Special 2003 Meeting

Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education


Annual Meeting Information

Other News

Meeting Theme
Registration Information
Hotel Information
City and Transit Information
Looking for a Roommate?
Meeting Papers Now Available

REA Anniversary Banquet
Task Force Information
Denominational Meetings
Updated Meeting Schedule 
Presenters, Times, Titles
Retirements and Memorials
Executive Secretary Search
Children Re-Visioning the Table
Valparaiso Project Grants



Embracing the Past, Envisioning the Future:
Religious Education in an Age of Transition

November 7-9, 2003

Chicago, Illinois
A joint meeting of the Religious Education Association (REA) and APRRE celebrating the REA's centennial anniversary

In this time of world tension and conflict in Iraq we are more aware than ever that many individuals, communities, and societies are in some form of transition. Such times call for discerning hearts informed by good religious education. Our 2003 annual meeting seems couched in a special time of transition. The year 2003 sees the 100th anniversary of the Religious Education Association and modern professional religious education. Our deliberation about merging the REA and APRRE is creating conversation about how we view theory and practice in the various contexts of our work. The early years of this new millennium are already marked by violent conflicts that tap into the human religious imagination and the new dynamics of globalization. Our 2003 meeting provides an important opportunity at this point in history for assessment, visioning and celebration.

In November of 2003 we will share in the Religious Education Association’s celebration of its 100th anniversary of at a joint meeting with the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. Our shared theme will be Embracing the Past, Envisioning the Future: Religious Education in an Age of Transition.

As we embrace the past 100 years of the study and practice of religious education we will seek to identify and understand significant transitions in the field and how these influence our engagement of the future. Particular attention will be given to celebrating the contributions that the Religious Education Association has made to this work.

As we envision the future, we will explore how the beginning of a new millennium, marked by ready global communication and the migration of peoples, calls us to a new religious literacy. Many of us have as our heritage a predominantly Eurocentric understanding of our faith traditions. We are invited today to become more conversant with religio-cultures from around the globe. Whereas in the past we may have tended as religious educators to minimize what was different among the great faith traditions, today we are coming to realize that without an understanding of our differences we may miss the truths that we have to offer to one another. We may also judge others wrongly because of our ignorance. Among the questions we may ask are: What does it mean to be religiously literate today? How have the assumptions about the distinctiveness of religions changed since the beginning of the 20th century? What values or truths do our faith traditions have to offer for the good of all humanity? How do we as religious educators situate ourselves as we move into the third millennium?

Questions and comments about the theme may be directed to President-Elect, Lorna Bowman lbowman@uwo.ca.


An on-line version of the annual meeting registration form is available on the website, although it will still need to be mailed with a check.  Brief descriptions of the presentations are included on the website to help you select your top four choices in each time block.

Registration fees in US dollars:

US member   $115
International member   $100
Emeritus/Emerita member   $75
Full-time Student member   $75
Non‑member  $165

Registration can be cancelled with full refund on or before October 15, 2003. Refunds for cancellations between October 15 and October 27 will have $45 withheld (a copy of the Proceedings will be mailed via US mail). After October 27, 2003 cancellations will not receive a refund.


Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza Hotel
350 North Orleans Street
Chicago, Illinois
November 7-9, 2003

The reservation cut-off date is October 15, 2003. Following this cut off date, guestrooms are subject to availability and the hotel's prevailing room rates.

Reservations may be made by calling the hotel at 312-836-5000 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time—indicate that you are part of the APRRE meeting. The guest room rate is $US125 per night for both single and double occupancy.

The hotel is in downtown Chicago in the River North area, “the New Chicago,” and has great views of the city. There are a good number of restaurants, bars, galleries, and other cultural attractions within several blocks. The hotel is very close to commuter trains.

You may find out more about the hotel on the web at http://www.holidayinnchicago.com


Information about Chicago, points of interest, and current weather are available on the website.

Taxi fare from O’Hare is around $35 and between 30-40 minutes; from Midway the fare is $25 and 30 minutes one way.

A shuttle bus from the airports is operated by Continental Express. There is a set hotel route for the bus from O’Hare and the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza is one of the main stops. At O’Hare there is a Continental Express desk in the baggage claim area. Individual one way from O’Hare is $21 and round trip is $39. For Midway arrivals you will need to call prior to your trip to make a reservation. Call 1-800-654-7871. Individual one way from Midway is $16 and round trip is $30. The shuttle run is about 30 minutes.

Public transportation is available from both airports at a cost of $1.50 to the transportation building, which is 4 blocks from the hotel.  From O’Hare take the blue line to the transportation building.  From Midway take the orange line to the transportation building. At the transportation building you may transfer to the brown line (up stairs) to the Merchandise Mart (the hotel’s location). Or you may walk 4 blocks to the hotel. Public transit will take about 30-40 minutes.

