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REA Annual Meeting 2015

6-8 November, Atlanta, Georgia

REA2015 Nominations

2015 Nominees

The team that worked out the details of merging REA and APRRE in 2003 did a marvelous job in setting up a system of governance, including the establishment of three standing committee to sustain three important foci for the Associations: religious education in faith communities, academic disciplines, and the public sphere.

After a few years, it became apparent to the Board that the system of rotation of Board and committee members was not working well. For example, in November 2011, we elected 9 new members to the Board of Directors, with only 5 returning members and 3 ex officio members. That year, then President Dean Blevins introduced a plan to adjust the sequence for Board rotation so that we would maintain greater continuity.

We are implementing a refined form of Dean’s plan this year, making it necessary to extend some Board terms. The Board members below have agreed to continue serving on the Board for a set period that will introduce greater continuity, if confirmed by the membership at the November Business Meeting.

Standing Committee Chairs:

  • Susanne Johnson to serve 2 additional years, ending in 2016, as Chair of RE in Publics
  • Leah Gunning Francis to serve 1 additional year, ending in 2015, as Chair of RE in Academic Disciplines
  • Ted Brelsford to serve 1 additional year, ending in 2015, as Chair of the Call for Proposals Committee

Standing Committee members:

  • Najeeba Syeed-Miller to serve 2 additional years, ending in 2017, on RE in Academic Disciplines & Institutions as representative to the Journal
  • David White to serve 1 additional year, ending in 2016, on RE in Communities of Faith as representative to the Journal
  • Carmichael Crutchfield to serve 2 additional years, ending in 2018, on RE in Communities of Faith as representative to the Journal
  • Justus Baird to serve 1 additional year, ending in 2016, on the Harper Committee

Below is the slate of nominees for open positions on the REA Board of Directors. Please review bios prior to the Annual Business Meeting.

Bert Roebben: Vice-President and Program Chair Elect. Dortmund University, Germany

Hubertus (Bert) Roebben studied Catholic theology at the Seminary in Hasselt, in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, and continued his studies at the KU Leuven, where he obtained the degrees of MA in Religious Studies, MA in Theology, BA in Canon Law, and BA in Educational Sciences. In 1994 he received the degree of Doctor in Theology summa cum laude at the KU Leuven. As an assistant professor he taught at the universities of Leuven and Tilburg (in the Netherlands). In 2000 he became a full time associate professor in Tilburg and served for four years as vice-dean for academic affairs. During this period he held visiting professorships at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and Boston University (USA) and at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). You can see more of his work at his website (

In 2007 Bert accepted a new challenge as full professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Theology at Dortmund University (Germany). In 2009 he was elected as the chair of the IASYM, the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, which he served until spring 2014. Bert’s research and teaching interests are situated in the field of inclusive religious education, interreligious learning, youth ministry and youth work, youth theology and the implications of these fields for the development of a public theology.

Bert is a family father and married to Mieke, who is a religious education teacher at a secondary school in Mechelen (Belgium). They are living with their three young adult and adolescent children in the neighborhood of Leuven (Belgium). In his leisure time Bert enjoys hiking, reading novels and doing the vocals in a local rock band.


Kevin Sandberg, CSCTreasurer, 3-year term. University of Notre Dame

Kevin J. Sandberg, CSC, a Catholic priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, is an assistant director of the Center for Social Concerns and concurrent assistant professional specialist in the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame. At the Center he directs graduate student initiatives and faith education, and teaches the Common Good Initiative, an immersion course that introduces graduate students from a variety of disciplines to principles and practices of Catholic social engagement. His research interests include pedagogies of compassion, Christian humanism, and the neglect of listening and its restoration through religious education. He was the founding director of Young Adult Community at St. Clement Church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Prior to full-time pastoral ministry, he was a trust officer with the Northern Trust Bank and a financial economist with the U.S. Treasury Department. Kevin received his PhD from Fordham University. He grew up in South Florida, and now resides as a priest-in-residence in an undergraduate dorm at Notre Dame.



Kathy Winings: Chair, Religious Education in Faith Communities Forum, 3-year term. Unification Theological Seminary

Kathy Winings is Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, and Professor of Religious Education & Ministry at Unification Theological Seminary. She is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the International Relief Friendship Foundation, Inc., an international disaster and humanitarian development agency, after having served as its executive director for 11 years. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Center for Education at UTS, an organization committed to offering effective resources to religious educators, teachers, and pastors throughout North America and to supporting the creation of diverse communities of practice in education. As the President and Founder of Educare, an educational consulting firm, Kathy has aided in the development of diverse curricula and ministry manuals for Sunday Schools, youth ministries and schools. The author of numerous articles in academic as well as popular journals and publications and the editor of a book on American Christian denominations, and the author of Building Character through Service Learning. She is familiar to REA members as having served as Recording Secretary for the REA Board of Directors for ten years. Kathy received her B.A. from Fordham University, her Masters of Divinity from UTS, and her EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University.



Mary Elizabeth Moore: Harper Committee, 4-year term. Boston University

Mary Elizabeth Moore is Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Theology and Education, Boston University. Her passion is to journey with others to cultivate deeper faith, compassionate humanity, and a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. She feels privileged to work toward those ends with colleagues in Boston University and around the world, especially in the practices of knowing the Holy, building justice, resisting violence, and caring for the earth. Her books include: Teaching as a Sacramental Act; Ministering with the Earth; Covenant and Call; Teaching from the Heart; and The United Methodist Diaconate (co-authored); plus three edited volumes, Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World; Practical Theology and Hermeneutics; and A Living Tradition: Critical Recovery of the Wesleyan Heritage. She has engaged in interreligious relationship-building in local, professional, and academic settings and is presently working on a project to develop interreligious approaches to practical theology. Mary Elizabeth is married to Allen, and they have five wonderful children and eight fabulous grandchildren.

BarbDavisBarbara Senecal-Davis: Doctoral Student Representative, 2-year term. Fordham University. First Presbyterian Church, New York

The Rev. Barbara Senecal-Davis is the Executive Minister at First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York where she oversees the programmatic life and program staff of the church.  She is a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where she majored in religion. After Thiel, she moved to New York City where she attended Union Theological Seminary (M.Div., ’96).  She is currently working on her doctorate in Religious Education at Fordham University. Barbara has been a consultant and author of religious educational curricula including The Whole People of God and Seasons of the Spirit. She and her partner Karen live in Brooklyn with their two daughters.


Ina Ter Avest: Nominations Committee, At-Large, 3-year term. VU Amsterdam
Ina ter Avest is a psychologist. with a special interest in cultural and religious development of children and their educators (parents and teachers). She graduated at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). For her PhD thesis (Utrecht University, 2003) she researched the religious development of children in an interreligious (Christian and Islamic) primary school context. As a post-doc at the VU University in Amsterdam she did research on citizenship education, exploring the way in which the development of (religious or secular) life orientation can be included in citizenship education in state schools as well as in denominational schools. As a research lecturer she participated in the European research project REDCo on the position of religion in secondary education. The main question in this project was about the role of religion: conflicting, enriching, bonding, briding or segregating? As a professor at the Inholland University of Applied Sciences she researched the professional development of university students from the theoretical perspective of the Dialogical Self Theory. Her main interest is in ‘diversity’, diversity as a complicating as well as enriching aspect of interaction between persons, as well as diversity of ideas, preferences, attachments within persons. Her approach in research and coaching is imbued with the theory of the Dialogical Self and the practical instruments for communication and exploration derived from this theory.

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