smith

Senior Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Spencer Fluhman

Executive Director, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Robert P. George

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

Linford D. Fisher

Associate Professor of History, Brown University

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Princeton University

Paul Harvey

Professor of History, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

Thomas S. Kidd

Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University

Joshua Goode

Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and History, Claremont Graduate University

Brian J. Grim

Founder and President, Religious Freedom and Business Foundation

Cherie Harder

President at The Trinity Forum

Philip Goff

Executive Director, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture

Dr. Charles Haynes

Senior Fellow for Religious Freedom

Benjamin Hertzberg

Senior Principal–Research, Data, & Analytics Gartner Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion

Peter Thuesen

Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser

President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Alan Johnson

Director, Church History Museum, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Brett Scharffs

Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, BYU

Brad Hirschfield

President, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Philip Goldberg

Author, Speaker and Religious Counselor

Dr. Azza Karam

Secretary General, Religions for Peace International

Anthony Picarello, Jr.

Associate General Secretary & General Counsel, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Dr. Diane L. Moore

Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education, Harvard Divinity School

Suzanne Morgan

Sacred Space Ambassador, Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions

Dr. Andrew Murphy

Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Pamela S. Nadell

Patrick Clendened Chair in Women’s & Gender History and Director, Jewish Studies Program, American University

Dr. Josh Perelman

Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections, National Museum of American Jewish History

Michael W. McConnell

Richard and Frances Mallery Professor, Stanford Law School; Director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Dr. Andrew Preston

Senior Lecturer in American History, University of Cambridge

Eric Rassbach

Deputy General Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Melissa Rogers

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

Marc Stern

Associate General Counsel, American Jewish Committee

Sherif Girgis

Author & Lawyer, Associate, Jones Day

Dr. Denise Spellberg

Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Douglas Laycock

Professor of Law and Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Gary P. Zola

Executive Director, Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives; Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History, Hebrew Union College

Asma T. Uddin

Director of Strategy, The Center for Islam and Religious Freedom

Dr. Eric Lewis Williams

Curator of Religion, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History & Culture

Suhag Shukla

Executive Director, Hindu American Foundation

Robert Wilson-Black

CEO, Sojourners; fundraising consultant

Dr. Harry Stout

Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University

David Daniels III

Professor of Church History, McCormick Theological Seminary

Tammi J. Schneider

Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University

Dr. Lauren Turek

Assistant Professor of History and Director of Museum Studies, Trinity University

Sara Georgini

Historian and Series Editor, The Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society

Richard Katskee

Legal Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Mark Noll

Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
Picture by William Koechling

John Turner

Professor of Religious Studies and History, George Mason University

Tisa Wenger

Associate Professor of American Religious History, Yale Divinity School

Marc Dollinger

Professor of Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, San Francisco State University; author, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance In The 1960s

Paul Louis Metzger

Professor of Theology & Culture, Multnomah University & Seminary; Director of The Institute for Cultural Engagement: New Wine, New Wineskins

Annette Marie Lantos Tillemann-Dick

Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights

Christel Manning

Professor of Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University.

Barry Hankins

Professor of History, Baylor University; Editor, Journal of Church and State

Maria Mazzenga

Curator, American Catholic History Collections Special Collections, University Libraries, The Catholic University of America

Kathleen Cummings

Professor of History and American Studies, University of Notre Dame.


Religions Advisory Committee

  • Alexander Stewart, Historian, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic FaithAlfred Day, Alfred T. Day III, General Secretary General Commission on Archives and History United Methodist Church
  • Anthony Picarello, General Counsel at U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Bill Kostlevy, Director, Brethren Historical Library and Archives at Church of the Brethren
  • Bradley Hirschfield, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL)
  • Rev. Dr. Daniel N. Harmel, Executive Director of the Concordia Historical Institute
  • Garth Brokaw, American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries (ABHCM)
  • Heather Gonzales, Vice President and COO, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Imam Mohammed Magid, Executive Religious Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
  • Jasjit Singh, Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
  • Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)
  • Nancy Taylor, Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), Executive Director
  • Rev. Margaret Rose, Ecumenical and Interreligious Deputy to the Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
  • Robert H. Stockman, Director, Wilmette Institute
  • Darrin Rogers, Director, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center at General Council of the Assemblies of God
  • Stan Ingersol, Archives Manager at Nazarene Archives
  • Stephen Murray, Executive Director, Congregational Library and Archives
  • David Trim, Director of Archives, Statistics, and Research at the World Headquarters of Seventh-day Adventists.
  • Dr. Mohammad Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League
  • Maria Mazzenga, Curator, American Catholic History Collections, Special Collections, University Libraries, The Catholic University of America

The Museum

Explore the planned in-museum experience for the National Museum of American Religion in our Master Study.

Rendering of the outside of the National Museum of American Religion

The Museum will be located near the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Rendering of the Introductory Experience to the Museum

The Museum will feature a “Recording Booth” that will be used to record and collect visitors’ reactions to exhibits and questions.

Rendering of an Interactive Exhibit

This raised digital map will show religious immigration patterns to and within the United States.