Annual Meetings

Agendas and Overviews of Previous Meetings

Each year, the ARL gathers to present and discuss topics which inform and impact religious leadership in academics, the church, and non-profit organizations. Previous meeting topics as well as links to agendas and overviews are listed below.

2020 Annual Meeting

Engaging the Prophetic Dimension of Christian Leadership

The 2020 virtual Annual Meeting engaged the prophetic dimension of Christian leadership by addressing the following questions:

  • How does the prophetic tradition in the Bible as well as historical and contemporary prophetic figures inform practices of compassion and justice?
  • How might “prophetic imagination” guide social action to counter the economics of inequality, the politics of oppression, and the co-opting of God’s freedom to be present and act where God chooses?
  • What leadership models, theories, methods, and strategies are useful for inspiring energizing, and sustaining prophetic leadership?
  • What spiritual practices inspire faith, hope and courage to act boldly and wisely in the face of the danger and threats by dominant principalities and powers?
View Meeting Agenda

2019 Annual Meeting

Engaging Power

In an era of polemical social media, partisan politics, and increased tensions around “the other”—the political other, the racial other, the immigrant other, the gendered other, the religious other. As groups of people experience anxiety provoked by fear of the other, they look to leaders enact power to resolve their anxieties.

Given this context, how should religious leaders think about, talk about, teach about, steward, challenge, and address power?

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2018 Annual Meeting

The Church and the Academy are at a Crossroads

Religious leadership is a complex enterprise. Multi-faceted by nature religious leadership engages theology and draws upon leadership theories; requires particular understandings and competencies as well as abilities to read contexts and situations; and includes personal and communal formation in addition to leading existing communities. While debates over approaches to the formation and teaching of religious leadership have taken place before the changing national and global religious landscape provides a prime opportunity for teachers, scholars, and practitioners to take another look at this topic.

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2017 Annual Meeting

Leadership for Change

The ARL’s Spring 2017 annual gathering theme was “Leadership for Change.” The conference explored the question of change: from an organizational perspective that focuses on the dynamics of changes, from a theological perspective that focuses on the theological issues change creates, and from a practitioner perspective that focuses on the experience of leaders who work within specific cultural contexts to enable change.

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2016 Annual Meeting

Engaging Sacred Texts for Teaching Religious Leadership

The ARL’s spring 2016 annual theme was Engaging Sacred Texts for Teaching Religious Leadership

It focused on the following questions:

  • How do we, as teachers and leaders, engage sacred texts in the teaching and practice of leading?
  • How do theological perspectives dictate the ways in which we approach text in the teaching of religious leadership?
  • What are the methodological assumptions that we employ in our engagement with sacred texts for leadership formation?
  • What are the pedagogical practices or implications for engaging sacred texts for leadership formation?
View Meeting Agenda