Slate of nominees

Vice-President and 2021 Program Chair

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Patrick Reyes currently serves as Senior Director at the Forum for Theological Exploration, where his portfolio includes oversight of organizational thought leadership, research, and annual grant funding. In this role, he collaborates and works with leaders of institutions, foundations, and other para-academic organizations in theological and higher education to build their capacity and transform theological schools and programs for the 21st century. A Chicano educator, administrator, and institutional strategist, he has authored many articles and publications, including the award-winning book Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood (2016). Children’s Defense Fund’s selected Nobody Cries as the first book for its inaugural book club in 2019. In 2017, 2018, and 2019 he was recognized as a “Great Teacher and Preacher” by the Children’s Defense Fund alongside other members of REA. Because his family is interfaith (Jewish and Catholic) and inherits several North American identities, Patrick leads workshops and provides board service to faith communities and organizations that hope to create conditions for the next generation to thrive.

Chair, RE in Faith Communities

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Denise Janssen is associate professor of Christian education at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University where she also serves on the Dean’s Council and manages a portfolio of grants for the School of Theology. Denise holds a PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and an MDiv from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has been an ordained American Baptist pastor for 25 years and has served United Methodist congregations for last 13 years. Denise is passionate about the connection between scholarship and practice. Her research focuses on the adolescent and young adult faith formation. She also serves as Editorial Director for Friendship Press (related to the National Council of Churches), directs The Resource Center, and consults in the areas of curriculum development, strategic planning, and grant writing. She lives in Richmond, VA, with her husband, Randy Creath, a professional musician.

Chair, Publications Committee

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Almeda Wright is the Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Yale Divinity School. Her research focuses on African American religion, adolescent spiritual development, and the intersections of religion and public life. She has written The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans and coedited a book with Mary Elizabeth Moore, Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World. Almeda studied at Harvard University Divinity School (M.Div.), where she concentrated on Religion & Culture and History of Biblical Interpretation; Simmons College (M.A. in Teaching); and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. in Electrical Engineering). She completed her doctoral studies at Emory University, where she received fellowships from the Fund for Theological Education and the Louisville Institute. Almeda is an ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches and has served on the ministerial staff of various churches, including Union Baptist Church (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Victory United Church of Christ (Stone Mountain, Georgia). Almeda will move from her position on the RE in Academic Disciplines and Institutions to assume this position.

Member, RE in Faith Communities

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Jenny Haddad Mosher is the Director of the Telos Project at Hellenic College Holy Cross, a 5 year exploration of how Orthodox young adults engage in the Church funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Before coming to Telos, she worked in religious education curriculum design and production, as a teacher and retreat leader in several Orthodox jurisdictions, and as a grant writer for Orthodox social service agencies. She has a ThM in Systematic Theology & Ethics from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and is a PhD candidate in Religion & Education at Union Theological Seminary.

Member, RE in Faith Communities

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Eileen Daily is Director of the Doctor of Ministry degree in Transformational Leadership at Boston University. She holds a PhD and MA from Boston College, Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. She is especially interested in how technology can (and should) mediate theological and religious education and is the author and architect of art/y/fact.Xn, an app for mobile devices that helps users make sense of or meditate with Christian artworks in museums, in churches, on the tourist trail or on the Web. Her other research interests are in interfaith religious education, public religious education, and religious education through visual art.

Member, Harper/Wornom Committee

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Anne Walker is Executive Director of the Oklahoma campus of Saint Paul School of Theology, where she administers the campus and teaches Christian Religious Education. Her twenty-year career includes administration of theological programs for the exploration of vocation with high school youth and young adults, theological education administration, and nonprofit management. Anne holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Religious Education, and an M.A. in Ethics, all from Claremont School of Theology. She is the co-author (with Katherine Turpin) of Nurturing Different Dreams: Youth Ministry Across Lines of Difference (Pickwick, 2014). An Oklahoma native and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Anne appreciates good people, good music, and good humor. She lives in Tulsa with her husband and son.

Member, Proposal Selection Committee

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Monique van Dijk-Groeneboer is a professor of Religious Education and coordinator of the Teacher Academy for RE teachers at Tilburg School of Catholic Theology in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Her main research topics are youth and their religion and inspiration, and developing new teaching methods for religious education. She publishes internationally on this topic, is editor of “Handbook Youth and Religion” and “Didactics on RE” (both in Dutch), executive board member of the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry and member of several boards and editorial committees in the Netherlands.

Member, Proposal Selection Committee

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Carl Procario-Foley, earned his doctorate in Religious Education from Fordham University and has a thirty year career in campus ministry and leadership of university mission and ministry. While director of Iona College’s Office of Mission and Ministry he has taught in the college’s Religious Studies department and freshmen seminar while also serving as an adjunct in graduate religious education at Fordham University. Carl has published in the areas of academic service-learning and institutional mission education.

Member, RE in Academic Disciplines and Institutions Committee

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Karen-Marie Yust is the Josiah P. & Anne Wilson Rowe Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, VA). She has published extensively on the topics of child, adolescent, and family spirituality, as well as the broader topics of Christian spiritual practices, faith formation across the lifespan, and educational theory. Her books include Attentive to God, Taught by God (with Ron Anderson), and Real Kids, Real Faith, as well as an edited volume, Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World’s Religious Traditions. She is currently directing a Lilly Endowment-funded project focused on rethinking children’s and family spirituality in light of contemporary psychosocial and humanities research and practices. Her personal research focuses on digital culture and spirituality, as well as new discoveries in early childhood development and their implications for understanding and nurturing children’s faith. Karen Marie will complete Almeda Wright’s term on this committee.

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