About

Our Vision

The Religion News Service aims to be the largest single source of news about religion, spirituality and ideas. We strive to inform, illuminate and inspire public discourse on matters relating to belief and convictions.

Mission

RNS is a non-profit, limited liability corporation owned by the Religion Newswriters Foundation and based at the National Press Building in Washington, D.C., with a business office at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. RNS’s mission is to provide in-depth, non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ideas.

RNS advances its mission through our website and by partnering with regional hubs and a diverse group of subscribers who distribute our work.

RNS strives to meet the highest standards of public service journalism. Through our work, we report, write, compile, record and post news, features, photos and video.

Our goal is to promote civic engagement and discourse on religion. We strive to inform and challenge our readers, out of a conviction that religious literacy is a necessary component of effective citizenship.

RNS does not endorse or promote any particular religion, creed or set of beliefs or non-beliefs. We are a secular organization committed to an ongoing conversation about the role of religion in public life.

History

For nearly 80 years, the Religion News Service has been an authoritative source of news about religion, spirituality and ideas. With a team of correspondents around the world, RNS provides news on religion and its intersections with political and cultural issues. Our stories are distributed to the nation’s leading newspapers, news magazines, online media outlets, broadcasting firms and religious publications.

The Religious News Service was founded by journalist Louis Minsky (1909-1957), as an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. From the start, it was dedicated to providing fair, balanced, non-sectarian news about religion to the secular and religious press.

In 1983, RNS was acquired by the Dallas-based United Methodist Reporter and continued to operate as an independent news agency. In 1994, Newhouse News Service, a major publisher of daily newspapers and magazines, purchased it and changed its name to Religion News Service.

In June 2011, RNS returned to its non-profit roots when it was acquired by the Religion Newswriters Foundation. Today, RNS operates as a service of the Religion Newswriters Foundation, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, under the leadership of Publisher/CEO Heidi Thompson and Editor-in-Chief Jerome Socolovsky.

The RNS editorial office is located at the National Press Building, 529 14th St. NW, Washington D.C., 20045, and has a business office at the University of Missouri’s Journalism School, 30 Neff Annex, Columbia, Mo., 65211.