2018 Annual Meeting, Nov 17-20

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Annual Meeting! Plan to join your colleagues in Denver November 17-20. More info to come soon!

Award for Excellence in Teaching

The American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes the importance of teaching, and honors outstanding teaching in the field.




Lynn S. Neal
Wake Forest University


Joanne Maguire Robinson
University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Judith L. Bishop
Mills College

  • Teaching Statement

Shafique N. Virani
University of Toronto


Carolyn Medine
University of Georgia


Martha J. Reineke
University of Northern Iowa


Katie Geneva Cannon
Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education


Barbara (Bobbi) Patterson
Emory University


Kwok Pui Lan
Episcopal Divinity School


Fred Glennon
Le Moyne College


Stacey Floyd-Thomas
Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University


Patricia O'Connell Killen
Pacific Lutheran University


Zayn Kassam
Pomona College


Timothy Renick
Georgia State University

2003    Janet Walton
Union Theological Seminary
2002   William Placher
Wabash College
2001   Eugene Gallagher
Connecticut College
2000   Tina Pippin
Agnes Scott College



  • Outstanding performance as a classroom teacher, as demonstrated by the teaching statement, representative syllabi, student evaluations, peer observations, teaching awards, and other forms of peer recognition.
  • Development of innovative and/or exceptionally effective teaching methods, courses and curricular materials, including the incorporation of technology in the classroom, community-based education, grant projects and/or contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Commitment to professional identity as a teacher of religion, including student or peer mentoring, workshop facilitation or design, and/or educational leadership at the local institution or professional societies.
  • At least five years' experience in teaching in higher education.


Members of the Committee on Teaching and Learning will assess the applications.

The award recipient will be featured at a Special Topics Forum at the AAR Annual Meeting where the award will be presented.

Application Process

All applications must include the following materials:

  • A letter of nomination of no more than 1000 words highlighting the nominee's achievements with respect to one or more of the criteria listed above.
  • A personal teaching statement of no more than 1000 words. Please respond to the following:

    • What is effective teaching? And how do you know it?
    • What teaching principles and/or philosophies do you use in preparing to teach?
    • How do you continue to develop as a teacher?
    • What advice would you give a new teacher?
  • Three (3) additional letters of recommendation (including at least one from a student and one from a colleague).
  • Two representative syllabi.
  • A curriculum vitae of no more than three pages.

October 15 is the deadline by which nominations, and any information in support of them, must be received.

Nomination materials may be mailed or submitted electronically through the online submission system.

If mailing nomination materials, send to:

Excellence in Teaching Award
American Academy of Religion
825 Houston Mill RD NE STE 300
Atlanta, GA  30329-4205

For questions, please contact Amy Yandell at:

Phone: 1-404-727-2286