This Just In: Free to Serve, by Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies

Cover ArtWhat do Hobby Lobby, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Wheaton College, World Vision, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the University of Notre Dame have in common? All are faith-based organizations that have faced pressure to act in ways contrary to their religious beliefs.

In this book, two policy experts show how faith-based groups–those active in the educational, healthcare, international aid and development, and social service fields–can defend their ability to follow their religiously based beliefs without having to jettison the very faith and faith-based practices that led them to provide services to those in need. They present a pluralist vision for religious freedom for faith-based organizations of all religious traditions.



Matthew L. Skinner Stephen V. Monsma (PhD, Michigan State University) is a senior research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and professor emeritus of political science at Pepperdine University. He is also a fellow at the Center for Public Justice.

Matthew L. SkinnerStanley W. Carlson-Thies (PhD, University of Toronto) is director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a division of the Center for Public Justice (CPJ), in Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow at CPJ and at the Canadian think tank Cardus. Carlson-Thies served with George W. Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and served on a task force of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


Praise for Free to Serve:

“We have to protect the rights of everyone in our society if we are to protect the rights of anyone. This is an important book for our times.” – Richard Stearns, president, World Vision US

“A must-read for anyone interested in preserving our country’s historic stance on religious freedom.” – Ronald J. Sider, Palmer Seminary, Eastern University

“A timely and compelling case for how the United States can navigate the current changes to social norms.” – Shirley V. Hoogstra, JD, president, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

“A clarion call and prophetic prescription for those committed to never sacrificing truth on the altar of expediency.” – Samuel Rodriguez, president, NHCLC/CONELA, Hispanic Evangelical Association

“Anyone who cares about the state of religious freedom in America should read this book.” – David Nammo, executive director and CEO, Christian Legal Society

“Monsma and Carlson-Thies offer proactive remedies that nourish the hope of principled pluralism and promote a civil society in which people of all faiths, or none, enjoy expansive freedom.” – Philip G. Ryken, president, Wheaton College

“[A] timely, readable, and intellectually serious book.” – John J. DiIulio Jr., first director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

“If you believe your faith should extend beyond the walls of your place of worship, you simply must read this outstanding book.” – Peter Greer, president and CEO, HOPE International

Free to Serve examines the unintended consequences of violating religious freedom and offers hope for a society where individual beliefs are fully expressed.” – Tami Heim, president and CEO, Christian Leadership Alliance

“An important and timely book. The authors’ call to principled pluralism…is a vital message.” – Alec Hill, president, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA