Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education
Meet the New
APRRE President Elect


APRRE and REA to Meet

Groome describes the 1998 Theme

President Moore Receives Praise

Moore's Message

Orlando's Clarion Plaza Hotel

New Journal for Religious Educators

Job Openings

CHAMBERLAIN Paper Available

An Interesting Idea

New Member Directory

BOYS and LEE Nominated for 1998 GRAWEMEYER Award

RE Book Reviews

1997 Proceedings Still Available

Meet the New
APRRE President Elect:

Thomas H. Groome is Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College. Tom is best known to religious educators for his books Christian Religious Education (Harper 1980) and Sharing Faith (Harper 1991). His most recent work is entitled Educating for Life: A Spiritual Vision for Every Teacher and Parent. Here Tom brings his passion for religious education to the broader conversation of general education. He draws upon the depth structures of Catholic Christian spirituality to propose a spiritual vision that might inspire any educator - in school, congregation, or family - regardless of one's religious identity.

Groome describes the 1998 Theme:

Postmodernism and Generation X: Challenges and Possibilities for Religious Educators

"There are many ways to describe the function of religious educators but a perspective that many find illuminating is to think of ourselves as working in "the between" - between religion and culture, between faith traditions and people's everyday lives. In "the between" we function variously - as exegetes, as two-way interpreters, as mediators, as correlators, and more. To be effective requires us, among other things, to know well both sides of "the between" - our faith traditions and contemporary reality. To paraphrase Barth's oft cited dictum, religious educators need to hold their sacred texts in one hand and the morning newspaper in the other.

"Social and cultural commentators are convinced that a major shift is happening in both the philosophy and lifestyle of our time - at least in Western cultures.

"The philosophical shift - most often dubbed Postmodernism - threatens to deconstruct the whole Enlightenment project (indeed religious educators have had their own critique of it).

"The lifestyle shift is illustrated in this generation of young adults - and there are 55 million between 20 and 35 in North America. The infelicitous but common designation is "Generation X" - I don't like it either but it is the one most often used by the cultural commentators. (Authors of papers should feel free to use other designations).

"However we name these contemporary phenomena, they present significant challenges for religious education and great opportunities as well. They must be addressed by religious educators in both academia and congregations. Taking them as our theme will correlate readily with the one chosen by REA - "Teaching for Spiritual Meaning and Religious Commitment." Let us gather in Orlando to help each other understand these aspects of "the morning newspaper" and how to respond as religious educators."


APRRE and the REA will be meeting jointly in Orlando at the Clarion Plaza Hotel on International Drive. The Clarion Plaza is located about five minutes from Universal Studios, about 15 minutes from Disney, about a mile from Sea World, and 15 minutes from the airport.

Full registration details will come in the June mailing. Guest room rates for APRRE and REA will be $64 for single and double rooms, $84 for triple and $99 for quad. For those who may wish to stay on, room rates from Tuesday on will drop to $59 for a single and double, $79 triple and $94 quad.

The hotel has car rental (Alamo) facilities on site, as well as tickets for all area attractions. It also offers several restaurants, including a pizzeria, and a 24-hour deli and bakery.

Right across the street a new shopping center is opening in November, including a huge FAO Schwarz toy store (some early Christmas shopping?).


The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion is pleased to announce a new journal, Teaching Theology and Religion. Published by the Wabash Center and Blackwell Publishers in association with ATS, AAR, and SBL, the journal intends to stimulate a new genre of writing about issues of teaching and learning in higher education. We invite your submissions.

The journal is just one of the programs of the Wabash Center, which is funded by the Lilly Éndowment Inc. to support and enhance teaching and learning in theological schools and departments of theology and religion in colleges and universities. The Center also provides opportunities like workshops and consultations to inquire into, reflect on, and strategize about pedagogy appropriate to the disciplines of theological education. And we offer grants to help individuals and institutions foster and reward excellent teaching.

As you can see, the Center’s deepest commitments have much in common with those of professors and researchers in religious education, but particularly focused on improving teaching and learning in higher education. We are eager to engage your partnership in our efforts to increase the attention and appreciation given to teaching among your colleagues and within the wider academy. You are invited to apply for grants, participate in our workshops and consultations, and write for the journal. More information about the Wabash Center’s purpose and programs can be found on the website: http://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu or contact Lucinda Huffaker, Associate Director, Wabash Center, 301 W. Wabash, Crawfordsville, IN 47933, (800)-655-7117, huffakel@wabash.edu.


