About ASRS

Purpose of the Society

The Adventist Society for Religious Studies (ASRS) is a Seventh-day Adventist scholarly community whose purpose is “to provide intellectual and social fellowship among its members and encourage scholarly pursuits in all religious studies disciplines, particularly with reference to the Seventh-day Adventist tradition.” It was formally organized in New York City in 1979.


History of the Society

In 1972 Adventist religion scholars agreed to meet in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). The official Adventist Biblical Research Institute (BRI) agreed to sponsor and plan these meetings.

After BRI ceased their sponsorship in 1978, Adventist scholars met informally at New Orleans. AAR/SBL informed the Adventist group that it could not provide meeting rooms nor announce the meetings in its printed program unless the group officially organized and adopted a distinctive name that did not have a denominational identifier. The group officially organized in 1979, selecting the name Andrews Society for Religious Studies, and elected officers; at the New York meeting. The name Andrews referred to J. N. Andrews, who is considered to have been the first Adventist religion scholar.

In 1993 the society unanimously voted to change its name to the Adventist Society for Religious Studies. This became possible when AAR/SBL lifted the restrictions on denominational names. In 1996 the society had a membership of 135 scholars.

List of Presidents

The president of ASRS is elected three years in advance and future presidents serve as vice president and president-elect prior to serving as president.

1979 William G. Johnsson

1980 Fritz Guy

1981 Robert M. Johnston

1982 George Reid

1983 Walter Douglas

1984 Richard Coffen

1985 Doug Clark

1986 Sakae Kubo

1987 Alden Thompson

1988 James Londis

1989 Richard Rice

1990 Russell Staples

1991 Pedrito U. Maynard-Reid

1992 Gerald R. Winslow

1993 Warren C. Trenchard

1994 Madelynn Haldeman

1995 Roy Branson

1996 Jon Dybdahl

1997 John Brunt

1998 Larry Geraty

1999 Roy Adams

2000 Ernie Bursey

2001 Keith Burton

2002 Kendra Haloviak

2003 Ivan Blazen

2004 Jon Paulien

2005 Jean Sheldon

2006 P. Richard Choi

2007 David Taylor

2008 John Webster

2009 Zdravko Plantak

2010 Bonnie Dwyer

2011 John Reeve

2012 Donn Walter Leatherman

2013 Carl Cosaert

2014 Ranko Stefanovic

2015 Mark Carr

2016 Teresa Reeve

2017 Olive Hemmings

2018 Tarsee Li

2019 Denis Fortin

ASRS meets annually in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) [www.aarweb.org] and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) [https://www.sbl-site.org].


The next ASRS annual meeting will take place on November 16-18, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.

ASRS – Future Annual Meetings

Denver, CO November 14-16, 2018
San Diego, CA November 21-23, 2019
Boston, MA November 19-21, 2020
San Antonio, TX November 18-20, 2021