Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education
Chicago, Illinois

Stephen Schmidt called the meeting to order, approximately 70 were in attendance. He expressed thanks to Mary Boys for organizing the meeting and appreciation for the support he received during his absence from last year's meeting when he was President. Thanks were also given to various persons and groups doing work for the organization: Linda Vogel for coordination of the revitalization study group, the Executive Committee for added time in reviewing the study, Avis Clendendon for work on the Research Interest groups, Judith Johnson-Siebold for the Task Force and Women's Breakfast work, and Maureen O'Brien on the Ph.D. Award. Schmidt then turned the meeting over to Mary Boys.

1. Adoption of Agenda

Boys reviewed the proposed agenda for the meeting and it was adopted by vote of the Membership (copy attached).

Boys expressed thankfulness for Schmidt's recovery and thanked him for his leadership as APRRE President.

2. Recommendations Regarding Policy and Procedures

Boys reviewed the summary report entitled Decisions, Considerations and Recommendations from the Executive Committee (copy attached). She stated an intention

to distribute a copy of the Association's By-Laws to the membership. The Decisions document included two recommendations for revising the By-Laws (Decisions, p. 3). A motion to change the By-Laws per the recommendation under the heading "Particularism and Pluralism" was made and seconded from the floor. The motion passed by voice vote without dissent.

In discussing the second recommended By-Law change under the heading "Management," Boys explained the change was not motivated a desire to centralize power but to simplify communications for the Nominating Committee. Schmidt explained that the present arrangement involves many difficult to arrange teleconferences with persons across the country. After further discussion from the floor, the recommendation was amended to indicate that the President may appoint up to two persons to the Nominating Committee to strengthen the diversity of the Nominating Committee. A motion to change the By-Laws per the amended recommendation under the heading "Management" was made and seconded from the floor. The motion passed by voice vote without dissent. The amended recommendation reads:

1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the President, the Executive Secretary (ex officio), the Executive Committee members who are beginning their last year on the Executive Committee, and up to two persons from the Membership appointed by the President to strengthen the diversity of the Nominating Committee. 3. Elections

Schmidt distributed a written report of the Nominating Committee (copy attached). Nominees for various positions were: Mary Boys for President; Chuck Foster for President Elect; Fayette Breaux Veverka for Vice President; Greer Anne Wenh-In Ng, Warren Benson, and Christelle Estrada for Members to the Board. Given the previous changes to the By-Laws, Jennifer Jue and James Wilhoit were announced as appointees to the Nominating Committee. No nominations were received from the floor. The nominations were accepted by voice vote without dissent.

Schmidt presented Chuck Melchert as the nominee from the Executive Committee for the position of Executive Secretary. A motion to accept Melchert as Executive Secretary was made, seconded and passed by voice vote without dissent. Applause was given Melchert.

4. Discussion of APRRE's Affiliation with Other Organizations

Boys asked the membership to form small groups of four to five persons, including a mix of ages, to discuss the question "Should APRRE meet in conjunction (before, during, after) with other organizations and if so which ones and why?" Each group submitted written reports of their discussion to the Secretary (transcription attached). The following are comments made from the floor following small group discussion.

Meet with REA and AAR on alternate years

Suggest that APRRE meet before or after AAR however overlapping with AAR could mean a five night meeting which would be a problem. Another problem is that many APRRE members are also members of groups that already meet in conjunction with AAR.

Meet with REA simultaneously one year and the next with other religious educator groups seeking to be interreligious

Hanan Alexander indicated that there is a Jewish educational research network that might meet with APRRE like a denominational caucus.

Other groups mentioned included SSSR, Society of Christian Ethics

REA values connections with practitioners who are reading books by APRRE members.

It is important to keep APRRE independent because it is a small enough organization to know each other.

An optional joint membership fee for APRRE and REA should be offered--one that is less than the sum of the two separately.

An observation was made that preferences to connect with either AAR or REA seem to be connected with age: older members express loyalty to REA, middle age groups express interest in both REA and AAR, and younger members mainly interested in AAR.

Suggested explanations included:
Research interests addressed at AAR
AAR is more accepting of practical theology now
AAR has a teaching section that is receiving high levels of interest
Perception that APRRE is "talking to itself"
AAR is the place for job market and access to publishers
AAR could help with the use of computer technology utilization.
APRRE could help AAR see religious education as an important area in the study of religion.
Every fourth year APRRE could facilitate a congress of religious education groups.
Whoever APRRE meets with we should be concerned about maintaining our purpose as an organization and values, such as cultural diversity.

An announcement was made that additional comments could be forwarded to Melchert. This raised issue of membership needing to receive an updated directory (possibility of an on-line version suggested).

5. Report from Student Caucus

Ted Brelford reported that seven students attended the Caucus meeting. Students expressed appreciation for the increased services and changes that allow them greater involvement in APRRE operations. Brelford will serve as coordinator of the Caucus for next year and therefore also serve on the Executive Committee.

