ACMCU Professional Development Workshops Support Teaching about Religion, Islam, and the World

Islam is a subject about which whole libraries have been written, yet many teachers perceive it as one of the most difficult topics in the curriculum. It has been required in state standards for well over a decade, along with content on all the world religions, and in the wake of the September 11, 2001 and increased US involvement in Muslim regions of the globe, knowledge about Islam and Muslims is at a premium. It is a daunting task for teachers to prepare material that fits into the limited time available, meets constitutional guidelines for teaching about religion, is correlated to standards, and is appropriate for various grade and ability levels.

These professional development workshops sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service will address the needs of teachers on all of these levels, giving them confidence that they are on solid legal and pedagogical ground, providing content knowledge, and helping them integrate the content into their curriculum and standards. Every topic in the flexible, customizable workshops is paired with teaching material that is readily available, and is correlated to state standards. The teaching resources meet First Amendment Center guidelines for constitutionally appropriate instruction about religion. The lessons are designed to help learners engage with excellent scholarship in the field, so that in addition to content knowledge, they develop the critical thinking and geography skills required in every state and district program.

Design a Customized Workshop from Presentation Modules

These workshops are not one-size-fits-all. Professional development coordinators, curriculum specialists, and outreach coordinators can select from the modules to create a half-day, full-day, or even multiple day professional development program. Four groups of modules—consisting of basic modules, core modules, and cross-curricular modules—offer a menu of presentation material that is tailored to the needs of the teacher population to be served within the allotted professional development time. Workshop modules are described on this menu under the linked pages with those labels.  These modules are accompanied by documentation and teaching resources that will enable workshop attendees implement the material in the classroom and share what they learned with their colleagues and administrators. Go to Descriptions of Basic, Core, and Cross-Curricular Modules after reading this page.

How to Select Presentation Modules:

Using pages two and three of the Workshop Request Form, organizers of full-day workshops select from the following categories of presentation modules: one or both basic modules, two to five content modules per one-day workshop. Three listed topics in the Mini-modules count as one module. See the Chart “SAMPLE WORKSHOP TIMING AND CONTENT” for suggested program scheduling and module combinations for elementary and secondary teachers. Half-day and multiple-day workshops or institutes may include more or fewer content modules, and will be developed in consultation with the organizers.

To schedule an ACMCU Workshop:

Visit and download the ACMCU Workshop Request Form in MS Word format. Fill in the form and attach it to an e-mail message to, or fax the form to (202) 687-8376 (email is preferred so an electronic copy is available for planning). To confirm, send your contact information in an e-mail to the above address and we will email and/or call you to confirm and discuss the agenda, details, and any questions you may have. Please allow at least three weeks’ notice to get the dates you want. Planning months in advance for your professional development calendar is welcomed.

Please see the F.A.Q. section of our website for further details.

Conditions for Participation:

Professional development workshops are fully funded and free of charge: The Center for Muslim Christian Understanding offers these workshops at no cost to the hosting institution. ACMCU even provides a lunch allowance for the participants, by arrangement with the workshop hosting institution and local caterers.

Hosting organization’s responsibilities: The hosting organization is responsible for providing an audience of at least 25 registered participants. The host is also responsible for providing a venue for the workshop, and the usual AV equipment such as overhead projector, LCD projector, video/DVD player, by arrangement. The host may also provide the customary break refreshments for participants. Assistance with identifying local accommodations convenient to the venue site and/or airport will be appreciated.

Cancellation: If the host needs to cancel the workshop for any reason, at least two weeks’ notice is required.

Handouts and Teaching Resources: All presentation modules are linked to online and print lesson plans and teaching resources. Each participant will receive access to the ACMCU teaching resource website with online resource links, downloadable lesson plans, videos and selected PowerPoint presentations. Institutional hosts are also asked to provide photocopies of  materials for hands-on use during the workshop. Any additional materials will be supplied by the presenter.