The hotel’s parking lot is being renovated. The alternate parking is at the corner of Hubbard and Orleans streets. This parking garage is one block north of the hotel on Orleans with sign saying “Holiday Inn parking.” The fee is $18 per day with in and out privileges. There is a shuttle running to the hotel. It either will be waiting on the curb or on service loop. Any wait should be less than 10 minutes.


If you are looking for a roommate to reduce your hotel expenses, send your name and email address to Randy Litchfield (rlitchfield@mtso.edu). A list of people looking for room mates is now posted on the website with password protection. 


Most of the meeting papers are now available in their complete form on the APRRE website. As others arrive they will also be posted. You will need your 2003-04 username and password plus Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the papers. Registrants are asked to read papers prior to the meeting so that authors have more flexibility in their methodologies for sessions and so that sessions may be more interactive. Coming prepared makes it possible for sessions to model the types of pedagogy that APRRE members desire. Registrants will also receive the Proceedings, which contains copies of all papers, on CD-ROM unless purchasing a hardcopy at registration. Confirmation of session assignments will begin via email in October 2003.


Both REA and APRRE participants will gather for the 100th Anniversary celebration which will begin with an opening ritual led by Bill Lord and Wenh-In Ng with in-put from Sherry Blumberg.  Other highlights of the banquet will be the presentation of the song "Each Seeking Faith" written and dedicated to the REA by Brian Wren with musical setting by Susan Heafield, commendations by dignitaries, a keynote address by Dr. Martin Marty, recognition of longstanding officials and members of REA, the presentation of the William Rainey Harper Award, and the moment of community celebration with a birthday cake.  

A gala reception for members of REA and APRRE will take place Saturday from 5:30-6:00 p.m. following the business meetings.


Children Task Force
Participants are invited to share ways in which they design courses on children's religious education, bring a focus on children into more broadly themed practical theology courses and encourage other faculty to include attention to the relationship between their disciplines and children's issues and needs.  Syllabi may be posted to the group discussion site prior to the meeting if participants wish to do so.  The discussion will explore questions such as: How does coursework on children's religious education function as a way of critiquing students' own religious upbringing? What implications does the study of the educational formation of children have for the larger work of the academy and the church? Convener: Karen-Marie Yust.

History of Religious Education Task Force
This task force will offer "The History of The Religious Education Association Revisited," a panel discussion of Stephen Schmidt's book chaired by Dr. Ronnie Prevost, with Dr. Stephen Schmidt, author, and Dr. James Michael Lee, publisher, and reviews by Dr. Patty Meyers and the Rev. Boardman Kathan. Converners: Ronnie Prevost and Boardman Kathan.


The topic for the Pan-Methodist meeting will be "Hope and Despair Conversations with Urban Youth". It will be led by Fred D. Smith, Associate Professor of Urban Ministry and Associate Director of Practice in Ministry and Mission at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  Conveners: Patty Meyers and Susan Willhauck.


More detail will be added in the next newsletter. Keep checking the website for updates. You are strongly encouraged to make travel arrangements (including ground transit, check-in and security screening) such that you can attend the entire meeting.

PLEASE NOTE EARLY MEETING TIMES for Lutheran Professors, Student Caucus, Pan Methodists, REA Board, and APRRE Executive Committee

Thursday, November 6, 2003

  TBA                                       Lutheran Christian Education Professors Meeting

   TBA                                       REA Board Meeting

Friday, November 7, 2003

  8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.            APRRE Executive Committee

  9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.            Pan-Methodist Meeting

11:00 a.m.-   2:00 p.m.            Registration/Hospitality

11:30 a.m.-   1:00 p.m.            Student Caucus

  1:30 p.m.-   2:45 p.m.            Denominational/Particular Religious Tradition Meetings

  3:00 p.m.-   4:15 p.m.           Opening Plenary: "Religious Education in an Age of Transition"
Lorna Bowman convenes brief presentations leading into conversations between attendees that open up issues facing religious education

  4:30 p.m.-   5:45 p.m.           Task Forces

  6:30 p.m.                               Banquet
Opening ritual led by Bill Lord and Wenh-In Ng with in-put from Sherry Blumberg
Presentation of the song "Each Seeking Faith" 
Recognition of longstanding officials and members of REA
Presentation of the William Rainey Harper Award
Keynote by Martin Marty

Saturday, November 8, 2003

  8:00 a.m. -  9:15 a.m.           Symposium: "Multi-Faith Learning"--Don Russo, Convener with panelists Jane West Walsh, Nadira Charaniya, Iraz Ayman, and Boardman Kathan

   9:30 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.           RIGs, Colloquia and Resourcing Workshops [see below]

