The Diminution of Civic Engagement In America

What Can Religious Leaders Do?

We believe that there is a deep malignity in the United States today — a diminished sense of connection (we call that a loss of social capital) and a belief that “the people” no longer matter as they once did.  This threat to robust civic engagement — the will to participate in civic affairs — is also a threat to American democracy.  And concurrent is a rise in the polarization of American politics with vitriolic attacks from every side.  Religious leaders have often added to the intensity of conflict,  which is why we created this module.

We believe that religious leaders and faith communities could be a huge asset — if not the most important one — in healing the ruptures and lack of faith in the United States today.  We understand that the pressures on religious leaders, the 24/7 demands, can seem overwhelming and we want to be gentle in placing greater demands on you. But we feel there is no choice — you have a calling, a mission to heal — and so we want to give you more tools and strength to (re)engage the public square.


This is an interactive session, better learned with colleagues, friends and/or congregants. Please stop at each PAUSE and participate in the activity.  Then hit play and continue the video.




Religion and Civics Social Capital Worksheet.pdf

Module 1 Script.pdf

“Political Associations in America” from Democracy in America

“Spring Creek Nehemiah is an affordable housing success story in East New York” from New York Daily News

Baltimore Sustainable Schools

Rockford League

Harvard Clerical Union Learning Tools

Civic Innovation in America

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