6. Report from Executive Secretary (Padraic O'Hare)

O'Hare requested that members send Scholarly and Professional Updates to Melchert without waiting for forms to do so. This will assist in developing a directory supplement.

O'Hare gave general thanks to all with whom he worked while Executive Secretary. Special thanks were given to:

O'Hare reported that since 1992 membership has increased from 248 to 331 and annual meeting attendance has increased from 126 to 154.

Copies of the financial report were distributed and accepted without discussion (copies attached).

7. Memorials and Retirements

Gentry Shelton, retired for a number of years from Brite Divinity School died in September of 1994.

Schmidt and Boys thanked Padraic O'Hare for his service to APRRE over the last three years as Executive Secretary. That thanks was acknowledged by a standing ovation from the assembled members.

Allen Moore retired as Dean of the School of Theology at Claremont after 30 years of service. While Dean he brought increased diversity to Claremont. In his professional career he has had the courage to face hard challenges, sponsored many students, and been a leader in APRRE.

Sherry Blumberg has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is beginning chemotherapy.

Campbell Wyckoff has had a slight stroke and is recovering.

Joan Penzenstadler has had a tumor develop behind her eye.

8. Report on 1995 Program

Charles Foster reported that he had received lots of suggestions stemming out of the discussions held during last year's business meeting. The focus of the meeting will be religious education and faith in an age of disbelief. Information about the meeting can be found in the newsletter. The dates are November 3-5, 1995 at the same hotel as this year.

9. Other Business Items

No further business was introduced and the meeting was adjourned.


Discussion of APRRE Affiliations
Transcription of Notes from Small Groups


REA- Connection with them due to the Religious Education journal is important

Could still do REA in alternative years

AAR/SBL- needed for job interviews, people may be hired in Christian education through AAR and our people are not there

AAR only forum for minority scholars as a group

REA attendance- too many consecutive days

-need for more collaboration but joint sessions change character of group

But how can we diversify? e.g. conjoint meetings with NAPCE- but it is moire focused on experts presenting

REA would like more APRRE participation

AAR/SBL- large size; would we get swallowed up?


Meeting with REA does not work

Need to survey the membership

Faculty cannot be absent for such a long time

What about alternating tandem meetings, rotating between REA, SSSR, AAR/SBL?

Logistics of working before/after AAR- hotel space, length of time

Hiring institutions go to AAR

Some indifference about this issue--willing to go along

What about spring meeting--no response

Can we get institutions who are looking to send reps to talk to people about what they want?

AAR really moves around

Group identity important--don't want to get lost

Denominational meetings that focus on church education


Could we explore a religious education umbrella like AAR/SBL--meet in tandem with Jewish education

Would like to continue encouraging younger people to be here

As long economically viable, continue to meet on our own to cultivate our identity and to develop interreligious relationships

Problem of large group- dominated by Anglo-European types


We are all in favor of relating in some fashion to another group(s)

REA, AAR/SBL, SSSR--explore the varieties of possibilities of groups

We don't want to lose the atmosphere that we have here--a place where we can be known and get to know other colleagues



APRRE remains an independent organization

We believe APRRE and REA should continue to do the journal together, therefore we need a revised joint fee as an option, i.e. APRRE membership as an option and an APRRE/REA option. In addition, we'd encourage simultaneous APRRE track in the midst of REA conference

We'd also consider meeting on the other years prior to AAR/SBL. We realize that Tuesday through Thursday may be difficult.


Yes- expense would be reduced

Problem with AAR is that no time for us to meet since they meet almost back to back with Thanksgiving

Problem with AAR is its largeness and it would be difficult to maintain our identity; with so many at AAR it would be hard for us to network

What about other groups?


A criteria should be the diversity of the other organization

Agreed that to affiliate would be a good thing

Could affiliate with a different organization different years? REA, SSSR, AAR/SBL

Other Criteria:

Important to keep our identity--therefore meeting before/after with some overlap better than meeting exactly the same time

Continuity between our concerns and agenda and that of the other organization's

Concerned about ability to set agenda of our own meetings

Junior faculty want more affiliation with other organizations in order to have more exposure for employment and scholarship


Judy Fischer might have stayed for REA if she had known it was in the same city just after APRRE

We could have some overlapping time with REA. If we met simultaneously we could have some joint sessions.

We might meet with REA every other year and SBL/AAR every other year. Religious Education may be about the only discipline not related to SBL/AAR.

Bob Conrad has no vested interest in who we meet with

A problem of getting facilities if we meet with AAR/SBL but that wouldn't be an issue if we met ahead of it.

Don Browning says he doesn't think many of our members actually link with other groups when we do meet with them.

The group consensus was to explore linking with REA one year and AAR/SBL the next.

