Religion News Service (RNS) is an independent, nonprofit and award-winning source of global news on religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, reported by a staff of professional journalists. Founded in 1934, RNS seeks to inform readers with objective reporting and insightful commentary, and is relied upon by secular and faith-based news organizations in a number of countries.
RNS is affiliated with the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.
RNS 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.
For more than 80 years, RNS 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, its original name, was founded by journalist Louis Minsky (1909-1957) as an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. From the start, it was dedicated to providing fair, balanced, nonsectarian 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 nonprofit roots when it was acquired by the Religion Newswriters Foundation, which became Religion News Foundation in 2016. Today, RNS operates under Religion News Foundation (RNF), a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, under the leadership of RNF CEO and RNS Publisher Deborah Caldwell.
The RNS business office is located at the University of Missouri’s Journalism School, 30 Neff Annex, Columbia, Missouri, 65211.
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content. Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year.
Religion News Foundation
RNS is the wholly-owned subsidiary of RNF. RNF is an independent educational and secular nonprofit organization founded in 1999.
RNF’s mission is to strengthen and improve the understanding of religion, improve public discourse about religion, advance religious literacy, and support religion journalism. In this, the Foundation works to provide comprehensive coverage of religion, religious freedom, and religious persecution across the globe.
RNF seeks to achieve its religious literacy goals through storytelling, films, videos, podcasts, training workshops, student and cultural exchanges, events, programs and initiatives.
For more information, please visit religionnewsfoundation.org.
Thanks to a $4.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, RNF, RNS, the Associated Press (AP) and The Conversation announced the creation of a global religion reporting initative, an effort to expand religion news reporting in the U.S. and around the world.
This initiative includes the creation of a joint global religion news desk aimed at providing balanced, nuanced coverage of major world religions, with an emphasis on explaining religious practices and principles behind current events and cultural movements.
Staffed by journalists from RNS and the AP and editors from The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis sourced from academic experts, the desk produces multiformat religion journalism intended to improve general understanding and analyze the significance of developments in the world of faith.