2017 Annual Meeting, Nov 18-21

Plan to join your colleagues in beautiful Boston for the 2017 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings. Regular rates end November 16. Register today!

Registration and Housing
General Information
Hotels and Transportation
Employment Center
Online Program Book
Tours and Workshops
Travel Visa Statement
Advertiser Information
Twitter: #aarsbl17

2018 Regional Meetings

The following Calls for Papers are open:

Rocky Mountain-Great Plains
Deadline: October 27

Southwest (SWCRS)
Deadline: October 15

Upper Midwest
Deadline: January 6

2017 National Humanities Conference

Register by October 27 for the NHC conference in Boston.


Chaplaincy Program: Conference Program

AAR-CERP Annual Chaplaincy Conference

Chaplaincy Conference, Atlanta

Each year speakers are recruited for the topics in which chaplaincy directors indicate they are most interested. Potential attendees send their ideas to Barbara McGraw, who works with others to locate scholar-experts in the areas of interest. For an idea of the kinds of topics and speakers from previous years, below are listings of most of the topics and speakers from conferences since 2011 (for space reasons, we’ve edited down speaker info from their online bios).

2017 Topics and Speakers

To be announced. 

2016 Topics and Speakers

Leadership and Legal Issues (including sharing experiences and best practices across governmental agencies and how administrative and court decisions in one agency may affect matters in the other)

Barbara McGraw, Professor, Social Ethics, Law, and Public Life; Director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism; and Director of the Interfaith Leadership Program, Saint Mary’s College of California. Coauthor of Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions. Has served as a volunteer prison chaplain.

Native American Church vs. Native American Spirituality

Michael McNally, Chair and Professor of Religion, Carleton College. Author, Honoring Elders: Aging, Authority, and Objibwe Religion, and editor, The Practice of Native American Christianity.

Nation of Islam, Salafi Islam, and African American Muslims, generally

Richard Brent Turner, Professor of African American Religious History, University of Iowa. Author, Islam in the African American Experience and of “Moorish Science Temple of America” and “Nation of Islam.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses

George Chryssides, Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion, University of Birmingham (UK); Author, Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change and of The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements.

Santa Muerte

Andrew Chesnut, Professor of Religious Studies and Chair in Catholic Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University. Author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint.

Western Esotericism (including Thelema and Golden Dawn groups)

Henrik Bogdan, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Gothenberg (Sweden). Author of Western Esotericism and of Rituals of Initiation and of Occultism in Global Perspective; author of “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the George E.H. Slater Collection.”

Breakout Sessions:

Correctional Institutions: Topics included issues that arise when minority religion groups do not have sufficient oversight, faith-based housing units, and seminary programs in prisons.

Patrick McCollum: Co-Chair, National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association; and Minority Faith Issues Chair, American Correctional Chaplains Association. For 17 years, served as a volunteer prison chaplain.

Military: Topics included: the chaplain as religious adviser, opportunities and challenges.

Chaplain (Col.) Charles E. Reynolds, Director of the US Army Religion, Culture and Advisement Directorate. Has served as active duty Army Chaplain for 23 years.

2011–2015 Collective List of Topics and Speakers

Afro-Cari​bbean Religions

Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies, Iliff School of Theology. He is the author of Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America.


Robert Stockman, Adjunct Professor, Depaul University. He is the author of The Baha’i Faith: A Guide for the Perplexed.


Gaston Espinosa, Professor of Religious Studies, Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of Mexican American Religions: Spirituality, Activism & Culture.


Jeffrey Wilson, Associate Professor of religious studies and East Asian studies at the University of Waterloo, and the author of several books on Buddhist practice in America.


Ramdas Lamb, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii, Manoa. He is the author of the article “Beyond Anthropology: Towards a Global Pluralist Perspective in Hindu Studies.”

Chaplain Religious Freedom

Ken Bush, Director of Training, Programs and Research, National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces; former Director of Training and Leadership Development, US Army Chaplain Center and School.

Barbara McGraw Professor & Director, Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism; director of Interfaith Leadership Program, Saint Mary’s College of California. See more at Sponsors & Presiders.

Chaplaincy History/Future

Ulli Klemm, Administrator of Religion & Volunteer Services, PA Department of Corrections.

Patrick McCollum, Founder and Co-Chair of the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association; for 17 years, he has served as a volunteer chaplain in California prisons.


Anthony Pinn, Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University. He is the author of Theism and Public Policy: Humanist Perspectives and Responses and of What is Humanism and Why Does It Matter?

Slavica Jakelic, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Thought, Valparaiso University. Her current book project’s working title is The Practice of Religious and Secular Humanisms.

Interfaith Leadership (including defining “religion,” countering bias, leading institutional change)

Barbara McGraw (see description above).


Marcia Hermansen, Director of the Islamic World Studies Program and Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago. She is associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World.

Lawrence Mamiya, Professor Emeritus of Religion & Africana Studies, Vassar College. He has led educational discussions inside prisons for 30 years. He is the author of "Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam" and "Black Militant and Separatists Movements."

Susan Van Baalen, former Chief Chaplain, Federal Bureau of Prisons. She is the author of “Islam in American Prisons” in the Oxford Handbook of American Islam.

John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University. He is the coauthor of Makers of Contemporary Islam.


Eric Michael Mazur, Professor of Judaic Studies and of religious studies, Virginia Wesleyan College. He is the author of The Americanization of Religious Minorities: Confronting the Constitutional Order.  

Jacob Dorman, Associate Professor of History, Kansas University. He is the author of Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions.

Edward Curtis IV, Professor of Religious Studies, Indian University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. He coedited The New Black Gods: Arthur Huff Fauset and the Study of African American Religions.

Legal Issues (including religious accommodation and sincerity, RLUIPA and RFRA, lawsuit avoidance)

Barbara McGraw (see description above).

James T. Richardson, Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies, University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of Regulating Religion: Case Studies from around the Globe.

Messianic Judaism

Mark Kinzer, President Emeritus of the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. He is the coauthor of Israel's Messiah and the People of God: A Vision for Messianic Jewish Covenant Fidelity.

Jonathan Kaplan, Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author of the article “Say to the Cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God’: The Hebrew Bible, Outreach, and Messianic Judaism.”

Native American Religions

Michelene Pesantubbee, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Indian & Native Studies, University of Iowa. She is the author of the article “Cherokee Religious Traditions.”

New Religious Movements

William Ashcraft, Professor of Religion, Truman University. He is co-editor of Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America and of New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader.

Marie Dallam, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Oklahoma. She is the author of “New Religious Movements” in Religions of the World.

Benjamin Zeller, Associate Professor of Religion, Lake Forest College. He is the author of Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in Late Twentieth-Century America.


Graham Harvey, Head of Religious Studies, Open University (United Kingdom). He is the author of Contemporary Paganism: Listening People, Speaking Earth.

Sarah Pike, Professor of Religious Studies, California State University, Chico. She is the author of New Age and Neopagan Religions in America and Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans.

Michael York, retired director of the New Age and Pagan Studies Programme, Bath Sap University (United Kingdom). He is the author Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion.


Nikky-Guninder Singh, Professor & Chair of Religious Studies, Colby College. She is the author of The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent.

Michael Hawley, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Mount Royal University (Canada). He is the editor of Sikh Diaspora: Theory, Agency, and Experience.


Jenny Rose, Adjunct Professor, Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of Zoroastrianism: An Introduction and of Zoroastrianism: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Return to Chaplaincy Program Home