About ATS


The American Theological Society in the Midwest (ATS) was founded in 1927 at The University of Chicago. ATS a regional organization of scholars who write and teach in the fields of religious studies. Members as a community engage each other’s best theological reflections. In its programs, the Society often reaches beyond the local members to invite international scholars and others from across the United States to present papers and to participate in the conversations of its semi-annual meetings. At the same time, the Society calls attention to the work of local scholars (members and nonmembers) whose thinking about God has shaped their scholarship and their classrooms.


The American Theological Society in the Midwest, is a community of theological scholars who are engaged in critical and creative examination of religious thought and its impact on faith and culture.


The Society has convened semiannually since 1927 and receive scholarly papers on crucial issues of religion and culture. The Society meets twice a year–on the last Friday of April and the last Friday of October–at colleges, seminaries, and universities in greater Chicago. The Society is grateful to these institutions of learning for their generous and faithful support of critical religious scholarship.

The semiannual program consists of three distinct but often related sessions: The structure of the early afternoon session–Theological Table-Talk–is the most dynamic and has taken the form of panel discussions, presentations of members’ works in process, critical book discussions, open discussion on pedagogical issues, and formal papers with prepared responses.

The mid-afternoon paper and an evening paper are sustained arguments by members or invited guests on issues of religious or cultural importance, followed by one or two prepared respondents, and an extended period of open discussion. The Society is a community of scholars who speak and listen to one another.

Because we are a community of scholars who value each other as colleagues–even friends–the afternoon and evening sessions are sprinkled with periods of fellowship, refreshments, dinner, and of course, a business meeting.

Related Organizations

American Academy of Religion

Society of Biblical Literature

Institute on Religion in an Age of Science

The American Theological Society, meeting annually in Princeton, New Jersey.