NABPR Newsletter – Winter, 2005

Diversify or Go Broke

Danny Mynatt, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Or so I’ve been told…this principle is the foundation of a good stock portfolio. If you invest in only one area and that area develops a problem, you’re in trouble. So the smart investor ought to diversity.

The same could be applied to NABPR. If you look at our membership roster, you will see that although NABPR is “National” in title, we are very southern in orientation. Nancy deClaisse-Walford’s survey data in her 2004 Presidential address demonstrated the odd irony that our guild is still greatly influenced by the SBC seminaries, although currently few of our members teach at one!

In a recent email from NABPR Vice President Curtis Freeman, I was reminded of how many other Baptists are out there, and how we might profit from reaching out to them. Not only would it expand our membership base, but NABPR could benefit from diversification. Probably, the great unanswered question is “Will they be interested in us?”

I suppose we will never know until we ask. If you know of other Baptist persons, groups, or institutions that have not traditionally shown an interest in NABPR, please send me their names and email addresses. Opening a dialogue might prove beneficial to everyone.

An Update on CSSR:
At the 2004 Annual Meeting, I reported that CSSR had suffered some critical organizational problems and was attempting to regroup. I am happy to report that an interim director has been appointed, as well as a new office manager. You should have received your 2005 dues notices in the mail, and I hope that is a sign that CSSR is coming back to life.

If you have membership/dues questions, please address those to [email protected] (and please copy me).

Minutes of the 2004 Annual Meeting

The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
2004 Annual Meeting Minutes
Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX
20 November 2004
9:00 am – 11:30 am

The twenty-fourth annual meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion was called to order by President Nancy deClaisse-Walford. Danny Mynatt, Executive Secretary, greeted members and guests and introduced the program for the meeting.

deClaisse-Walford introduced Bob Patterson, who presented the 2003 Festschrift in memory of John Newport. Dr. Newport’s grandson, Nicholas Bailey, accepted the Festschrift and thanked the Association on behalf of his family. Bill Bellinger introduced President deClaisse-Walford for the Presidential Address, “Confessions of a Canonical Critic.” At the conclusion of the address, deClaisse-Walford opened the floor for questions and comments from the Association, which were moderated by Bellinger.

Helen Lee Turner introduced presenters for a discussion on the topic, “Forming Baptist Identity(ies) in American Higher Education.” Presenters were Glenn Hinson (Emeritus, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond), Dianne Oliver (University of Evansville), and Ralph Wood (Baylor University).

At 11:00, President deClaisse-Walford convened the annual business session. After the 2003 minutes were approved, Executive Secretary Danny Mynatt gave the Executive Committee report. Mynatt updated the membership on the current status of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion office, which has fallen behind on its administrative tasks following the death of CSSR executive director, Dr. David Truemper, and the departure of two staff members. The delay in CSSR productivity meant that the NABPR had received no financial reports for six months. Danny Mynatt and Jimmy Byrd attended the CSSR meeting on Friday night to represent the NABPR and voice the association’s concerns. At the meeting, the CSSR discussed a plan for reopening the office and have it in order by 15 February. In light of this plan, the NABPR Executive committee determined that the best option was to remain with the CSSR for the time being. Mynatt noted that the NABPR endowment funds were doing quite well with a rate of return at nearly 17% over the previous year. Mynatt reported that the new idea for an NABPR job placement site was not going well due to lack of participation. The Executive Committee recommended that the NABPR continue the placement site and evaluate it after one additional year.

After the Executive Committee report, Assistant Executive Secretary Jimmy Byrd read the names of nominations for new members into the association. After the new members were approved, deClaisse-Walford recognized Sandra Polaski, who offered the nominations of Mike Parsons for president and Curtis Freeman for vice president of the Association for 2005. There was no opposition, and the nominees were elected by unanimous vote. deClaisse-Walford then recognized Scott Nash for the report of the Editorial Board. Nash noted that Baylor University Press would launch the PRS monograph series, with Stephen Chapman of Duke University Divinity School serving as chair of the editorial committee. This series would replace the dissertation and special studies series. deClaisse-Walford introduced Glenn Jonas, who reported that the Editorial Board Nominating Committee had invited three new members: Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants (BTSR), Robert Shedinger (Luther College), and L. Dean Allen (Andover Newton).