Due to an error either by the compiler (i.e., myself - Melchert) or by the publisher, the Research Interest Group Paper by Gary Chamberlain in November’s Proceedings is incomplete. I find this error especially embarrassing, since I once had two pages left out of the middle of one of my own articles in Religious Education. Such an omission obviously substantially alters the substance of an article. My apologies to the author.

Copies of the full article are available from the APRRE office upon request. Simply write and request the paper, "Ecology and Christian Education: Prophets in the Wilderness?"

An interesting idea -

Ronnie Prevost has suggested an interesting idea that would allow APRRE members in a geographical region to get together on a more regular basis. He proposes arranging for APRRE members to get together during regional AAR\SBL meetings. The Executive Secretary can provide names and addresses (even on labels, if needed) of those in a region, to enable a mailing. If preferred, direct e-mail communication or use of the APRRE listserver is available.

NEW MEMBER DIRECTORY will be compiled and distributed this spring. All current paid-up members will be included, providing up-to-date addresses, positions, phone, e-mail and fax information for all members, associate members, student members and emeriti members.

You will find a form included with this mailing which permit you to make corrections, if needed, to the information currently stored in the APRRE memory banks. Please return these promptly, so we may publish a new Member directory this spring..


The Fall 1996 issue of Religious Education, "Religious Traditions in Conversation," edited by APRRE members Mary Boys and Sara Lee, has been nominated for the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Congratulations!


I have just received the most recent issue of Religious Education, with a single book review. I have been assured more book reviews may soon be coming.

In the meantime, to insure fuller coverage for books published by APRRE members, I propose to start publishing book reviews in the pages of the APRRE Newsletter, starting with the next issue.

In order to publish book reviews here, since we get no review copies from publishers, I hereby issue an open invitation to APRRE members to send me reviews (preferably via e-mail, so I do not have to retype texts) of recent books in religious education you would like to call to the attention of your colleagues. I reserve the right to make editorial decisions concerning submitted reviews, and space will be limited. I view this as a temporary measure, serving APRRE members "in the meantime."

As another source for news about new books and articles, which often includes brief reviews, I hope you are receiving the quarterly bibliography "Readings," produced by APRRE member Dr. George Brown and distributed free of charge. If not, write him at Western Theological Seminary, 101 E. 13th St., Holland, MI 49423-3622.

APRRE and REA - Meet in Orlando’s Clarion Plaza Hotel, Nov. 21-24, 1998

Denominational meetings Saturday afternoon, Nov. 21; APRRE Annual Meeting and REA Convention starts Sunday Morning, ends Tuesday mid-day.


The Oakland Meeting, "Poetry - Prophecy - Power" was extremely well received by participants. 126 persons registered, which was quite good given the west coast location (most of our members come from the East and Midwest).

Meeting end evaluations revealed that participants thought the theme was not only highly appropriate, but that it made for a very coherent program across forums, presidential address, and research interest groups. Members gave highest praise to Mary Elizabeth Moore’s Presidential address (it was called "stunning," brilliant," "inspiriting"). Next highest object of praise went to the first edition of the 1997 Proceedings. (Copies are still available from the APRRE office.) Marcia Falk’s presentation and the forums also were commended, as was the level of quality of the program as a whole.

Members expressed concern about the conflicts caused by having to choose between two sets of attractive meetings. Not as much time was available just to talk informally with others.


DEAR APRRE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS, Thomas Groome is planning a very fine program for our joint APRRE and REA meeting on November 21-24, 1998. I hope that you will be able to join us in Orlando, Florida, for significant dialogue, challenging papers and presentations, and good fun! This will be the last year of our three-year experiment in meeting alongside AAR/SBL, so we will make a decision in the November business meeting about the venue of future meetings. Be thinking about your own dreams, and come prepared to discuss them.

