PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

AAR Sessions (PDF)

Additional Meeting Sessions (PDF)

Session Index (PDF)

Participant Index (PDF)

Session Locations (PDF)

Exhibitor Index and Exhibit Hall Maps (PDF)

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Stand-alone MA Programs in Religion Seminar

Statement of Purpose: 

Across the country numerous departments of religious studies offer MA degrees, but not PhD degrees. Recently, leaders in these departments have gathered in formal and informal settings to address issues particular to these departments. Increasingly, we find that deans and presidents encourage us to begin offering PhD degrees without adequate understanding of the resources needed and the dim job prospects in academia that graduates of such PhD programs face. In addition, in tough budget times it is increasingly important for us to identify external sources of funding for our faculty and this can be difficult when a department does not offer a PhD degree. And as the public conversation regarding the importance of liberal arts programs and degrees has heated up, we are being asked to make the case for religious studies as a relevant and helpful undergraduate major or graduate degree. Departments are being asked to “make the case” about how they contribute to the broader mission of higher education. This Seminar provides a multiyear workshop to address issues faced by stand-alone MA programs. We have gathered for a “state of the programs” information-gathering and review meeting and are seeking to articulate the strengths of and imagine the possibilities for these programs. We plan to:

Focus on implementation (i.e., how does an MA-only program grow into a viable PhD program)

Make the case to an administration that it is valuable as a Masters program

Shape itself so as to produce employable graduate students?
When appropriate either during or after the three year Seminar series, we plan to produce materials that might be valuable to AAR members.

Call for Papers: 

The Stand-alone MA Programs in Religion Seminar seeks panelists to lead a discussion related to the shared interests and issues of programs that offer the MA in Religion in lieu of doctoral degrees. The Seminar is in its final year and will organize a session at the next Annual Meeting to conclude its work. Suggested topics for the Seminar's last panel include:

1) Developing Alternative Academic Partnerships
2) The Future of MA Programs in Religion: Where Do We Go From Here?
3) Religion in Public Life

AAR members who would like to speak on one of the above topics with reference to MA programs, or who would like to propose an alternative panel session, are invited to submit their proposal to the Seminar via the PAPERS submission system.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee