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The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion is a community of teaching scholars. Most members teach at Baptist-affiliated schools, colleges, and seminaries, but members also hail from a wide range of institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad, including church-related and state-supported schools.
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NABPR Newsletter – Fall, 2006

From the Executive-Secretary

Danny Mynatt, Anderson University

Fellow Members of NABPR:

We will soon make a decision that could have lasting effects on our Association. As you are aware, the impending AAR/SBL divorce has forced us to change the model we use to structure our Annual Meetings. We have discussed four basic options, and we took an opinion poll at the 2005 Annual Meeting.

After careful consideration, the Executive Committee has decided to bring a proposal to the Association that will radically alter the way we conduct our meetings. In essence, we will now have two annual gatherings, an extended meeting in the Spring and a reception in the Fall. This proposal is not perfect, and we expect the Association to critique it. The membership of the Executive Committee itself is aware of the weaknesses of the proposal. However, it appears to be our best option at this time.

The Executive Committee has worked through this proposal via email, but we have not voted to endorse it formally. That will occur at the annual meeting of the Executive Committee in November. Thus, please view the proposal below as tentative. If you have any suggestion or recommendations that should come to the attention of the Executive Committee, please send those to me at .

See you in DC,
Danny Mynatt

NOTE: Please complete the survey form at the bottom of this page. It will help us to gather information about how the changes proposed will influence the assocational meetings.


Proposal from NABPR Executive Committee Concerning the Annual Meetings After 2007

The impending split between AAR and SBL has forced NABPR into a difficult situation. Since NABPR members belong to both organizations, we can no longer have a joint meeting during the traditional AAR/SBL meeting timeframe. Thus, we propose the following

The Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting will now move to a time during the last half of May (the Sunday – Tuesday commencing with the 3rd Sunday in May has been suggested).

The NABPR Executive Committee will appoint a program committee to create an agenda for the meeting, but it will include more program opportunities for academic papers and fellowship gatherings.

The schedule for the meetings will occur in this rotation (after which, the rotation will repeat):
2008-Belmont
2009-Baylor
2010-Mercer
2011-AAR/SBL meets jointly-We will return to the traditional format for that year. Otherwise, this would be an “Open” year, for a new school to volunteer.

Annual Reception
In place of the Annual Meeting in conjunction with AAR/SBL, NABPR will have an annual reception on a alternating format with SBL and AAR. The reception will be housed in conjunction with the Presses associated with interested Baptist institutions. The format for the first few years will be as follows:

2008-Baylor Press at the SBL and the AAR meetings
2009-Mercer Press at the SBL and the AAR meetings
2010-Baylor Press at the SBL and the AAR meetings
2011-No Annual Reception (AAR/SBL meets jointly)
2012- Mercer Press at the SBL and the AAR meetings
NABPR will subsidize the cost of the receptions hosted by the Presses.

Implementation
For the first cycle (2008-2011) of Annual Meetings under the new model, the NABPR Executive Committee will appoint an ad hoc Program Committee. The Program Committee will schedule the Program and work out the logistics with the host institution.
If, after the first cycle of meetings, this model of the Annual Meeting works well, the Executive Committee will bring a permanent Constitutional change to the Association. If it does not work well, the Executive Committee will bring another recommendation.


The Future’s Looking Good

Curtis W. Freeman, Duke University Divinity School

Over the last several years there’s been a lot of conversation about the future of NABPR. No question the impending divorce of the AAR and the SBL complicates our annual meeting schedule. The NABPR Executive Committee has worked hard to listen to the membership and provide a range of options for future meetings. We believe it will provide opportunities for continued gatherings with significant participation. It won’t be easy, but with your help and support we have good reason to be confident about our future. But why should we?

Two reasons for starters: Perspectives is cranking out quality articles on schedule, and our financial situation is looking up. But what has given me more confidence recently is the number of Baptists in PhD programs who have expressed interest in maintaining a connection with their denominational family of origin. To put it simply they want to find ways of maintaining and developing their Baptist identity as scholars and teachers. I hope NABPR can facilitate a network in ways that will be mutually beneficial to these students and our organization.

At our annual meeting this year we will recognize two young Baptist scholars who have received dissertation fellowships from NABPR. Two other students have helped me locate Baptists in doctoral programs that are interested in a network of Baptist PhD students in religion. At present over 50 people have responded to our inquiry, and it is likely that there are more to come. I hope that you will help us reach out to these younger scholars and help us to identify more. Send any names with email and contact information to:

Chad Eggleston

Coleman Fannin

It’s an important time for the NABPR. The Baptist academy needs us. Young Baptist scholars need us. And whether they recognize it or not, the various groups in our fragmented Baptist world need us. I hope you will continue to support this wonderful organization that I’ve been honored to serve over the past year. I’ll look forward to seeing you in D.C. on November 18.


Annual Meeting Program Preview

Pam Scalise, Fuller Theological Seminary

Three distinguished panelists will stimulate our thinking on the subject of “Baptists and the Ten Commandments.” Walter Harrelson has long been an advocate for the Commandments. (His most recent book on the subject, /The Ten Commandments for Today/, will be published in November.) Bill J. Leonard will give attention to the way Baptists have referenced the Commandments. Glen Stassen will propose an approach to interpreting the Commandments for ethics.

Link: NABPR Annual Meeting Agenda (pdf)