The Conference on Christianity and Literature

Guidelines for Regional Meetings

Revised 11.23.16

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 2

Regional Meetings and the Goals of the CCL

Since its formal organization in 1956, the Conference on Christianity and Literature has had the

following set of goals:

§ the exploration of the relationships between Christianity and literature;

§ the fostering of excellence in scholarship and teaching among committed


§ the encouragement of fellowship among its members.

In addition to special sessions held in conjunction with the annual Modern Language Association

convention, the CCL promotes smaller regional meetings of its members in order to fulfill these

goals, according to Article VI, Section 8 of the By-Laws:

Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, members in a geographic region may

organize with officers for the purpose of holding one or more regional conferences and otherwise

furthering the purposes of the Society. The following policies apply to regional conferences of

the Society:

(a) The Director who serves as the elected representative of a region shall serve on the

Steering Committee of that region. If a region does not elect a regional chair (or president), the

Director who serves as the elected representative of a region shall serve as the regional chair and

lead the steering committee of that region. The regional chair has the responsibility of securing

invitations for regional meetings at least 18 months in advance.

(b) All who attend regional conferences of the Society must be members of the national

Society. Exceptions to this policy may be granted to undergraduate students and to keynote


(c) The host institution for a regional conference of at least two days' duration may apply

for a grant-in-aid from the national Society to apply toward the honorarium for a keynote speaker.

Any such grant-in-aid is contingent on the regional conferences' requiring all attendees to be

members of the national Society, except as noted in (b) above.

Currently Organized Regions

East: New Jersey, New York, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New England states, the Maritime

provinces, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and

West Virginia.

Southeast: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama,

and Mississippi.

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,

North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Western Ontario, Manitoba, and


Southwest: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.

West: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, British

Columbia, the Yukon, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New

Mexico, and Utah.

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 3

Regions and the National CCL

The clearing-house for information regarding regional meetings is the office of the national Vice

President. Approval to organize a regional meeting can be obtained by writing the Vice President

who will clear the matter with the appropriate members of the executive committee.

Regional Organization

Each region is administered by a regional chairperson and an on-going steering committee. This

steering committee serves on an annual basis and typically includes the regional chairperson, the

program chairperson for the current year, the local arrangements chairperson at the host

institution for the current year, the past regional chairperson, the past program chairperson, and,

if possible, a representative from the host institution for two years hence. The national CCL

board director who serves as the elected representative of a region shall also serve on the steering

committee of that region.

The new regional chairperson and the new members of the steering committee are elected at the

business session, which is held at each regional meeting. The procedures for this election are to

be determined by the members of the region.

It is the responsibility of the regional chairperson and the regional CCL board director to ensure

continuity and planning within a particular geographical area, to conduct the business session at

the regional meeting, and to locate possible host institutions for future regional meetings.

If a region does not elect a regional chair (or president), the CCL board director who serves as

the elected representative of a region shall serve as the regional chair and lead the steering

committee of that region. The regional chair has the responsibility of securing invitations

for regional meetings at least 18 months in advance.

Hosting a Regional Meeting

The most important component for a successful regional meeting is enthusiasm at the host

institution or institutions. Two colleges in the same locale may easily cooperate, and it is well to

think two years in advance when offering to host a meeting. Past experience suggests that a

financial pledge of $600 to $1000, as well as administrative and online support will be needed

from the local institution. Registration fees will cover many local expenses; for some meetings,

they could cover all expenses.

Dates for the regional meeting should follow the traditional pattern of the area in question and

should not conflict with any other major professional meetings. It is advisable to clear the date of

the meeting well in advance with the Vice President. Regional meetings or special sessions

sponsored by a region can be linked with a regional meeting of the MLA or other association.

Regional meetings may also be linked with a local conference held at a host institution. In

addition to attracting academic presenters and participants, the organizers should think about the

role of literature in civic life and consider planning elements of the conference that will appeal to

the general public. Lectures that are open to the public are encouraged.

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 4

Local Arrangements

Local arrangements should include information regarding motels and hotels for all registrants. (It

is sometimes necessary to reserve blocks of rooms where housing is limited.) On occasion,

special transportation from airports or stations is also necessary. Rooms at the host school must

be reserved and arrangements carried out for coffee breaks and for any catered meals. Wellinformed

greeters should be at the registration desk, and there should be plenty of maps and

signs available for out-of-town guests. Hosting a regional meeting is an opportunity to show

Christian hospitality.

Establish a deadline for registration, but be aware that most people register for a conference in

the last few days before the deadline. To accommodate “walk-ins,” set a slightly higher fee for

registration at the conference.

Program Planning

Samples of past programs can be obtained from the national Vice President. The keys to an

interesting program and a robust registration are variety and high-profile plenary speakers.

Traditional papers can be interspersed with panels (e.g., “Christian Writers and Their Audience”),

workshops (e.g., “Teaching the Bible as Literature”), films, poetry readings, and student sections.

