Chaplaincy Program: Sponsors & Presiders
AAR-CERP Annual Chaplaincy Conference
American Academy of Religion
With some 9,000 members, the AAR is the world’s largest association of scholars who research or teach about religion. The expertise of its members spans virtually all religions and religious practices, as well as legal, ethical, social, and political issues affecting or affected by religion. The AAR neither favors nor disfavors any religion. Since 2004, the AAR has provided nonpartisan expertise on religion to federal government officials and prison chaplaincy directors.
Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism
Founded in 2008, CERP engages religiously diverse and non‑faith perspectives to promote interfaith awareness and interreligious understanding and thereby contribute to an enriched, religiously diverse national and international discourse on matters of public concern. Since its beginning, CERP has been involved in broadening chaplains’ knowledge of unfamiliar religions and understanding of legal and religious diversity issues affecting chaplaincy. CERP is a part of Saint Mary’s College of California, a Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts institution.
Annual Chaplaincy Conference Presiders
Dr. Barbara McGraw (primary organizer and co-presider) holds three positions at Saint Mary’s College of California: Professor, Social Ethics, Law, and Public Life; Founding Director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism; and Director of the Interfaith Leadership Program. Since 2011, she has organized AAR chaplaincy trainings, and since 2004, presented annual updates on legal issues regarding religion in prison. She also has served as a volunteer prison chaplain in California. She coauthored Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions, one of the most used world religions texts in the United States, now in its 10th edition (2014), and is author or editor of other works on religious pluralism. She holds a PhD and JD, both from the University of Southern California.
Rev. Patrick McCollum (co-presider of prison chaplaincy sessions) is Founder and Co-Chair of the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association, and Minority Faith Issues Chair for the American Correctional Chaplains Association. He co-founded the Annual Chaplaincy Conference, and prior to 2011 co-organized it. For more than 17 years, he has served as a volunteer chaplain in California prisons.
2016 Special Guest Co-Presider for Military Break-Out Session
Chaplain (Col.) Charles E. Reynolds served as active duty Army Chaplain for 23 years. He is the former Director of the US Army Religion, Culture and Advisement Directorate. He holds a DMin and MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a MTh in World Religions and Culture from Princeton Theological Seminary.