For Educators

Branding and Marketing Religion – Background

Overview

Religion is being reinvented and reinterpreted to address challenges in worshipper recruitment, to regenerate spirituality and even to compete with elements of pop culture and new technologies. At the same time, people are seeking, and occasionally finding, spirituality from unlikely sources, sometimes turning away from traditional religious practice.

In this lesson, students examine the outreach strategies and tools some religious entities use to meet their participants’ spiritual needs and to recruit and retain new members. They examine and assess the role of new technologies and marketing ideas being used to promote religion. They explore and weigh the pros/cons of other ways people seek or promote spirituality. Resources include segments from RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY and Web sites.

Grade Level:

Grades 9-12
This lesson is intended for high school students but can be adapted for middle school grades.

Time Allotment:

Activities may take one or several class periods. Culminating activities may extend over longer periods of time depending on level of student interest and commitment to the projects.

Subject Matter:

Social studies; English/ language arts; religion

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Explain the significance or meaning of religion
  • Discuss their relationship to religion
  • Describe the mesh between pop culture and religion
  • Assess the role of new technologies, the arts, modern advertising and marketing strategies in promoting religion
  • Determine the deficits and benefits of new approaches to and tools/items used for marketing religion and recruiting participants
  • Design and promote a concept to nurture spirituality or religious affiliation

Standards

This lesson was prepared by: Michele Israel