To: Academy of Religious Leadership Members

Subject.: Cancellation of 2020 ARL Meeting at Columbia Theological Seminary

Date: March 10, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last couple of days, the elected members of the Steering Committee have been seriously deliberating the implications of the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic on our 2020 Annual Meeting which is currently scheduled for April 23-25, 2020 at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur Georgia (near Atlanta, GA). No doubt you have been following the situation and that, as leaders in a variety of institutional settings, you are also grappling with decisions on how to proceed with life and ministry amidst the many uncertainties and dangers of this international crisis. Many educational institutions and  conferences are making the decision to cancel face-to-face classes and conferences to limit situational distances which  may contribute to the spread of the virus.

As a result of these deliberations, we have agreed that the most prudent decision that we can make at this time is to communicate with you the  steering committee’s decision to cancel the meeting now so that you will not incur costs in hotel and airfare.   As religious leaders, we are concerned  about the health and welfare of all and believe we have a moral obligation to do our part to mitigate the health risks and possible overwhelming of health care system.

We are considering alternatives for a virtual meeting, either at the assigned time or later. We are still receiving paper proposals in response to the call to papers and hope to publish our regular fall journal digitally for members with paper copies going out to libraries.  If we have already sent a paper proposal, we look forward to evaluating it for presentation and/ or publication possibilities. If you are yet planning to send a proposal, send it to Jeffery Tribble, with the subject line: ARL Proposal.

After we have met for a more thorough discussion, we will have more details to share.

Jeffery Tribble, President

Scott Hagley, President Elect

Zachariah (Zach) Ellis, Treasurer

Mark Miller-McLemore, Secretary

Robert Martin, JRL Editor

Courtny Davis Olds, Member at Large

Andy Rowell, Member at Large

Alicia Granholm, Member at Large