Academy of Religious Leadership
2019 Annual Meeting — April 25-27, 2019

Theme: Engaging Power

We live 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?

Among the questions we will explore:

How do we steward our personal power?

Every leader has some power base from which she or he functions. How do religious leaders recognize and process their power? How might diverse fields—practical theology, missiology, gender studies, critical race theory, to name a few—help religious leaders to be reflective practitioners as they enact power?

What constitutes a theology of power?

Leadership literature tends to discuss power in neutral terms, sometimes failing to acknowledge the ethical, moral, and theological implications of power. What scriptural and theological resources shape how religious leaders view power? What resources inform a response to the use and misuse of power?

How might we address power?

What is the role of religious leaders in the prophetic act of speaking to power? Toward what ends do leaders in a variety of settings—church, community organizations, education, non-profits, business, public sector—engage power? How do religious leaders engage their communities in the act of addressing power?

Call for Papers

The Academy of Religious Leadership (ARL) exists to:

  • enhance religious leadership education;
  • convene a scholarly roundtable of leadership educators and professional practitioners for the purpose of development and community;
  • and foster and disseminate leadership education and research.

Proposals for papers should integrate scholarship and praxis and align with ARL’s mission. Leaders and practitioners from various organizational and social locations are encouraged to submit proposals.

Proposals should include a proposed title, your thesis, the basis for your argument, your perspective in approaching the topic, and the discipline and/or authors you intend to engage. Proposals should be no more than 500 words in length and include a brief bio.

Proposals for papers are being accepted until January 15, 2019. Email proposals as an attachment to with the subject line: ARL Proposal.