Frequently Asked Questions: 


What is The Howard Center?

The Howard Center is a non-profit research center located in Rockford, Illinois.  We believe that the natural family is the fundamental unit of society and we focus on research and analysis on the meaning of that claim.

What is your mission statement?

The Howard Center’s purpose is to provide research and understanding that demonstrate and affirm family and religion as the foundation of a virtuous and free society.

Are you affiliated with any particular religion, organization, or political group?


How long have you been in operation?

Our legacy goes back to 1976 when Rockford College President John A. Howard founded the Rockford College Institute. When Dr. Howard left Rockford College a year or two later he changed the name of the organization to The Rockford Institute. In October 1997, Dr. Howard and then-Rockford Institute President Allan C. Carlson separated from The Rockford Institute to form The Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society.

Who runs The Howard Center?

The president of The Howard Center is Allan C. Carlson, Ph.D. A short biography of Dr. Carlson is available in the "people" section of our web site.

The Howard Center is governed by a 14-person Board of Directors and is encouraged by a 40-person Board of Advisors.

How big is your staff?

Our staff is comprised of five full-time employees and two part-time employees, as well as several associates whose services we contract. We enjoy being a small, close-knit organization.

Who serves on the Board of Directors?

  • Mr. George Marlin, Philadelphia, PA  (Chairman)

  • Mr. Warren Rothwell, Naples, FL  (Vice Chairman)

  • Mr. William Andrews, Chicago, IL

  • Dr. Byron Calhoun, Charleston, WV

  • Dr. Allan C. Carlson, Rockford, IL

  • Hon. William Dannemeyer, Fullerton, CA

  • Mr. Paul Logli, Rockford, IL

  • Mr. Norman McClelland, Phoenix, AZ

  • Mr. David Peterson, Rockford, IL

  • Dr. Milton Rosenberg, Chicago, IL

  • Mrs. Janet Salomon, Virginia

  • Mr. Wayne Tew, Las Vegas, NV

  • Dr. Paul Vitz, Arlington, VA

  • Mrs. Ellen Hill, Honorary Member, Rockford, IL

  • Elder Dallin Oaks, Honorary Member, Salt Lake City, UT

Is The Howard Center tax exempt?


Do you have members?

Yes. A membership to The Howard Center is $70 annually.

What benefit is derived by membership?

Actually, there are many. The first is knowing that you are supporting an unconventional leader in pro-family public policy. Our many other benefits are described in detail at the “To Join” section of our web site. Of course, all donations are tax-deductible.

What makes The Howard Center different from other “pro-family” organizations?

First, administratively,

  • We are small. We have no bureaucracy to get in the way of substantive work.

  • We do not solicit or accept government grants or funding.

  • We do not “direct mail” or otherwise bother people incessantly for financial support.

  • Our overhead is very low which means that every dollar donated is used most effectively.

Second, substantively,

  • We are not an “advocacy” group; we do not lobby institutions; we help people to help themselves.

  • Our research is broad-based, crossing many academic disciplines.

  • We are a “primary source” organization; frontline pro-family organizations and people seek useful and relevant information from us.

  • We believe truly that the natural family is the fundamental unit of society, not the individual, not the state, not the church, and not the corporation.

What are some of The Howard Center’s specific projects?

Our largest project, in both time and money, has been the World Congress of Families . We also publish The Family in America, New Research and The Religion & Society Report newsletters (samples are included on this web site). We operate the John L. Swan Library on Family and Culture, one of the best pro-family collections in the world. And we also give lectures, author books, write articles, and hold smaller meetings and conferences.

How come we have not heard of you before?

Like every organization, we have our own niche. For years, our niche has been exclusively research oriented, producing material at an academic and public policy level. While this always will be our strength, we have seen the need to use our talents and resources to create new coalitions to promote the natural family worldwide. The result of these efforts has been the World Congress of Families which has reached a broader audience.





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