Select Page

The organizations below are separately listed, as not affiliated with any particular university or a Christian Legal Society (see those on other Squares in this section). These independent institutions also include Research Institutes and Think Tanks offering information on important Social and Public Policy issues of interest to AI. Generally, these organizations fall into three groupings, and are so categorized below:

(1) Some organizations impart Christian worldview information of a more general nature, or on a very wide range of relevant topics, in which their scholarship corresponds nicely with AI’s interests on important social and public policy issues; or, these organizations may inform on various useful topics, like vocation and calling. This is the first set listed below.

(2) Some organizations share more specialized Christian worldview information and scholarship that should assist advocates serving directly on the front lines on important policy and social issues of interest to AI (i.e., religious liberty, life, rule of law and so on). See AI’s Six key advocacy areas in the sidebar box at right (or below if on mobile).

In this category, we identify an organization’s scholarship in areas of shared interest with AI in { } next to its name. Such groups offer invaluable background Christian thinking on a variety of subjects. Advocates should study this information before starting related projects.

(3) Still, some Study Centers, Institutes and organizations go beyond simply educating and equipping advocates in the field, but actively advocate in their own right, usually by influencing law and policy in key areas of interest to AI. In such cases, we keep the { } for shared subject interests with AI, but also try to cross-reference these organizations in the Advocacy Resources tab (see on Home Page). In addition to their educational and scholarly contributions, we acknowledge their value in advocacy, and so we list them in the third set below. Advocates in the trenches should consider partnering with these groups in shared work.
NB: Contrariwise, some organizations, which really are primarily Advocacy Groups, run their own Study Centers/Institutes secondarily, as suited to their specific advocacy goals. These groups can be seen in the Advocacy Groups Square, in the Advocacy Resources tab (see Home Page). But since these are primarily advocacy (not educational) organizations, and the study centers/ institutes attached to them are so integral to these groups, we have chosen NOT to cross-list their study programs on this Study Centers/Institutes page (instead, these groups and their attached study centers can all be found in the separate Advocacy Groups Square).
Sometimes a Study Center/Institute, Researcher or Think Tank may fit in more than one section above. If so, we try to describe it first in its seemingly most applicable section, and then cross-list it elsewhere. We use [ ] to indicate any overlapping sections for an organization, or to cross-reference some of its materials in another section on this ICLS site.

It can also be very helpful to know an organization’s geographic scope of service, so we note that in ( ) next to its name.

AI Six Core Advocacy Areas

(1)  Promoting rule of law (seeking good governance, fighting corruption)

(2)  Protecting religious liberty (keeping legal doors open for sharing the gospel)

(3)  Pursuing rights and justice for the poor, needy, and oppressed (access to justice, anti-sex trafficking, helping refugees, etc.)

(4) Safeguarding sanctity of human life (against abortion, suicide, euthanasia, stem cell issues)

(5)  Defending traditional marriage and family in accordance with God’s design (against secularism’s re-definitions)

(6) Advancing peace and reconciliation (interpersonal or international)

(1) SCs, Insts. Offering General Christian Worldview on Social Issues, Law, Policy, and Various Subjects. 

Groups here provide general Christian worldview and educational resources supportive of AI’s vision, mission, and work.  

Acton Institute [See also Scholarly Journals,Acton News]

Acton is a scholarly Christian think tank. It includes international issues and news stories and offers  useful newsletters, blogs, several scholarly publications, seminars, classes, videos, podcasts, and more. It’s a veritable powerhouse and learning center for biblical worldview on law, justice, government, and related subjects. Subscribe to their free online Acton Newsletter. 

Canadian Institute for Law, Theology & Public Policy (Canada)

This Institute publishes books and tapes, and sponsors seminars which seek to integrate in depth the Christian faith with public policy issues.

