National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
Midsummer 2023 Update
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and New Director of Development: As you know, this past year Dr. Andrew Gardner became our inaugural Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The NABPR is tremendously grateful to Baylor University for partnering with us, providing additional funding, and a place for Dr. Gardner to carry out his one-year Fellowship. As of this summer, Dr. Gardner has accepted a lectureship in Religious Studies at LaGrange College, but he has also agreed to serve the NABPR as our very first Director of Development. We heartily congratulate Dr. Gardner on his position at LaGrange and his new role with NABPR – but in many ways it’s not a new role.
This past year Dr. Gardner applied for and was awarded a $100,000 Baugh Foundation grant to support the fledgling NABPR Research Fellows program. The money is being given as matching funds over the next four years and will fund two, two-year Postdoctoral Fellowships (‘24-‘26 and ‘26-‘28) that will be placed at institutions yet to be named based upon the candidates needs and disciplinary focus. Dr. Gardner worked hard to raise an additional $25,000 from members and friends of the NABPR to match the initial $25,000 disbursement from the Baugh Foundation.
Annual Meeting: The NABPR expresses appreciation to Gardner-Webb University for hosting the 2023 May Meeting in Boiling Springs, NC. All sessions, plenaries, and meals were held in a single building, the Tucker Student Union, which was tremendously convenient. One highlight from this year’s meeting was the presentation of the Perspectives in Religious Studies Festschrift to Dr. Sharyn Dowd. We were grateful for her presence, her long record of support for the NABPR and Baptist higher education, and her inspiring remarks at the meeting.
We supported five graduate students with travel stipends to the meeting: Renee Edington, Zen Hess, Tyler Fulcher, Nathan Mahoney, and Christian Sanchez. We celebrate them and are proud of their good work!
Additional thanks to Dr. Mandy McMichael, Dr. Alicia Myers, and Dr. Steve Harmon, our onsite coordinator, for their essential roles in planning the meeting. Dr. Harmon planned a number of critical aspects of the meeting, including the Monday evening meal and entertainment, room assignments for sessions, and on-campus housing. It should also be noted that the membership voted Dr. João Chaves to serve a term as Vice-President and Dr. Myers as President of the organization.
This was our first year to offer online meeting registration through Memberplanet. From my perspective, it was easy and efficient. I made note of a few tweaks for next time, but let me know if you have any suggestions.
Dissertation Scholarship Award: Drs. Scott Schauf, Angela Parker, and Andrew Gardner served on the Dissertation Scholarship Award Committee this past year. After reviewing several compelling nominations, they voted on Samuel Davidson as the 2023 recipient. Sam’s interests intersect theology, science, psychology, and theological anthropology. He is finishing his dissertation at Princeton Theological Seminary while also teaching adjunctively at Truett Theological Seminary. The award was presented at the May meeting.
Perspectives Book Series: If you haven’t done so already, check out the new Perspectives on Baptist Identities book-series webpages, designed by Dr. Adam Brett and the series editors, Dr. João Chaves and Dr. Kate Hanch. They have assembled a fantastic editorial board and are poised to elevate the series. You can find series information, journal information, and a link to your online membership information at nabpr.org.
Mark your calendars: November 18-21, 2023, San Antonio, TX, National AAR/SBL Meeting. We look forward to the Presidential Address given by Dr. Alicia Myers, and this year’s plenary address by Dr. Angela Tarango, professor of religion at Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and author of the book: Choosing the Jesus Way: Native American Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indigenous Principle.
Pax et bonum,
Adam C. English
Executive Secretary/Treasurer, NABPR
NABPR Update Conference