News & Event Information


President of Religious Freedom Institute

to Present Consortium Lecture

The Crisis of Religious Freedom in America and Abroad:
How It Affects Us All

Farr speaking.jpg

The Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus welcomes the general public to its 14th annual lecture on World Religions and Interreligious Relations. Thomas Farr, PhD, will present “The Crisis of Religious Freedom in America and Abroad: How It Affects Us All,” on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jessing Center at the Pontifical College Josephinum, 7625 North High Street. The lecture is free and open to the public; reservations are not required. For information, please contact the Josephinum at 614-985-2274.


Thomas Farr, a Roman Catholic, is President of the Religious Freedom Institute, an organization 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. Dr. Farr is also Director of the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center, and Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Farr is a senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ.


Having received a BA from Mercer University and a PhD from the University of North Carolina, Dr. Farr served for 28 years in the US Army and the US Foreign Service. In 1999, he became the first director of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. He subsequently directed the Witherspoon Institute’s International Religious Freedom (IRF) Task Force, was a member of the Chicago World Affairs Council’s Task Force on Religion and US Foreign Policy, and served on the Secretary of State’s IRF working group.


Dr. Farr trains American diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute, teaches at the National Defense University, and is a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He serves on the boards of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-USA, and Saint John Paul the Great High School; and on the boards of advisors of the Alexander Hamilton Society and the National Museum of American Religion.


Publications by Dr. Farr include World of Faith and Freedom: Why International Religious Liberty is Vital to American National Security (Oxford, 2008); Religious Freedom and Gay Rights: Emerging Conflicts in North America and Europe, co-edited with Timothy Shah and Jack Friedman (Cambridge, 2016); and U.S. Foreign Policy and International Religious Freedom: Recommendations for the Trump Administration, with Dennis Hoover (Religious Freedom Institute, 2017).


The Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus – comprised of Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Pontifical College Josephinum, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University – offers an annual lecture to highlight contemporary issues for the world’s religions and interreligious relations. “Dr. Farr is uniquely qualified to address the subject of religious freedom,” said Dr. Paul Numrich, a professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Capital University. “This is one of the most significant issues of our time,” he said.


For more information about the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus or the Annual Lecture on World Religions and Interreligious Relations, contact Dr. Numrich at 740-362-3443 or