Center for Religious Freedom Education

The Religious Freedom Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom Education (CRFE) aims to transform current intellectual and cultural understandings of religious freedom in the United States in order to restore the recognition of America’s first freedom as the cornerstone of America’s experiment in constitutional self-government. Through research, education, and impact programs, the Center will educate and equip current and future leaders to be informed and persuasive champions of religious freedom.

Secondary Schools

  • America’s First Freedom Curriculum: America’s First Freedom is a thematic unit on the meaning and value of religious freedom. It includes five distinct lessons that build upon each other, followed by a cumulative written assessment. It is intended to supplement a senior-level high school social studies course, but may also be adapted for other high school courses.

  • Emerging Leaders Program: The Emerging Leaders Program is an intensive, transformational learning opportunity for high-school and college-level students with an interest in civic life and public service. ELP sessions are led by world-class instructors who have been diplomats, advocates, and scholars working to advance religious freedom in the United States and across the world. 

University Engagement

  • Junior Fellows Program: The Junior Fellows Program is a year-long opportunity for university and graduate students to work at RFI, deepen their understanding of religious freedom, develop research and communication skills, and participate in a network of peers and professionals studying religious freedom.

  • Program for Internships, Research Assistants, and Fellowships: Join the Religious Freedom Institute and become a contributing member of one of our action teams. Assist in research and writing projects, contribute to online publications, design and host events. Take advantage of professional development opportunities in Washington, D.C. and receive guided instruction to deepen your understanding of religious freedom and the mechanisms for advancing it globally. Learn More: Careers

  • University Partnership Program: The University Partnership Program works to equip faculty and administrators to develop educational initiatives, hold public programs and events, and to be leading voices on the meaning and value of religious freedom.

Policy and Public Opinion

  • American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience: The American Charter project is committed to restoring a better way for people of different religious backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs to engage with one another on a wide range of issues, especially those issues that involve the many societal benefits of freedom of religion and conscience. Learn more:

For more information on any of the Center for Religious Freedom Education programs contact us at


Director of Religious Freedom Education

David Trimble is Director of Religious Freedom Education at the Religious Freedom Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow of the RFI Middle East and International Religious Freedom Policy Action Teams. He was formerly a principal at the leading D.C. firm of Van Scoyoc Associates. For many years, David has provided counsel to federal agencies, independent clients, and governments on such varied topics as international affairs, foreign policy, education, and religious liberty.  Throughout his career, Mr. Trimble has provided leadership in the field of education - launching seminal programs and driving new policies and innovation. David holds a J.D. from Texas A&M University School of Law and a Th.M from Southwestern Seminary.


RFI Intern:

Briann Bardsley is an intern at RFI working on the Middle East Action Team and the Center for Religious Freedom Education. She focuses primarily on women's rights and religious freedom in the Middle East, and previously worked with First Liberty Institute. A junior at Baylor University, she studies International Studies, Political Science, and is a member of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core honors program. After graduation, she intends to pursue a career in religious liberty advocacy, politics, and international affairs, with the likelihood of attending law or graduate school.