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Jimmy Byrd, Vanderbilt University

Region at Large Meeting Philip E. Thompson, NABPR/RAL Secretary-Treasurer

I write to extend an invitation to attend the 2005 meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, Region at Large. We will meet once again in conjunction with the annual convention of the College Theology Society, 2-5 June 2005, at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Vatican II, Forty Years Later: Envisioning the Church of the Future.” Our Baptist discussions will also deal with the church’s future, though without the same degree of focus on Vatican II. Certainly, though, the recent election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI provides occasion for much discussion among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Please take a moment to review the program schedule (available on the internet at). You can see that many fine papers and panels will be offered. Our Region Vice President, Professor Beth Newman of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, has helped bring together a very strong slate of sessions for our society. As always, we anticipate a lively exchange of ideas, good dialogue of both formal and informal sorts, the nourishment of shared prayer and hearing the Word, and fellowship around the meal tables with each other and with colleagues of the CTS.

The link to registration material ( ) provides all necessary information for you to arrange to attend. Please send your registration to CTS. NABPR members are invited to attend the teaching workshop as well. Those who have attended have found it to be beneficial.

In order to help establish our Region on sound financial footing, we are again asking that NABPR members voluntarily contribute an additional $15.00. For this additional, entirely voluntary contribution, please make checks payable to the NABPR/RAL. You may either bring this to the meeting, or send it to me at the following address:

Philip E. Thompson
NABPR/RAL Secretary-Treasurer
North American Baptist Seminary
1525 S. Grange Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57105-1526

If you are not a member, we want you above all to attend this meeting and to consider becoming a member.



Charles H. Talbert, Distinguished Professor of Religion, Baylor University, is author of Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7, published by the University of South Carolina Press, 2004.


Call for Papers: CSSR Bulletin

The Council of Societies for the Study of Religion is a federation of learned societies in religion interested in enhancing coordination of the field as a whole; it seeks to initiate, coordinate, and implement projects to strengthen and advance scholarship and teaching and to support the activities of constituent societies and of their executive offices and officers. At present, the CSSR is comprised of seven constituent societies—the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, the Catholic Biblical Association, the College Theological Society, the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, the North American Association for the Study of Religion, the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, and the Society of Christian Ethics. In addition, there are also three affiliated societies—the Council on Graduate Studies in Religion, the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, and Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honors Society for Religious Studies and Theology.

The CSSR publishes two periodicals: the bulletin and Religious Studies Review. The bulletin is published four times per annum (February, April, September, and November) and has more than 3750 subscribers. A typical issue is roughly 20,000 – 22,200 words in length and is printed in an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven format. Our primary competitors are Teaching Religion and Theology and Religious Studies News.

Now in its fourth decade, the bulletin is designed to facilitate the goals of the CSSR and thus seeks to foster conversation across the field. A quick glance at previous issues will clearly demonstrate that we cover a vast array of topics. Given its wide circulation and the diversity of interests represented by its readership, the bulletin represents not only a worthwhile but positively ideal place to publish articles and essays aimed at a wide audience. We especially invite and welcome essays that focus on new developments in the field, reflect on pedagogical practices within the discipline, or provide a snapshot of important events, symposia, conferences, and conversations taking place in various sectors of the academic study of religion. We pride ourselves in being one of the leading “intellectual op-ed” journals among those who study religion. It is a proven fact that articles in the bulletin get read. The reason for this, in large part, is that they are smart, pithy, and relevant.

If you are interested in publishing in the bulletin, please send your essay to the editor, Scott Elliott, by email at [email protected]. Feature length articles should be approximately 4,000 – 4,500 words in length and composed in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. However, we regularly publish much shorter pieces when appropriate. Deadlines for submissions are as follows: December 1 for the February issue
February 1 for the April issue
July 1 for the September issue
September 1 for the November issue Thank you for considering the bulletin. We look forward to reading your work.

Scott S. Elliott
Editor, CSSR bulletin

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