2020 Regional Meetings

Open Registration:

All remaining regional meetings for 2020 have been canceled

AAR Women's Mentoring Lunch

2018 AAR Annual Meeting, Denver
Sunday, November 18
11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Nargis Virani, Graduate Theological Union, and Monique Moultrie, Georgia State University, Presiding

Sponsored by the Status of Women in the Profession Committee, Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee, and the Women's Caucus

Women who are graduate students and new scholars are invited to a luncheon with over thirty womanist, feminist, and LGBTIQ mid-career and senior scholars. Women will have the opportunity to mentor and be mentored in a context where every question is valued. The lunch costs $13 per person; sorry, no refunds. Registration is limited to 100.

Registration for the luncheon is required and can be done while you are registering for the Annual Meeting online. If you have already completed registration, contact

2018 AAR Women’s Mentoring Lunch: Mentors and Self-descriptions

Mary Churchill earned a PhD in religious studies, specializing in American Indian religious traditions, religion in America, and women and religion. She has held both tenure-track and adjunct appointments and has taught at research, teaching, and junior college institutions. For the last ten years, she has taught as a lecturer at Sonoma State University in Women's and Gender Studies, American Multicultural Studies, and Native American Studies. She is a former co-chair of several AAR Program Units.
Aysha Hidayatullah is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic institution where she teaches courses on Islam, ethics, race, gender, and sexuality. She received her PhD in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara and her BA in Women's Studies at Emory University. Her academic career has been shaped by her specialization in feminist studies of religion, by being a self-identifying Muslim doing Islamic studies in the post-9/11 U.S., and by her early education in Christian-majority contexts in the South of the U.S. as the child of Muslim immigrants.
Boyung Lee, a native of Korea, is Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Practical Theology at Iliff School of Religion in Denver, Colorado. She is the first Korean American woman academic dean at the Association of Theological Schools in the Unites States and Canada. Prior to this position, for fifteen years she taught at Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union where she became the first woman of color to receive a tenure in 2007. Dr. Lee is also an ordained United Methodist minister who served churches in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Korea. She received her MDiv from Claremont School of Theology and her PhD in theology and education from Boston College. She is the author of Transforming Congregations through Community: Faith Formation from the Seminary to the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013) and three forthcoming books. Her research and teaching interests include intercultural/ interreligious pedagogy, critical religious pedagogy, postcolonial biblical studies, Asian/feminist theology, and Protestant spiritual formation in the global South.
Kimberly Majeski is a scholar, storyteller, and activist who challenges her audiences to find the life-transforming connection between their personal story and the inspiring ancient story of the Scriptures. She serves as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Anderson University and is a co-host for Viewpoint, a syndicated radio program for Christians Broadcasting Hope. Kimberly is founder and CEO of Stripped, Inc., a not-for-profit ministry empowering women in sex trade to walk out of fear and into love. She is an ordained minister of the Church of God (affiliated Anderson, IN) and lives in Anderson, Indiana, with her son, husband, and two black cats.  
Joyce Ann Mercer is Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and the Horace Bushnell Professor of Christian Nurture at Yale Divinity School. She joined the YDS faculty in January 2016, following ten years at Virginia Theological Seminary as Arthur Lee Kinsolving Chair in Pastoral and Practical Theology. She previously taught at the Graduate Theological Union and at Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Her work focuses on practices of care in diverse contexts including post-conflict areas of Southeast Asia, trauma and pastoral care, children in the consumer culture of the U.S., addictions in family systems, and the religious lives of adolescent girls. A current book project with Oxford University Press is based on an ethnographic study of churches in conflict with their denominations over sexuality. She recently co-edited Conundrums in Practical Theology (Brill, forthcoming 2016). Earlier works include Welcoming Children: A Practical Theology of Childhood (Chalice Press). She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. Mercer edits the international scholarly journal Religious Education and is the immediate past-president of the Association of Practical Theology. She has served as co-chair of the steering committee of the Practical Theology Group in the American Academy of Religion and is on the board of the Religious Education Association. Professor Mercer is a member of the International Academy of Practical Theology. 