We had a very helpful discussion in the 1997 business meeting, and APRRE members expressed a preference to meet on Friday to Sunday if that could be arranged. Unfortunately, Chuck Melchert has learned that such a meeting would cost $30 more per room per night, and it would provide us with restricted meeting space.

In addition, the AAR decided that only those who have registered for the AAR meeting would be allowed to register in an AAR hotel, thus excluding us from participating in the AAR/SBL hotels as we did in New Orleans. By meeting on Sunday to Tuesday, we will save money for members, have the hotel virtually to ourselves, and risk less loss of our APRRE guaranteed rooms. After consulting with the Executive Committee, we decided to go with this plan. The meeting, therefore, will be on Sunday to Tuesday, with denominational meetings on Saturday (Nov. 21-24) for one more year. We hope that the interest in Orlando, hotel arrangements, and terrific program will make up for some of the inconvenience of the less preferred dates of meeting.

The APRRE membership has been very open to creative experimentation and to maintaining a high level of collegiality within our organization. We hope that you will continue to contribute your presence and wisdom in the 1998 meeting so that we can build toward a strong future! See you there!

----Mary Elizabeth Moore


Several new openings have been announced:

The National Council of Churches is looking for a professional staff person as Director, Ministries in Christian Education. They seek a person with a graduate degree and experience in religious education, and with social vision, ecumenical experience and administrative and financial management skills (for a budget of $700,000), among other things. Application deadline is April 15, 1998. Inquiries can be directed to Laura Williams, the Office of Human Resources, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 650, New York, NY 10115-0050 (Phone: 212-870-2088).

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific seeks candidates for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position in Christian Education. This

position is open at all ranks, dependent upon qualifications and experience. " We seek someone who will teach introductory and advanced courses in Christian Education and who brings expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas: youth ministries and education; congregational studies; evangelism and mission; multi-cultural education; professional continuing education for clergy and laity.

"Candidates should be prepared to teach at an Episcopal seminary within the ecumenical setting of the Graduate Theological Union. We seek a scholar who bridges the line between the academy and the church, and a teacher who can engage students in the task of relating faith and practice and prepare them to reflect theologically about ministry in the modern world. Significant involvement in the Doctor of Ministry program is expected.

"Applicants should hold the academic doctorate (Ph.D., Th.D., or Ed.D.), with significant prior experience in ministry, either lay or ordained. Christian commitment and practice, accessibility to students, a concern for profes- sional theological education, and the capacity to work in a collegial style are important assets.

Candidates should possess an integrated understanding of theological education, and be willing and able to work with colleagues in all aspects of graduate professional theological education including continuing education, often on an ecumenical basis.

The Church Divinity School is committed to recruiting and employing candidates from racial and ethnic minorities and women. Candidates will be considered to be additionally qualified if their appointment would add diversity and enrichment to the life of the school.

Review of applications will begin March 1, 1998 and will continue until the position is filled. (The Dean comments, " I expect the process may go on for a while.")

Names of candidates or direct applications (including curriculum vitae and the names of three referees) should be sent to Arthur G. Holder, Dean of Academic Affairs, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709-1217.

Defiance College invites applications and nominations for a full-time, tenure track, faculty position to commence in August 1998 in Christian Education. The successful candidate will have an earned doctorate in Christian Education or a related field; a theological orientation toward the United Church of Christ or similar ecumenical tradition; experience as a local church educator; ability to organize and run extended group activities for youth and others; and the ability to take initiative with new program development. Experience with contemporary Distance Learning systems is desirable, as are previous teaching experience at a small, private, liberal arts college and a demonstrated commitment to providing quality undergraduate teaching. Candidates should send a letter of application, resume and a list of names addresses and phone numbers of four references to: Academic Dean, Defiance College, 701 North Clinton Street, Defiance, OH 43512. Review of applications will begin March 16 and continue until the vacancy is filled.


Copies of the 1997 Proceedings of the 1997 APRRE Annual Meeting in Oakland are still available.

This year’s Proceedings consist of 281 pages, including a complete outline of the Presentations as well as papers from 25 authors who presented in Research Interest Groups and Colloquia during the Oakland meeting. You may get a copy from the APRRE office at 640 North Pine St., Lancaster, PA, 19603.

Request a copy for your library or you donate a copy.