Center for Public Justice [See Scholarly Journals]

“The Center for Public Justice is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to policy research and civic education. Working outside the familiar categories of right and left, conservative and liberal, we seek to help citizens and public officeholders respond to God’s call to do justice.” The CPJ offers a solid, online justice journal, Public Justice Review, and an online journal catering to millennials and students exploring the intersection of faith and politics, called Shared Justice.

The Christian Institute (UK)

The Christian Institute exists for “the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” and “the advancement of education.”

Colson Center for Christian Worldview [See Scholarly Journals, BreakPoint]

Featuring BreakPoint news and podcasts on a variety of timely topics, including those with an international bearing. Highly recommended to keep you up to date on a variety of social legal issues impacting Christians. Use the library to conduct research, join their classes to experience soul-stretching education, and subscribe to the daily columns for inspiration and spiritual guidance. The BP podcasts are daily treasures. 

C.S. Lewis Institute

The C.S. Lewis Institute was founded in 1976 to develop disciples who will articulate, defend, and live their faith in Christ in personal and public life.

Disciple Nations Alliance

“Our mission [is]: to influence the paradigm and practice of local churches around the world. Our passion is to see engaged, credible, high-impact local churches affect real transformation in their communities and in sufficient mass to disciple their nations.” Their list of affiliate organizations, including on many public policy issues, is a great international resource for any advocate.

Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) [See Section 2, below]

The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics

The Institute continues Paul Henry’s quest to promote serious reflection on the interplay between Christianity and public life, by becoming a national forum for research, dialogue, and information on their interaction.

Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity (EICC) (Canada) 

The Ezra Institute was founded in 2009 by Joseph Boot as an evangelical think-tank and worldview training organization, after years of traveling globally in the work of Christian apologetics and significant research in the areas of cultural and mission theology. The Ezra Institute also works on Christian worldview training for students and attorneys in its summer and other programs, and works closely with the Canadian Christian Law Fellowship. 

The Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics (TIFWE; Hugh Welchel)

TIFWE “educates Christians to live out a Biblical theology that integrates faith, work and economics . . . [it advances] a free and flourishing society by revolutionizing the way people view their work.” A must for lawyers and students.

John Jay Institute for Faith, Society & Law

Named for the American founder John Jay, the mission of the Institute is to prepare Christians like Jay for leadership in public life.

Kuyper Foundation 

It exists to promote a renaissance of Christian culture in society by furthering awareness of the implications of the Christian faith for every sphere of life, including the church, family and State.

Legal Fellowship – Center for Faith & Work (CFW) (Redeemer Pres. Church, NYC, NY)

The mission of the Redeemer Legal Fellowship’s CFW is to equip, connect, and mobilize professionals in the legal profession towards gospel-centered transformation for the common good. 

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan think tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

Pinnacle Forum (USA)

“Our vision is to see influential leaders execute their God-given purpose and foster a flourishing, God-honoring culture.” “Our mission is to encourage and equip influential leaders through confidential Forums, supported by a national network, to engage in personal and cultural transformation that honors Jesus Christ.” 

Probe Ministries

“Probe’s mission is to present the Gospel to communities, nationally and internationally, by providing life-long opportunities to integrate faith and learning through balanced, biblically based scholarship, training people to love God by renewing their minds and equipping the Church to engage the world for Christ.” It has an apologetics focus, with national and international outreaches.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)

A leader in apologetics and Christian worldview training on a variety of topics. It offers several student training programs. Check out its Media Library, books, articles and podcasts. Some materials address key public policy issues.

Stand to Reason

Stand to Reason trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values in the public square. Their links and resources sections are particularly useful.

Summit Ministries

“Summit Ministries is an educational Christian ministry whose ultimate goal supersedes simply training. As Christians are challenged to stand strong in their faith and defend truth, they will also be equipped to have a positive influence on the society in which they live.” Another site with excellent worldview-related resources. American based but is especially popular with students (high school and more), and covers many broad worldview topics.