Rev. Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble is the Associate Professor of Ministerial Leadership and Practical Theology at American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW), Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Her work as a womanist scholar, practical theologian, and community activist informs her pedagogy. Dr. Miles-Tribble serves in two GTU academic departments: Theology & Ethics and Religion & Practice. Her course curriculum design includes leadership ethics, church leadership, social ethics, adaptive change theory; morality in society, intersectional issues for restorative justice, and public theological approaches to social justice praxis. Rev. Valerie is an ordained clergy woman and interim pastor. She earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree from ABSW and San Francisco Theological Seminary (GTU) respectively. With intentional interdisciplinary aims, Dr. Miles-Tribble earned her PhD in Management with degree specialization in Leadership & Organizational Change from Walden University in Minneapolis, MN. Quantitative dissertation research topic: Assessing Student Leadership Competencies and Adequacy of Preparation in Seminary. She is Unit Chair of AAR Western Region, Womanist and Africana Studies Unit, and an AAR member. She is on the national council of Women of Color in Ministry National Network (WOCIM), a regional coordinator for the Rise Together National Mentor Network, and on the Board of Directors, Foundation for Justice and Peace. Dr. Miles-Tribble has presented papers and published articles on leadership, organizational, and behavioral ethics; religion and culture; and womanist theoethics. Other book and journal projects are in progress. 
Leah Payne (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at George Fox University and Portland Seminary. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Louisville Institute and a Faculty Fellow at the William Penn Honors Program. Her first book, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2015) won the 2016 Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies Book Award. Her second book explores the development of political theology in American Charismatic Christianity. In 2015, she and three other colleagues received a Lilly Endowment, Inc. High School Youth Theology Initiative grant to co-found Theologia: The George Fox University Summer Theology Institute, which began in 2017. In 2017, she and three additional colleagues received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to create an Institute for Pastoral Thriving at Portland Seminary, which began in 2018. Her work analyzing religion and popular culture has appeared in The Washington Post and Christianity Today. She is the mother of a toddler and one of a two-career household, which involves a lot of negotiation between her and her spouse.
Carolyn Roncalato is Director of Academic Initiatives at Interfaith Youth Core. Carolyn works with faculty across the country to develop and support the field of interfaith studies. After receiving her doctorate in theology from Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), she taught adjunct at CTS and at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago. Carolyn has experience navigating graduate school and the academy as a young woman, pursing alternative academic careers, and straddling the non-profit sector and the academy. She is a mom and is part of a trans-racially adoptive family. These factors heavily influenced her career trajectory and continue to inform her professional commitments.  
Rita Sherma is Director and Associate Professor at Graduate Theological Union’s Mira and Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies, Co-Chair of Sustainability 360°, and Core Doctoral Faculty at GTU, Berkeley, CA.  Formerly, she was the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professor in Hindu Studies, at USC, Los Angeles, where she received the USC 2014 Professor of Color Recognition Award for excellence in teaching. Published and pending volumes include Woman and Goddess in Hinduism: Reinterpretations and Re-envisioning, Hermeneutics and Hindu Thought: Toward a Fusion of Horizons, Vivekananda: His Life, Legacy & Relevance, Prayer, Worship, Ritual, & Contemplation in Hindu Experience (2019), and Sustainable Societies: Interreligious, Interdisciplinary Responses (2019). She is Founding Editor of the Journal of Dharma Studies and co-editor of the Book Series Sustainability 360 (Springer).
Laurel Schneider is Professor of Religious Studies, Professor of Theology in the Graduate Department of Religion, and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Vanderbilt University. Before accepting this position in 2013, she was Professor of Theology & Culture at Chicago Theological Seminary for 14 years, and before that she taught Religious Studies at North Central College (3 years, Naperville IL) and at Colby College (1 year, Waterville, ME). These various positions have given her experience at every level in undergraduate teaching, seminary teaching, and doctoral advising and teaching. She’s also served on college promotion and tenure committees in both liberal arts and seminary settings. Finally, she was a founding member of the Status of LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession of the AAR and served in a mentoring capacity through that committee for a number of years.
Sharon A. Suh is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. She earned her PhD in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University and is the author of Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community (University of Washington Press, 2004) and Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film (Bloomsbury Press, 2015). She teaches and publishes in the areas of Buddhism, race, gender, sexuality, and film.
In addition to her academic work, Suh completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification training, Yoga for Trauma certification, and Level I training in Mindful Eating-Conscious Living through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She teaches yoga and Mindful Eating in the Seattle area. She has developed and presented workshops on mindful movement, meditation, body image, body acceptance, and mindful eating practices.
Mai-Anh Le Tran is Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is Past-President of the Religious Education Association, member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Practical Theology, past member of the ATS Faculty Development Advisory Committee, and contributor to the Wabash Center’s workshops on teaching and learning. Her writing focuses on local/global intersections of race, gender, and class in religious identity formation and practices.