An evening session provides the opportunity for a major guest lecturer, a play, poetry readings,

or other activities. Regional meetings may be linked to the presence of a known lecturer already

on campus. Be sure to provide breaks during the day during which registrants can talk with

one another and ask further questions of participants. People also need time to relax.

Two- or three-day conferences provide ample time for keynote addresses, paper and workshop

sessions, and social times. One of the greatest advantages of a two-or three-day conference is the

opportunity for interaction among conference participants. With a four-day conference, some

registrants come late or leave early; with a one-day gathering, a longer conversation has little

opportunity to emerge. But a regional gathering that offers a mix of plenary sessions, social

occasions, poetry readings, keynote addresses, scholarly papers and times for discussion fosters a

collegial opportunity to listen, consider and interact.

Conference organizers may consider selecting the best papers to send to the editors of

Christianity and Literature for possible publication.

Graduate Student Participation and Grants

In order to encourage graduate students to participate in regional meetings, CCL offers up to

$500 for each regional meeting to meet travel expenses and conference registration fees for

graduate students presenting papers. This money may be distributed to as many students as the

region sees fit. Applicants must be CCL members in good standing and are expected to stay for

the full conference at which they present a paper. Students may not receive an award more than

twice. Preference is given to dissertation-level students whose research will be most enhanced by

conference participation. The conference director and the CCL regional board director should

ensure that grant is adequately publicized before the conference.

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 5

Applicants should send the following material to the conference director:

1. A letter, not to exceed 400 words, stating the session in which the student is enrolled and

explaining how this session relates to the student's dissertation in progress.

2. An informational (not evaluative) letter from the student's Director of Graduate Studies

or Department Chair providing date of approval of the student's dissertation topic;

expected date of completion; date when all other degree requirements were completed;

statement of departmental policy on travel support for graduate students; and amount of

funding applicant will receive (if any) toward attendance of the meeting for which the

student seeks assistance.

The director of the conference, in consultation with the CCL regional board director, will award

one or more grants. Awards should be announced no later than one month prior to the meeting

for which the applicant seeks assistance. Recipients of the grant should submit their receipts to

the conference director or the board member (whomever is so designated) who will forward them

to the Treasurer of CCL for reimbursement. NO MONIES WILL BE DISBURSED

WITHOUT RECEIPTS. The name of the recipient, title of paper presented, his/her institution,

and the amount awarded should be reported to the Vice President of CCL on the Conference

Report Form.

Undergraduate Student Participation and Awards

Directors of regional meetings are encouraged to include an invitation for undergraduates to

submit papers, preferably in dedicated undergraduate panels when possible. Creative work as

well as critical essays may be solicited. Undergraduate students who present papers are not

required to become CCL members. Any paper presented at a regional conference may be

submitted to the CCL undergraduate writing contest for that calendar year. Directors should

submit the best undergraduate work (up to 3 critical and 3 creative papers) from the conference

directly to the writing contest director, Chad Schrock ( Only

papers presented at regional conferences are eligible for the contest.

Conference directors should publicize the opportunity to present papers and to submit work to

the national contest to undergraduates in their region. Winners of best creative paper and best

critical paper will be announced at the annual CCL luncheon, will each receive a $100 cash prize,

and will have their work published on the CCL website. Contest winners will be selected by

January 2 for work submitted the previous calendar year. All essays must be submitted to the

contest director by November 30.


Calls for papers may be announced through emails and pdfs sent to CCL members and literature

departments of colleges and universities in the region. The call for papers should also be

posted on the CCL website ( and may be announced in

Christianity and Literature, although the latter must be sent at least a year, preferably 18

months, before the deadline to allow for publication delay. Include the date and location

of the conference, preferred topics, length of papers or abstracts, paper deadline, and the

name and address of the program chairperson. It is also useful to list the conferences with PMLA

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 6

and the University of Pennsylvania website ( and, of

course, with other societies, publications, and memberships—local, regional, and national—who

might be interested in the conference theme or featured speaker(s).

Calls for papers should be circulated by the program chairperson at least eight months prior to

scheduled meeting; registration materials and final program announcements should be made

available no later than ten weeks before the meeting.

An email attachment of all announcements should be sent to the national Vice President. Upon

request, the Vice President will send the conference organizer an email list of CCL members that

can be used for publicity purposes.

Each region should maintain its own supplemental mailing list of persons who have attended

regional gatherings in past years. It is also vitally important to develop lists of prospective

participants who are not already CCL members. To start or augment such a roster, make a list of

church-related colleges and universities in your region. A visit to each college’s web site can

secure the names, institutional addresses, and email addresses of English and Modern Languages

professors. It is also useful to circulate announcements to the language and literature departments

at all colleges and universities, both public and private, in one’s region. These departments are

listed in the September issue of PMLA. Additional mailing lists can be obtained through

contacting other organizations such as the American Academy of Religion.

Local publicity through newspapers, circulars, posters, and classroom announcements is also

extremely important in extending the appeal of the CCL and in providing a service to the local


Sample copies of Christianity and Literature may be obtained from the editorial office of the

journal and should be displayed at the conference.

