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Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education Records - Addendum A

Call Number: RG 154A

Description of the Papers

This accession has 38 files in 4 archival boxes, and covers the years from 1995 to 2004, when APRRE merged with the Religious Education Association. This collection completes and supplements Record Group 154. Other record groups at the Yale Divinity School library include the archives of the Religious Education Association, for the years 1903 to 1982 in Record Group 74, and the years from 1982 to 2003 in Record Group 74-A. Series I, History, Organization and Policy, contains articles on its organization, tasks of the executive secretary, the consultation in 1994,and its history: one in a 1996 festschrift by former Executive Secretary Don Williams and one in the 2002 CSSR Bulletin by Randy Litchfield. It also has the proposals and results of the merger or reorganization, with responses and historical material from James Michael Lee, Stephen Schmidt, and Boardman Kathan. Series II, Committee Records, contains the minutes of the Executive Committee from 1993 through 2004. Series III, Secretarial Files, contains correspondence and records of the Executive Secretaries, Charles Melchert, Randy Litchfield and Lawanda Smith. Series IV, Annual Business Meetings, contains the minutes of the annual meetings, beginning with the 1993 one in Fort Worth and 1994 in Chicago down to the 2004 meeting in Denver. Series V, Publications, contains the newsletters of APRRE from 1995 to 2004, and also the bound Proceedings of the annual meetings, beginning in 1997 in Oakland and continuing to 2004 in Denver. Series VI, Membership, contains the Membership Directories of 1993, 1996 and 1998, along with the list of officers from 1994 to 2004.


  • 1995-2004


Information about Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Deposited by the APRRE


  1. I. History, Organization and Policy
  2. II. Committee Records
  3. III. Secretarial Files
  4. IV. Annual Business Meetings
  5. V. Publications
  6. VI. Membership


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers document the history of the APRRE from 1995 to 2004, when the organization merged with the Religious Education Association. They are an addition and accession for Record Group 154, which covered the years from the founding of the organization in 1970 to 1995, with pre-APRRE documents dating back to 1963. There is some overlap with a few records from 1993 and 1994. Included are records of the Executive Committee, annual business meetings, as well as correspondence, publications and membership directories.

Historical Note

The Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1995 in Chicago and recognized at a banquet those who had served as President through the years. Many features of the annual meetings continued, such as research interest groups, men’s and women’s luncheons, task forces, and the presidential address. A new feature, beginning in 1997, was the compiling of the Proceedings, which included all the papers presented at the meeting. This was originally done under the leadership of Charles Melchert, who was the executive secretary and on the faculty of the Lancaster Theological Seminary. He was succeeded in 2001 by Randy Litchfield, professor at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and he in turn was succeeded in 2004 by Lawanda Smith, professor at Louisiana State University. In this period of time the major event was the merger of the APRRE with the Religious Education Association, which had been founded in 1903. The two organizations had collaborated since 1971, and the journal, Religious Education, had become a joint venture by 1980. Conversations began in 2001 about the possibility of forming a single new organization that would build on the strengths of each. A meeting was held on June 8, 2002, in Chicago with representatives of both organizations: from the APRRE - Anne Streaty Wimberly; Jack Seymour; Tom Walters; and Randy Litchfield; from the REA: Ronald Cram; Lorna Bowman; Barbara Ann Keely; and Ted Brelsford. A paper was prepared on “Propopsal for a Joint Reorganization of APRRE and REA,” and it was revised on Nov. 20, 2002. A discussion of the proposal was held at the 2002 meetings of both organizations in Philadelphia. The revised proposal and mail ballot were sent out to the membership in January 2003, with the ballots due by October 15, 2003. The results were as follows: REA – 475 ballots mailed; 138 returned; 135 Yes (98%); 2 No; 1 Abstention. APRRE: 337 ballots mailed; 108 returned; 105 Yes (97%); 2 No; 1 Abstention. It was agreed that the two organizations would remain separate through 2004, but with a shared executive secretary, and on January 2005 the final reorganization would take place. In brief, the new organization was to be called the Religious Education Association: An Association of Professors, Practitioners and Researchers in Religious Education. It had a vision and mission statement, planned to continue the journal, Religious Education, sought to be inter-religious and professional, and would reach out to graduate students in the field. In the planning of annual meetings there would be three forums: 1) Religious Education and Faith Communities; 2) RE and Academic Institutions; and 3) RE, Public Life, and the Global Community. In addition, there would be a committee for the William Rainey Harper Project. Annual meetings would include Research Interest Groups, Colloquia, Task Forces, and meetings of Religious Tradition Groups. There would be a single Executive Secretary, and Editor-in-Chief for the journal, an integrated website, and a governing board with officers, at large members, chairs of forums and committees. and a doctoral student representative. The new organization would continue its relationship with the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) and the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion (CSSR). In 2003, prior to the merger or reorganization, APRRE joined the Religious Education in celebrating its 100th anniversary in Chicago, under the leadership of Anne Streaty Wimberly. A special issue of the newsletter, REACH, was published with articles by a number of past and present leaders. Martin Marty, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, gave a major address at the banquet, and the Harper Award was presented to Gabriel Moran and Maria Harris, of New York University. APRRE tried to develop a relationship with the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature over a three-year period, but a survey showed that only about 20% of the membership wanted to continue it. Contacts were also made with the National Association of Professors of Christian Education and the Network for Research in Jewish Education. Concerning the journal, Ted Brelsford succeeded Hanan Alexander as Editor in 2000, and he was followed by Jack Seymour three years later. The publication, subscription and fulfillment services were continued by Taylor and Francis, with its headquarters in Philadelphia.

Guide to the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education Records - Addendum A
Boardman W. Kathan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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