Honors at Thomas More College

Institute for Religious Liberty

Mission Statement

To advance the American concept of religious freedom as an inalienable right and the protection of this right for all people.

Beginnings of the Institute

The Thomas More College Institute for Religious Liberty was established by Thomas More College President David A. Armstrong, J.D. in 2015 after several local business and educational leaders, including representatives from Hebrew Union College, discussed the need to celebrate and educate others about the constitutional privilege, and right, to freely worship and practice religion. According to President Armstrong,  “There is no better place to advance and explore that inalienable right than here on our campus as we challenge our students of all faiths to examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others.”

Headed by Executive Director,  Raymond G. Hebert, PhD, Dean of the College Emeritus, the Institute strives to accomplish its mission through education and dialogue in the form of academic symposiums and lectures featuring internationally renowned speakers.

At the inaugural event in February 2016, Michael Galligan-Stierle, PhD, President/CEO of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities commented that,  “Of the nearly 1,000 scholarly centers and institutes at Catholic universities, some of which look at religion and politics or religion and law, Thomas More College is the only one I know of with a clear and sharp focus on religious liberty.“

Joshua Charles, author of the book Liberty's Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America's Founders was the keynote speaker for the Friday, February 17, 2017 academic symposium. Thomas More College's own J.T. Spence, Ph.D. and Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee offered commentary on Mr. Charles' work after the keynote address.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 event featured a panel discussion on the crucial linkage between religious liberty and economic freedom moderated by Joshua Charles. Kevin E. Schmiesing, Ph.D., a research fellow for the Acton Institute and a well-known author on Catholic social thought and economics was the keynote speaker on day two. Kevin Brown, Ph.D., Asbury University, Sister Mary Kay Kramer, CDP Thomas More College Alumna and adjunct professor, and Brett Greenhalgh, President, Cincinnati Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter day Saints and founding member of the Institute for Religious Liberty's Executive Committee.

The Institute for Religious Liberty is looking for partners to help advance its mission. For sponsorship information, please contact Tony Roderick, Director of Development, at 859-344-3530 or roderia@thomasmore.edu