We need information on trip cost--would be easier for us to get hotel rooms if we met separately?

If we link with AAR/SBL we could not meet concurrently. We could meet concurrently with REA and have some joint plenaries if we had the same theme.


AAR- hard core academics and practitioners

Don't want religious education to get side-lined

AAR devoid of our kind of presence and focus--only a few small groups focus on our stuff

But it is getting harder to pay for two plane tickets and hotels, etc.

AAR critiqued for being non-contextually oriented--religious studies oriented

Can we connect with another organization

Consider SSSR and Society for Christian Ethics

After much discussion, we would strongly like to meet with the AAR. We should meet before to get rooms etc. Start Thursday evening; go to Friday and end Saturday at noon. AAR gets cranked up on Saturday afternoon.

None of us have ever been to REA and are not as concerned with that relationship. If we are going to be concerned with keeping that relationship, lets do it just every other year or every four years.

What is the relationship between APRRE and REA? We don't understand this and need information.


REA- They are a major linkage (journal, values, etc) but may not be at same level of interest

AAR/SBL- May be overwhelming, but they do have some connecting points

SSSR- Where are they?

Alternate between REA and AAR for both scholarly and political reasons

Not as a fully recognized organization of AAR, not meet concurrently


APRRE/REA too long time commitment to meet with other people--stay on only when giving paper

Parallel sessions are a disadvantage--competition for hotel and meeting rooms

Chicago is very accessible

Every five years to California

Four in group voted to stay in tandem with REA and separately

One voted to join AAR trying to a meeting perhaps every other year


AAR is breadth of interests, job bank, networking with broader arena. (AAR is plural, APRRE is particular) They need our insights. We need to stop talking to ourselves. (Prefer to meet one or two days before AAR)

Connection to AAR would increase the perception that we are professionals with professional standards. many are now serving on faculties where they as religious educators are alone amidst other disciplines (prefer to alternate between REA and AAR)


Interviewing for new jobs (doctoral students)


Same time (economics)

Already connected with AAR

If we started early Friday, concentrating on our work through Saturday, then people who wished could shift to AAR

Discounted books/larger exhibits/publisher recruiting manuscripts

Please consider alternate with AAR and REA

Separate track through REA


Alternate each year with organizations that differ rather than tie-in to one association, such as: ASCD, Educational Associations, KDP, ARIL, ACURA, CCPRAHAE, AAR, REA, APT, NCRPE

Connect theme with associating organizations. For instance, plan themes and see if other organizations are using same themes and coordinate to draw larger groups.

APRRE leadership meet with own students to see their feelings

Students need place that is "safe" to discuss and present papers

Draw from a more diverse group of scholars for plenary speakers


I. Meeting with AAR/SBL:

Advantages: Meeting with other academicians in religion; job advertising and networking; Meetings with denominational women's groups that more likely to meet at AAR/SBL

Disadvantages: Meeting before or after creates a long span of time; Meeting parallel creates program conflicts and sometimes strips participation in APRRE

II. Meeting with REA: Advantages: Possibility of attending both meetings; Possibility of strengthening both organizations; Funding for one meeting by most schools (which is the most common practice) which allows for attendance and support of both organizations III. Meeting with Liberal Religious Educators RSSO: Advantages: Meeting with people with similar interests, including interreligious concerns (The Association is made up of practicing religious educators, and they are presently discussing a broadening to include interreligious membership.) IV. Meeting with Jewish Religious Educators groups:

Advantages: Opening possibility for more Jewish educators to participate in APRRE

V. Creating a Major Cooperative Meeting Every 4 Years (Meeting 2000):

Include: APRRE, REA, Liberal Religious Educators, NAPCE,

Jewish religious ed. groups (C.A.G.E., etc.), Jewish

Education Research Network, Orthodox Christian and

Orthodox Jewish groups, etc.


What are the other professional associations that people already belong to?

Increase attendance by meeting with other societies

Publishers have problems picking and choosing which conventions

Wide array of publishers display at AAR/SBL, up to 50% discount on books

Publishers soliciting manuscripts at AAR/SBL

Placement services available at AAR/SBL

The scholars in Bible, Theology, ethics, etc that we use in our teaching are present at AAR/SBL and we could have greater interface

AAR now has Teaching and Academic Study of Religion section that a few APRRE members are presenting papers for.

Week of professional meetings would still be too much for most people to take from their teaching schedules

The hostility of AAR to The practical field but that is changing

Institutional weakness of REA to facilitate interreligious participation

Historically REA journal has nurtured young scholars in Religious education. Value this contact for this purpose

Should APRRE stay connected to REA to assist it in getting better institutionally?

Importance of APRRE for helping us get to know one another's Research, supportive nature of APRRE in facilitating scholarship, the attention APRRE gives to issues of Religious education

Strong affirmation of APRRE continuing as an independent organization