To protect the privacy of members, please use blind copy or another program that prevents

recipients from seeing all the email addresses when you send publicity announcements.

Grants in Aid for Speakers

To encourage the development of healthy vibrant regional gatherings, the CCL Board of

Directors provides a grant of $400 to any host institution that

§ holds a CCL regional conference of at least two days’ duration;

§ features a keynote speaker of national reputation;

§ ensures that all registrants are CCL members or become new CCL members;

§ provides a prompt, complete conference report as specified below.

A grant application form is available on page 8 of these Guidelines.

The grant from the national CCL is intended to defray the honoraria that host institutions pay to

keynote speakers of national reputation. In recent years, CCL regionals have included such

distinguished keynote speakers as Robert Alter, Denis Donoghue, Stanley Fish, Dana Gioia, LiCCL

Guidelines for Regional Meetings 7

Young Lee, Kathleen Norris, Marilynne Robinson, and Robert Scholes. By offering speakers of

this caliber, a regional CCL gathering will attract a larger number of participants, who in turn

will contribute to a lively and engaging conversation that we all want to foster.

Policy for Regional Conference Fees

The host institution will establish and charge a basic registration fee for use in defraying the

costs of the program.

All registrants who present a paper at regional meetings must be members of the CCL.

Regions are encouraged to offer a widely disseminated call for papers and to accept papers solely

on the basis of their merit. However, once a paper has been accepted, the author must join CCL

if he or she is not already a member, in keeping with common professional practice.

About four weeks before the conference, the conference organizer should request a current

membership list from the Vice President of CCL and use this list to verify that all participants at the

regional are members of CCL. The organizer is responsible to ensure that each presenter is a

member. Memberships are $50.00 per year, include print and online subscription to Christianity and

Literature, and are available through SAGE (

Conference directors should have a computer available at registration so that participants who have

not yet become members may subscribe through SAGE at the conference desk. The membership fee

is in addition to any conference registration fees.

The only exceptions normally made to this fee schedule are for keynote speakers and for

undergraduate students (who will not receive a subscription to Christianity & Literature). Any

questions or requests for exceptions to the fee policy outlined above should be addressed to the

Vice President who, in consultation with the President, will act on such requests. Exceptions can

be granted only in unusual circumstances.

Note: Only fees for national CCL memberships belong to the national organization. Other

moneys collected (registration above these memberships, banquets, etc.) are the property of the

region and should be used as seed money for the next conference.


Within two weeks of the regional conference, a report on finances, memberships, attendance, and

a general assessment of the meeting should be sent by the regional chairperson to the national

Vice President. The results of the business meeting should also be included in this report.

The report form is available on page 9 of these Guidelines.

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 8

Conference on Christianity and Literature

Application for a Regional Grant in Aid

Region: ____________________________ Meeting Dates: _____________________

Site: _______________________________

We hereby apply for a grant of $400 from the National Conference on Christianity and

Literature to be applied to the honorarium for our keynote speaker:

Conference program chair: _____________________________

Email: ______________________________

Phone: ______________________________

Address: ______________________________


Name of keynote speaker: ________________________________

Affiliation of keynote speaker: ________________________________

The check should be made out to: ________________________________

The check should be mailed to: ________________________________



We agree

§ to organize a conference that lasts at least two days;

§ to require all registrants to be or become members of CCL;

§ to submit a “Regional Meeting Report” within two weeks of the conference.

Signature of conference arrangements chair ____________________________________

date: _____________________________________

Submit to:

Susan M. Felch, CCL Vice President

Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship

Calvin College

3201 Burton Street SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49546

CCL Guidelines for Regional Meetings 9

Conference on Christianity and Literature

Regional Meeting Report

Region: ____________________________________________________________________________

Meeting Dates: _____________________________________________________________________


Total attendance: Paid registrants: ________________ Additional attendees: ______________

Total papers presented: ______________________________________________________________

Names of keynote presenters and titles of their presentations: ____________________________


Was a $400 grant in aid for the speaker requested and received? YES/NO

Were graduate student travel grants awarded? YES/NO

If yes, please list the student name, academic institution, title of paper,

and amount awarded.

Name: __________________________________________________

Institution: ______________________________________________

Paper Title: _____________________________________________

Amount Awarded: _______________________________________

Send receipts directly to the Treasurer of CCL for reimbursement.


Location of Next Regional Conference ________________________________________________

Dates: ____________________________________________________________________________

Next regional meeting chair:

Name: _________________________________________________

Institution: ______________________________________________

Email: _________________________________________________

Please attach the following:

1. List of all the conference registrants’ names, addresses, emails, and institutional affiliation.

2. Conference Program

3. Highlights of the conference and a brief assessment

Signed: ______________________________ Date: _____________________

Please email this report to the CCL Vice President no later than 2 weeks after the conference.

Dr. Susan M. Felch

Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship

Calvin College

3201 Burton St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49546