The annual meeting of Div. 36 (the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) provides a supportive academic forum where professionals discuss the latest research findings and advances in the psychology of religion and spirituality. Within Div. 36, this conference has traditionally been referred to as the mid-year conference.

2019 Mid-Year Conference

Conference Theme: 

Relational spirituality

Date and Location:
  • Fri.-Sat., April 5-6, 2019
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (SPRS) 
  • Bowling Green State University
  • The John Templeton Foundation

2019 Conference Highlights

Invited keynote addresses:
  • Advancing the Psychology of Religiousness and Spirituality: How Can a Meaning Perspective Contribute? (1 hour)
    Crystal Park, PhD, University of Connecticut
  • Spiritual Struggles and Supernatural Attributions: A Relational Perspective (1 hour)
    Julie Exline, PhD, Case Western Reserve University
Invited Clinical Workshop (3 hours):
  • Advances in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing Spiritual Struggles
    Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, Bowling Green State University
Invited Research Toolkit Presentations (1 hour each)
  • Funding Opportunities with the John Templeton Foundation: 2019 - 2023 Strategic Priorities
    Nicholas Gibson, PhD, John Templeton Foundation 
  • Replication and Open Science in the Scientific Study of Religion and Methodology
    Michiel van Elk, PhD, University of Amsterdam
  • Tackling Methods in the Psychology of Religion
    Will M. Gervais, PhD, University of Kentucky

Invited Presentations-Relational Spirituality Theme

Solo talks (30 minutes each)
  • Chris Boyatzis, PhD, Christian by Birth, Secular in Life: Danish Mothers' Views of Religion in Family Life in Denmark.
  • Gina Brelsford, PhD, Parents' Spiritual Struggles and Mental Health Following a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Experience
  • Chana Etengoff, PhD, LGBTQ Religious and Spiritual Experiences: Context, Intersectionality and Mental Health
  • Frank Fincham, PhD, Divine Forgiveness and Interpersonal Forgiveness: A Symbiotic Relationship?
  • Richard Petts, PhD, Paternity Leave, Father Involvement and Parental Conflict: The Moderating Role of Religious Participation
  • Rebekah Richert, PhD, Is God Real? Predictors of Stability and Change in Early Childhood Conceptions of God's Reality Status
  • Amy Wachholtz, PhD, God Save Me…Maybe?: Patients’ Relationship with their Higher Power during Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and Chronic Pain 
Chaired symposium (1 hour each)
  • Mike Goodman, PhD (chair), with co-chairs Justin Dyer, PhD, and Mark Ogletree, PhD
    Symposium title: Longitudinal Relational Research - Lessons Learned from the Family Foundations of Youth Development Project
  • Annette Mahoney, PhD (chair)
    Symposium title: Diving into New Details about Relational Spirituality: Friendships, Hook-up and Verbally Abusive Parents of Emerging Adults
  • Jennifer Ripley, PhD (chair)
    Symposium title: Intimate Partners and Religion: The Role of Religion and the Sacred in Relationship Functioning
  • Sarah Schneider, PhD (chair), with co-chairs Janet Carter, MDiv, and Diana Ro, PsyD
    Symposium title: Spirituality, Religiousness and Virtues in Psychiatric Inpatients: Research Findings, Clinical Applications and Chaplain Perspectives
Note: More program details will be posted in January and February 2019.

Call for Proposals

Deadline: Jan. 14, 2019

Submission Guidelines:

We are now accepting proposals for posters, papers and symposia. All submissions should be submitted online by Jan. 14, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. You will be asked to provide author's names and affiliations, titles and an abstract (3,000 characters). 

We are particularly interested in proposals that articulate a fit with the conference theme of relational spirituality. (Annette Mahoney's article in the July 2018 issue of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Newsletter provides an overview of relational spirituality.) This is an open call for symposium, paper and poster submissions framed with research questions that fall within this sphere. For example, submissions could highlight the role of religiousness and spirituality in shaping, for better or worse, the quality of close, interpersonal relationships (e.g., couples, family or co-worker relationships) or social relationships within and across cultural or religious groups and thus the well-being of individuals in those relationships. However, submissions on all topics relevant to the psychology of religion and spirituality are also welcome for the conference.

  • Symposium submissions: Proposals for a coordinated set of papers (usually three or four in number), all dealing with a particular topic or issue may be for 50 minutes or 110 minutes. In addition to abstracts (1,000 characters) for each paper in the symposium, the chair should also submit a summary abstract for the symposium as a whole.
  • Paper submissions: Accepted papers with similar topics will be grouped into panels by the organizer. Paper presentations will be limited to 15 minutes, including time for questions.
  • Poster submissions: A designated session will be scheduled in which participants can meet with authors to discuss their work. Poster sizes should not exceed three feet long by four feet wide.

Notifications of proposal acceptance will be made by Feb. 4, 2019.  

Submissions should be made using the online submission portal.

For questions, contact Program Co-chairs Annette Mahoney (email) and Jordan LaBouff (email).

2019 Registration

Registration is now open and covers:

  • All program events, both days.
  • Up to approximately 16 continuing education (CE) units for Ohio psychologists (approval pending). Other attendees should check with their license boards on transferability of these CEs.
  • Deluxe continental breakfasts on Friday and Saturday mornings, a late afternoon reception with hors d'oeuvres and cash bar on Friday, as well as a mid-afternoon dessert treat on Saturday.
Registration fees:
  • Standard registration: $165
  • Guest/spouse attendee registration: $120
  • Graduate student registration: $60
  • Undergraduate registration (limited number of spaces): $40

Travel and Hotel Information

Major airports:
  • Detroit Metro-Willow Run Airport (DTW) is located about 70 miles north. There are two terminals. McNamara Terminal services most international flights and Delta Air Lines. The North Terminal services all other domestic airlines.
  • Toledo Express Airport is located about 35 miles northwest and services Allegiant and American Airlines flights.
Local hotels:
Blocks of rooms for conference attendees have been reserved at the following hotels listed below. Please call and mention you are with the Society for Religion and Spirituality to get discounted rates.
  • Fairfield Inn Marriott at 1544 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green, Ohio. Telephone: (419) 352-0033. Book by March 4, 2019, to receive a special $99 rate for a double queen/king room (plus applicable tax).
  • Hampton Inn at 142 Campbell Hill Rd., Bowling Green, Ohio. Telephone: (419) 353-3464. Book by March 7, 2019, to receive a special $95 rate for a double queen/king room (plus applicable tax).
  • Holiday Inn Express at 2150 Wooster St., Bowling Green, Ohio. Telephone: (419) 353-5500. Book by March 4, 2019, to receive special rates for a double queen/king room (plus applicable tax).
  • Best Western Falcon Plaza at 1450 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green, Ohio. Telephone: (419) 352-4671. Book by March 6, 2019, to receive a special $75.99-85.99 rate (plus applicable tax).
Travel to and from the airports: 
The most convenient and economical way to get to Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is by car rental. 

At the Detroit airport, car rental costs around $38-45/day, including taxes. Please see the airport's website for a listing of rental companies and information. Standard taxi, car service and shuttles are also available. Average fare from the Detroit airport is about $110 and estimated Uber costs are $72-94. 

Average fare from the Toledo airport is about $50 and estimated Uber costs are $22-50. 

Another option is to visit the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau to explore a few other taxi and shuttle options available. 

We encourage attendees to feel free to try to coordinate arrival and departure times with other colleagues attending the conference to help reduce travel costs.