The Truth Project (Focus on the Family(FOF)) 

This is an excellent resource for small groups to use as they investigate the truth-claims of Christ together. A very rich apologetics curriculum to impact culture (materials must be purchased). 

Witherspoon Institute  [See Sections 2,3 below]

 

(2) SCs, Insts. Equipping In More Specific Areas, Sharing In AI’s Interests  

Groups here publish research and/or offer materials consistent with AI’s six interest areas for advocacy. Advocates should dig into relevant subject areas { } before starting their advocacy work. 

Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) {Rule of Law (Gov’t), Religious Liberty, Life, Justice and Rights of Poor} 

This is a well-acclaimed think tank. “Founded in 1976, the Ethics and Public Policy Center is Washington, D.C.’s premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. EPPC and its scholars have consistently sought to defend the great Western ethical imperatives — respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, individual freedom and responsibility, justice, the rule of law, and limited government. Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish perspectives are all represented here.” Scholarship here, however, does concentrate largely on Catholic political thought and American domestic issues, although there are also some good international selections. 

Family Research Council (FRC) of “Focus on the Family” (FOF) {Marriage & Family, Life, Religious Liberty} [See Advocacy Groups in Advocacy Resources; Scholarly Journals]

FRC champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. FRC shapes public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. FRC is affiliated with the pro-family Christian organization, Focus on the Family. It offers sound research on a host of social issues, and publishes the acclaimed online newsletter, Washington Update

Institute for Family Studies {Marriage & Family}

The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) is dedicated to strengthening marriage and family life, and advancing the well-being of children through research and public education. Addressing family life is what we do, and we invite you to learn more about ways to strengthen families in America and around the world.”

Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) {Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Life, International Religious Liberty} [See Scholarly Journals]

Welcome to the website for the Institute on Religion & Democracy. Its mission is “We are Christians working to reaffirm the church’s biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.”The IRD is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform our churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historical teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.” IRD gives Anglican, Methodist, Evangelical and Presbyterian perspectives on the church’s role in a variety of social-legal issues, including at the international level in its International Religious Freedom section. 

See specifically IRD’s International Religious Freedom Archive, in its interestingly-named blog, Juicy Ecumenism. It offers wide international coverage on a variety of current issues. IRD also provides solid scholarly publications such as the veritable Providence Journal (free online, with subscription options for more information), and the Mount Nebo Papers (research papers covering many topics on religious influence in public policy). (See also Scholarly Journals Square). 

International Institute of Religious Freedom (IIRF), World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) {Rule of Law/Corruption, Religious Liberty, Justice and Rights of Poor } [See Scholarly Journals; see also section 3 below, and Advocacy Groups, for certain WEA Initiatives]

The IIRF is a key Institute of the WEA (see about WEA, below), and engages with the Religious Liberty Commission of the  WEA to defend persecuted Christians. 

This Institute “is a network of professors, researchers, academics, specialists and university institutions from all continents which work on reliable data on the violation of religious freedom worldwide and want to implement this topic to college and university programmes and curricula, especially in the areas of law, sociology, religious studies and theological programmes.” Like many of the WEA’s Institutes, the IIRF engages in some advocacy, including litigation assistance, and is serving with AI to improve that. 

The IIRF has several high quality publications, including the acclaimed International Journal For Religious Freedom (JIRF). It has a some books in its Religious Freedom Series. IIRF, however, does a lot more than publish on this topic. 

Its Global Issues Series: This consists of a high quality, compact, series of booklets covering a range of social and legal issue topics important to AI, from a Christian perspective. You’ll see topics highly compatible with AI’s work, including: Corruption, Freedom of Religion and Belief, Islam (several good booklets), Human Rights, Racism, Care of the Environment, and Christians in Courts. It’s a veritable library, in handy booklets (19 so far), for the serious advocate (all free of charge). 

