Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion

Policies & Procedures


Drafted 3.1.15

Revised 10.31.19

I. Mission: The Mission of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion is

  • To promote the academic study of religion in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York;

  • To mentor students in the profession of religious studies;

  • To create opportunities for research, dialogue, and engagement for religious studies scholars; and

  • To foster awareness of the importance of religious studies for understanding contemporary issues.

II. Purpose: This document is meant to be a historical record of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion (MAR-AAR). It should be revised annually and accurately reflect how the region functions.

III. Composition of Regional Membership: Members of MAR-AAR are members of the National American Academy of Religion (AAR) and live in a zip code designated as part of the Mid-Atlantic region. Please see the AAR National website for current regional zip codes. Members may also be faculty and students affiliated with the colleges, seminaries, and research universities in the region. Individuals may become members of MAR-AAR if they have research interests that align with a section within the region. The MAR-AAR has an open-access policy and welcomes all members of the AAR, including international members, to attend conferences and participate in regional activities. 

IV. Executive Committee: The MAR-AAR Executive Committee includes the President, the Vice President/President-Elect, the Regional Student Director, and the Regional Coordinator. The Committee carries out responsibilities approved and assigned by the National Board of Directors and AAR staff. Such duties include

  • Managing the logistics of the regional conference,

  • Adding new program sections,

  • Setting the agenda for Board Meetings,

  • Selecting new Section Chairs, and

  • Reporting to the National Board of Directors.

a. President 

i. Serves on and participates in meetings of the Executive Committee.

ii. Leads the Executive Committee in facilitating continuity in the region with committee members, section chairs, and general members. 

iii. Establishes, leads, and advances the mission and core value of the region with other Executive Committee members. 

iv. Consults with the Executive Committee to select the guest speaker(s) for the regional conference.

a. Communicates with the guest speaker(s) regarding travel, conference program, and reimbursement details. 

b. Works with the Regional Coordinator to manage all fiscal matters related to the guest speaker(s).

c. Collaborates with the Executive Committee to create a conference theme related to the topic of the guest speaker(s).

v. Maintains a positive relationship with the Executive Committee of the Society of Biblical Literature.

b. Vice President/President-Elect

i. Serves on and participates in meetings of the Executive Committee.

ii. Enforces the general call for papers and coordinates with section chairs for specific proposals and deadlines for submission. 

iii. Crafts and maintains the program for the regional conference.

c. Regional Student Director: The Regional Student Director serves as a member of the region’s Executive Committee and the national Graduate Student Committee (GSC).

i. Facilitates student involvement in the region.

ii. Attends and participates in all regional conferences and meetings, the national conference, and any meetings of the GSC.

iii. Communicates updates and resources with student members at the regional level. 

iv. Contributes to the work of the GSC at the national level, including planning events, reporting news, and developing  initiatives and resources.

d. Regional Coordinator: The MAR-AAR Regional Coordinator represents the region and is the liaison to the AAR National office.

i. Attends the national AAR meeting to present the annual regional report.

ii. Serves on the national Regions Committee.

iii. Serves as communication liaison by working with the national office to send emails to regional members and notifying AAR of any news and announcements

iv. Assists the national office when it conducts a survey of the membership and provides MAR-AAR regional information.

v. Serves on and convenes the Executive Committee of the MAR-AAR

vii. Oversees and administers the region’s budget, accounts, and grant process. 

vii. Researches and secures the venue for the annual regional meeting and administers the meeting including registration, accommodations, catering, room assignments, and sales exhibitors.

viii. Updates and revises MAR-AAR Policies & Procedures document when necessary.

V. Voting Procedures for Open Executive Committee Positions: 

a. The MAR-AAR holds elections as needed to fill open positions on its Executive Committee. 

b. Each Committee position has a different length of term commitment:

i. President: One year, following one year as Vice President/President-Elect

ii. Vice President/President-Elect: Two-year commitment, as the Vice President/President-Elect becomes President after one year of service

iii. Regional Student Director: Two years with a potential one-year extension

iv. Regional Coordinator: Three years with a potential one-year extension

c. All elections are held democratically, with a majority vote of participating regional members at the annual Business Meeting determining the result. 

d. Any member of the region may present nominations for any open position at the annual Business Meeting. 

i. The current Regional Coordinator may not present nominees for the next Regional Coordinator. 

ii. Before the Business Meeting election, all nominees must agree to serve.

g. The Executive Committee may vote to add temporary or permanent positions as needed.

VI. Miscellaneous

a. To propose an item to the annual Business Meeting Agenda, please email info@mar-aarsbl.org at least one week before the Regional Meeting.

b. For more information regarding these policies, voting and elections, or anything else related to the region, please email info@mar-aarsbl.org.

VII. Relationship to Operating Agreement: The MAR-AAR Operating Agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the governance of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion, including its relationship to AAR National. It lists the roles of the Executive Committee, lays out procedures for elections, discusses the restrictions and responsibilities of MAR-AAR as a non-profit entity, etc. The Operating Agreement references the creation of a “Policy File” in Article 1, Definitions. This site serves as the “Policy File” for the MAR-AAR. It details the primary responsibilities of the MAR-AAR to support the scholarly and professional lives of our regional members. The Operating Agreement serves as our constitution and is revised or amended infrequently; this Policy File is an evolving document and is regularly updated and revised.