11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.           Symposium: "Realities, Visions and Promises of a Multi-Cultural Future"–Mary Elizabeth Moore, Convener with panelists Lynn Bridgers, Ralph Casas, Boyung Lee, Veronice Miles, Arthur Schwartz, and Katherine Turpin

 12:30 p.m.-   1:45 p.m.           Men’s & Women’s Luncheons

   2:00 p.m. -  3:15 p.m.           Symposium: "The Future of the Journal" --Theodore Brelsford, Convener with panelists Henry Simmons, Leona English, Bert Roebben, and Mary Hess

        RIGs, Colloquia and Resourcing Workshops [see below]

   3:30 p.m. -  4:30 p.m.           REA business meeting

                                                 Sessions for participants who are not REA members [see below]

   4:30 p.m. -  5:30 p.m.           APRRE business meeting

   5:30 p.m. -  6:00 p.m.           Reception

 Open evening

 Sunday, November 9, 2003

  7:00 a.m.  - 8:00 a.m.            Breakfast

   8:00 a.m.  - 9:15 a.m.           RIGs, Colloquia and Resourcing Workshops [see below]

   9:30 a.m. -10:45 a.m.           Symposium: "Embracing the Past, Envisioning the Future"--Stephen Schmidt, Convener with panelists Sherry Blumberg, Sr. Ann Ida Gannon, Inanual Hag, C. Ellis Nelson, Susan Thistlethwaite and Addie Walker

11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon           APRRE Presidential Presentation--Lorna Bowman
and Closing Ritual (intended for all registrants) Bobbie Nelson


Fuller descriptions are available on the APRRE website [www.mtso.edu/aprre]

Saturday November 8, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Diane E. Shallue
, “Passing on the Faith through an Intergenerational Approach”

Lynne Westfield
, “Just A Little Talk With Jesus: Prayer As Hospitality”

Research Interest Group
John L. Elias
, “Catholics in the Religious Education Association: The Early Years” and
Mario O. D’ Souza
, Leona M. English and Leon Chartrand, “A 10-Year Retrospective of Religious Education: An Interfaith Journal of Spirituality, Growth, and Transformation.”
     Robert O’Gorman, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Paulette Isaac,
“The Future of Adult Education in the Urban African American Church” and
Dent C. Davis,
“Encounter with God: Pedagogical implications of the human experience of spirit for religious education of adults in the church”
     Margaret Ann Crain, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Mark King,
“The Roman Catholic Dilemma: Educating for a Mature Faith Identity” and
Partner has withdrawn
     Bert Roebben, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Dean Blevins
, "Virtual Publications or Virtually Publishing? The Opportunities and Challenges of On-Line Publishing in Religious Education” and
Michael A. Kelly
, “Tradition and Transformation
     Wenh-In Ng, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Karen-Marie Yust
, “The Cultivation of Spiritual Knowledge and Wisdom” and
Russell Haitch
, “Training for Consumerism: Education as Enrichment”
     Katherine Turpin, Moderator

Saturday November 8, 2:00-3:15 p.m.

Anne Streaty Wimberly, Maisha Handy,
and Lorna Bowman, "Teaching and Learning Across Boundaries: Conversations on Educating for Truth and Reconciliation."

Catherine P. Zeph,
“Furthering the Integration of Adult Religious Education and Spirituality”

Research Interest Group
Kieran Scott
, “The Moribund Field of Religious Education: Its Wake and Our Work” and
Kathy L. Dawson
, “Christian Religious Graduate Education in the Present”
     Chuck Foster, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Thomas E. Leuze
,  “How Have We Reckoned with the Barthians: A Response to H. Shelton Smith” and
Jack L. Seymour
, “Theology: The Clue to Religious Education?”
     Fernando Cascante, Moderator

Research Interest Group
WITHDRAWN--Sandra Sonhyang Kim
, “Asian Theological Concept of Relatedness and Its implication on Religious Education”

Research Interest Group
Rebecca L. Davis,
“Bright Hope for Tomorrow: The Bipolar Relationality of Personal and Social Transformation” and
Brett Webb-Mitchell,
“’Trading Spaces’, Changing Lives: Contextual Religious Education”
     Dori Baker, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Barbara J. Fleischer
, “From Individual to Corporate Praxis:  A Systemic Re-imagining of Religious Education” and
Siebren Miedema,
“Religious Education Today: Between James and Durkheim in Dialogue with Charles Taylor”
     Helen Blier, Moderator

Saturday November 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
[During the REA business meeting—intended for people who are not REA members]

Fred D. Smith
, ” A Pilot Study In Hope and Despair”

Mai-Anh Le Tran,
“The Stories We Live By”: Cultural and Religious Scripts in the Life Narratives of Vietnamese American Women”

Sunday November 9, 8:00- 9:15 a.m.