Witherspoon Institute {Marriage & Family, Rule of Law, Life, Justice and Rights of Poor}[see Scholarly Journals, Public Discourse]

“The Witherspoon Institute is an independent research center that works to enhance public understanding of the moral foundations of free and democratic societies. The Institute promotes the application of fundamental principles of republican government and ordered liberty to contemporary problems through a variety of centers, research programs, seminars, consultations, and publications.” It seeks to reach students at various levels, through its academic programs, from High School through graduate school, and beyond. Their writings on public policy issues of concern to AI are outstanding. Check out their online journal, Public Discourse. It has distinct writing sections on sexuality, family, law and politics.

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), with its, Institutes, Commissions, and Initiatives [see also section 3, below, and Advocacy Groups Square]

The World Evangelical Alliance is an extensive global organization, started in 1846 and representing the Church and millions of Christians around the world. It has several “Commissions” (such as a Theological Commission, and a Religious Liberty Commission), and “Initiatives,” such as the International Institute of Religious Freedom (IIRF, above). These initiatives exemplify fine scholarship in many activities intersecting with AI’s interest areas, and offer a wealth of good resources on their respective site locations. Some Initiatives also engage in advocacy in their areas of  concern. We have noted those most germane to AI’s interests in spots throughout this ICLS site. Such Initiatives of interest include: 

(3) SCs, Insts. Going Beyond Equipping Advocates, and Actively Engaging in Advocacy in Similar Interest Areas of AI  

Groups here do more than educate, they advocate, and should be considered for partnering with on applicable projects [see also Advocacy Groups, in the Advocacy Resources tab].  

Center for Religious Freedom Education, Religious Freedom Institute (USA, Global){Religious Liberty}

The RFI seeks to influence governments around the world for greater religious freedom, not just for Christianity, but other faiths as well. As to the Center, “RFI’s Center for Religious Freedom Education [CRFE] is an American-based academic center, partnering with students, teachers, professors, administrators, and others in the education sector . . . to provide rigorous and engaging programs and materials to restore a proper understanding of [the] first freedom.” Programs include university collaboration, curriculum, and advanced research fellowships (although taught in an American context, the information given has an international impact).

According to its mission, “[t]he Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) is committed to achieving broad acceptance of religious liberty as a fundamental human right, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a source of national and international security “ It achieves this by influencing stakeholders as to the social and economic benefits of honoring religious liberty, in strategic areas of the world. It is, however, multi-faith in its approach.

Family Research Council (FRC) of “Focus on the Family” (FOF) {Marriage & Family, Life, Religious Liberty} [See Section 2, above; See Advocacy Groups in Advocacy Resources; see also Scholarly Journals]

Global Transformation Network [See Advocacy Groups in Advocacy Resources]

GTN does training and networking of local teams “‘to develop long-term, 7-sphere strategic plans to transform their nations,”’ for Christ, including in the government sphere.

Leimena Institute (Indonesia) {Religious Liberty, Rule Of Law} [see Advocacy Groups in Advocacy Resources tab]

Institute Leimena is an Indonesian think tank and policy advocate seeking to involve the church in nation building, in Indonesia, and globally. It focuses on religious protection (pluralism) in Indonesia.

Revelation Movement (India, Global) {Rule of Law, Justice for Poor}

Featuring the works of scholar and activist Vishal Mangalwadi, the Revelation Movement seeks to restore biblical truth in culture and public life, in India and around the world, through education and other programs. 

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA); Its Initiatives [see also Advocacy Groups Square]

The World Evangelical Alliance is an extensive global organization, started in 1846 and representing the Church and millions of Christians around the world. It has several “Commissions” (such as a Theological Commission, and a Religious Liberty Commission), and “Initiatives,” such as the International Institute of Religious Freedom (IIRF, above). These initiatives exemplify fine scholarship in many activities intersecting with AI’s interest areas, and offer a wealth of good resources on their respective site locations. Some Initiatives also engage in advocacy in their areas of  concern. We have noted those most germane to AI’s interests in spots throughout this ICLS site. Such Initiatives of interest include: