I usually start the school year with this project as I find that as a World History teacher it is important that students understand the basics of religion from the start. However it could be done at any point that fits into your curriculum or class, like a human geography course could be later.
The project has 2 parts. Part one is students write an essay on the religion they are covering for their project. I decide which religion or philosophy they get based on students ranking what they would like to do. They list their top 4 choices and usually students get their top first or second choice. Their essay can be overarching or be about a specific part on the presentation checklist, like dissemination. There is a checklist and rubric for the essay and an activity to help them write a thesis and relate to it throughout their essay.
Next the students put together a presentation addressing the categories given. This keeps it structured. For larger classes I make a few more subgroups like Orthodox and Catholicism or Sunni and Shiite. I usually do not have the class sizes for that.
I do this project in all of my World History classes: AP, Regular, and Fundamentals (Fundamentals has a simplified project sheet).