Jane Alice Gober
, “Pedagogy of Play: Speaking of Adult Christian Religious Education as Play”

Research Interest Group
W. Alan Smith
, “The Lexington ‘Heresy Trial:’ William Clayton Bower and the Progressive School

Research Interest Group
Lucinda Nolan,
“Seeing What Is Not There Yet:: Entelechy, Sophia Lyon Fahs and Religious Education” and
Linda L. Baratte
, “Religious Education in the Prophetic Voice: The Pedagogy of Eileen Egan”
     Trace Haythorn, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Claire Smith,
“God’s Neighbourhood - Where Strangers Become Friends ... and Family: A Guyanese Metaphor for Christian Education” and
Boyung Lee
, “Who Cares? - A Post-colonial Feminist Critique of Caring-Self and Multiculturalism”
     Yolanda Smith, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Kathleen O’Gorman
, “Religious Education in the 21st Century” and
Gabriel Moran,
“Religious Education and International Ethics”
Kathy Winings, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Margaret Ann Crain,
“Conversation Partners for our Future: Taking Cues from the Past” and
Mark S. Markuly
, “Literacy of the Heart: Finding a Language for the Affective Dimension of Religious Education”
     Karen Tye, Moderator

Research Interest Group
Alex Sinclair,
“From Practice to Theory: The Hermeneutics of Bibliodrama in the Classroom” and
Bert Roebben, “
Resilient Leadership and the Search for Meaning in Young Adult Ministry”
     Barbara Anne Keely, Moderator


APRRE's custom during the annual meeting is to recognize members who have retired during the past year and to remember members who have passed on since the last meeting. If you or someone you know are retiring or if you know of a member who has recently died, please contact Randy Litchfield with this information.



APRRE has initiated a search for a new Executive Secretary to succeed Randy Litchfield whose term ends June 30, 2004. People interested in this position and those wishing to recommend someone for the position should contact Dr. Bob O’Gorman, chair of the search committee, rogorma@luc.edu. The search committee will be making its recommendation at the November 2003 meeting. Taking action at that time will allow for a period of overlap with Dr. Litchfield in the transition. A full descroption of the position and criteria are available on the APRRE website (www.mtso.edu/aprre).

Nominations: Members are encouraged to send nominations, or make application by a letter of intent and curriculum vitae (as e-mail attachment) by MONDAY OCTOBER 6  to:  Bob O’Gorman,  E-mail: rogorma@luc.edu; 1617 18th Ave., So. ; Nashville, TN  37212-3115 ; Phone: 615-297-9022


November 9-10, 2003 at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

The conference is supported by a grant from the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, and co-sponsored by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Glenview United Methodist Church in Glenview, IL and Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference contact and registrar is Rev. Cheryl Magrini, Conference Project Director, Glenview United Methodist Church, 847-729-1015, ext. 107, email magdeacon@att.net.  The conference begins Sun., Nov. 9, 2003 at 2pm and concludes Mon., Nov. 10th at 4pm. The conference musician is Christopher Grundy, United Church of Christ Pastor and doctoral student at Garrett-Evangelical in liturgical studies. The conference format consists of creative and interactive plenary sessions, small groups, worship, and a reception Sunday evening with feasting on international breads. The plenary session speakers and themes are: Christian Hospitality and the Sunday Table with Dr. Osvaldo Vena and Rev. Cheryl Magrini; Justice Ministry With and For Children with Bishop C. Joseph Sprague (United Methodist), and Rev. Diane Olson; and Models of Christian Education Through Table Fellowship with Rev. Cheryl Magrini and Dr. Dori Baker. Rev. Rebecca Davis is facilitator for the small groups, which begin on Sunday with experiential responses to Christian hospitality explored through art interpretation, writing liturgy, liturgical movement, child advocacy, and justice ministries. Monday small group sections are: Sharing Eating and Drinking Practices Through Ethnography with Dr. Margaret Ann Crain and Dr. Jeffery Tribble, Garrett-Evangelical; Weaving Ritual and Story With Children with Dr. Linda J. Vogel, Garrett-Evangelical; A Process for Designating Children and Family Ministries as a Congregational Priority with Rev. Kristen J. Larsen and Rev. Trey Hall, Glenview UMC; Sacred Journey at Hennepin Ave. UMC: Experiential Worship Embracing Children with Rev. Sally Johnson, Hennepin Ave. UMC; and Eating and Drinking With Children in the Workshop Rotation Model with Sandy Mabry,  Hennepin Ave. UMC.


The Valparaiso Project is currently sponsoring two grant programs:

The next application deadline for both grant programs is October 15. The Valparaiso Project is especially interested in cultivating Practice grant proposals from APRRE members. Any religious educators who are teaching youth ministry courses this term could promote the Challenge grants program with their students. Contact Don Richter (donricht@bellsouth.net) with any questions.