Last weekend I went to the Southwest Regional Conference for Religious Studies (SWCRS, or “swickers”), which is primarily based around the southwest region of SBL and AAR, but ASSR and IBR also had sessions. I presented a paper and participated in a book review session, about which I’ll blog later. For this first post, I thought I’d note the highlights from the Friday night event: NABPR. (I missed the Saturday morning meetings for NABPR because I was staying off site at my brother’s house.)
On Friday night a group of 15 or so met for the regional meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. While this is only a select few of the actual members and of the professors at the various baptist schools around TX, AR, MO, and OK(?), we had a number of institutions represented. Several of us were from Houston Baptist, and other schools such as Baylor, Wayland, Howard Payne, Hardin Simmons, Ouachita (Arkansas), Southwest Baptist (Missouri), and Williams Baptist (Arkansas), among others, had faculty there.
The first half of the session was a presentation by the online tech person from Hardin Simmons. Everyone in the room was moving towards or already doing some kind of online. One of the early adopters Southwest Baptist Univ (Missouri) interestingly has been adjusting their online classes towards a hybrid approach that has some form of face-to-face contact because student retention is a problem with online only or online heavy programs. That makes sense, but I hadn’t thought about it. Some programs focused on summer online to focus on their students that were going home to do local community college work, whereas others integrate it more into the normal offering. HBU has started offering some hybrid classes in the Dept of Theology with Charles Halton and Mike Licona. I’ll be one of the first online only classes this summer, so I’ll get a feel for my first class that way. If any of you have experiences/war stories send them my way so I can avoid unnecessary problems.
The second half of the evening was the presidential address by HBU’s own David Capes. He walked through the various issues related to making a modern translation of the Bible, drawing from his immense experience with The Voice translation. His talk ranged from translation theory to how to deal with unfriendly reporting from national media. Even as one of the contributors to the project, I always learn something new about the project when I hear David talk.
I’m a big fan of conferences, and having one that includes a little professional development makes it all the more important.