Barker and Phelps

College of Professional Advancement Faculty Assume Leadership Positions in American Academy of Religion Southeast Region

Dr. Wesley Barker

Dr. Wesley Barker

ATHENS – Mercer University College of Professional Advancement faculty member Dr. Wesley Barker transitioned from vice president-elect to vice president of the American Academy of Religion Southeast Region (AAR-SE) at the recent Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion Conference.

The conference, a joint meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR) and the southeast regions of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), was held Feb. 28-March 1 in Athens.

Dr. Barker, assistant professor of religious studies, will serve a one-year term as vice president of AAR-SE, before assuming the role of president at next year’s meeting.

Additionally, Dr. Hollis Phelps, assistant professor of religion, was elected vice president-elect of AAR-SE and will serve subsequent one-year terms as vice president and president of the region.

“In addition to their robust research agendas and growing recognition as important religious studies scholars, Dr. Barker and Dr. Phelps are providing extraordinary service as leaders within AAR, the largest association of scholars in the field of religious studies and related topics,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of the College of Professional Advancement.

Dr. Barker joined the College of Professional Advancement in 2013. Her research involves the intersections of feminist literary theory, continental philosophy and religious ethics. She earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature and religion from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion, Master of Theological Studies from Duke University and Bachelor of Arts from Emory University.

Dr. Hollis Phelps

Dr. Hollis Phelps

Dr. Phelps joined the College of Professional Advancement in 2017. His research interests include continental philosophy of religion, critical theory, and the relationship between religion, economics and politics, especially surrounding the issue of debt. He earned his Ph.D. in theology, ethics and culture from Claremont Graduate University, Master of Theological Studies from Duke University and Bachelor of Arts in religion from the University of Mount Olive.

The American Academy of Religion, founded in 1909, is the world’s largest association of scholars in the field of religious studies and related topics. It is a nonprofit member association, serving as a professional and learned society for scholars involved in the academic study of religion.

The Southeast Region includes members from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Virgin Islands, West Virginia and parts of Virginia.

About the College of Professional Advancement

Mercer University’s College of Professional Advancement is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, the College of Professional Advancement offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, health care and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit professionaladvancement.mercer.edu.