Association for College and University Religious Affairs
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“Chaplaincy for the 21st Century” 

February 24-26, 2019 in Albuquerque, NM

ACURA (the Association for College and University Religious Affairs)
NACUC (National Association of College and University Chaplains)


 Greetings ACURA and NACUC colleagues!

We are delighted that plans for our first-ever joint conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in February 2019 are well underway, with registration now officially open.   It is a historic moment as our two associations collaborate through our deep resources and innovative efforts in the field of university chaplaincy and ministry. 

The joint conference, scheduled for Feb 24-26, 2019, will explore broad and thematic topics regarding Chaplaincy for the 21st Century.   Among our topics is the collaboration with student affairs professionals as present and emerging campus partners in this work.  Our conference will endeavor to share best practices on how to serve and meet our students across increasingly complex secular, spiritually and religiously diverse communities in our institutions. We will also continue to explore and consider opportunities for creative partnerships between ACURA and NACUC in our efforts to deepen and strengthen our public voice and institutional relevance and presence.

Our opening dinner will be held the evening of Sunday, February 24 with a keynote by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM and our closing dinner and plenary will be the evening of February 26. We invite all participants to plan to stay for the entirety of the conference so that we may make the most of our time together. We also hope that you will consider presenting by submitting a program proposal on a topic relevant to our conference theme.

Thanks to the work of our conference chair Jackie Marquez, our time in Albuquerque will be incredibly rewarding on the collegial and professional level as well as a time to rejuvenate and renew ourselves personally. This is one not to miss!  

We look forward to seeing you in Albuquerque in February, where temps are moderate and the sun will be shining! Please contact Jackie Marquez at with any questions.


All the best,

Jackie Marquez, Conference Chair, ACURA and NACUC Executive Board member, Northwestern University

Jan Fuller, Elon University, NACUC President

Joanne Sanders, Stanford University, ACURA President



Please note - you will need to submit a proposal from a Gmail account.

The National Association of College and University Chaplains and the Association for College and University Religious Affairs invite proposals for programs or presentations at Chaplaincy for the 21st Century, their first joint conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 24-26, 2019. This is an historic conference bringing together two associations with a rich history of innovation in the field of chaplaincy and university ministry.

We welcome all who are interested in presenting to submit program proposals for the Conference plenary or concurrent sessions. A team of members who serve on the Conference Content Committee will select proposals, choosing those which most exemplify the theme of Chaplaincy for the 21st Century.

We look forward to learning from each other formally and informally during our time together. The purpose of this first-time event for religious life leaders in the academy is to support relationships, build connections, and cultivate ideas that will both enlighten and enrich our work at colleges and universities throughout this country.  At a time when so many of us and our students are feeling division on our campuses, in the wider public square and indeed throughout the globe, we seek to celebrate our commitment to being present for our students and creating a welcoming and inclusive religious, spiritual and cultural climate in all the ways we are able.

Program types may include any of the following:

• panel discussion
• lecture/presentation
• experiential workshop

We envision programs which incorporate research, skill building and the unique practice of this work.

Programs will be scheduled in two ways: Plenary sessions will have 80 minutes and concurrent sessions will be 50 minutes in length. Once the Committee has chosen programs for the conference, presenters will be invited to present as a plenary or concurrent session leader.

What you will need to submit:

  • Presenter/s information
  • Preferred session format
  • Program abstract
  • What are the learning outcomes for participants and goals for this session?
  • What are the audio/visual and room setup needs for this session?
  • Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself or this presentation with the Conference Content Committee?

Program proposals are now being accepted. The deadline to submit proposals is November 11, 2018. The Committee will review proposals with final decisions to be made by December 10, 2018.

Please Note: Presenters will need to register and pay the registration fee.  Proposals may be submitted at this link.

Please note - you will need to submit a proposal from a Gmail account.

Sunday Keynote Speaker

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and the Founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An internationally recognized author and spiritual leader, Fr. Richard teaches primarily on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness, and contemplation, with a particular emphasis on how these affect the social justice issues of our time. Along with many recorded conferences, he is the author of numerous books, including The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (with Mike Morrell) and Just This. To learn more about Fr. Richard Rohr and the CAC, visit

Monday Morning Keynote 

We are excited to announce that Valarie Kaur will be joining us for a live virtual keynote presentation and Q&A during our joint conference! Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. She is the founder of Groundswell Movement, considered “America’s largest multifaith online organizing network,” recognized for “dynamically strengthening faith-based organizing in the 21st century.” Today she leads the  Revolutionary Love Project to champion love as a public ethic and wellspring for social action. To learn more about Valarie please explore her website:

Photo credit: Mitchell Haddad

Excursion Options

Sunday, February 24 – Train trip to Santa Fe with guided tour of the historic plaza area

Cost $35 - Covers the costs of shuttles, train, and tour.  Lunch is on your own.

All aboard!  Hop on the famous Rail Runner Express which will give you a view of New Mexico you simply can't see from the road, featuring rugged, desert vistas, and historic pueblos.

You'll arrive in the heart of Santa Fé which boasts unique historical, cultural, and spiritual features accessible on foot.  In this 90 minute guided tour you will visit the Cathedral Basilica, the Santa Fe Plaza, the oldest church in North America, and Santa Fé’s famous art district, Canyon Road. The tour will end at the Palace of the Governors where participants can purchase direct from Native American artists. Having built up an appetite, participants can choose to eat lunch from a wide variety of restaurants featuring traditional and contemporary Santa Fé cuisine or classic American options.

Meet at 8:00a.m. in the hotel lobby to board the shuttle for the quick ride to the train station.  The train departs at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Santa Fe at 10:05 a.m.  There, you will take the free shuttle from the station to the Santa Fe Plaza where you will meet your tour guide. The return trip departs Santa Fe at 3:15 p.m. and will have you back in Albuquerque at 4:45 p.m.  

Monday, February 25 – Guided walking tour of Old Town Albuquerque

Cost:  $15

Your tour guide will dispel rumors and myths with authentic information about the “Duke City” as they escort you on an exciting adventure through time.  Embark on a 60 minute leisurely walking tour which takes you through the streets and alleys of one of the oldest towns in North America.

Meet in the hotel lobby, we depart at 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 26 – Tour of Petroglyph National Monument

Cost: $20

Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400-700 years ago.  These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.

Meet in hotel lobby at 3:00 p.m. Bus departs at 3:15 p.m. and returns at 4:45 p.m. (Departing the monument at 4:30 p.m.)

Hotel Accommodations

Book your hotel room directly online or by calling 866-505-7829 and ask to be connected to reservations.

Link for online booking:

To receive the group rate, guests must state that they would like to be placed within the "Chaplaincy for the 21st Century” block of rooms, or they may refer to the Block Code 1902CH

Please note, the reservations cut-off date will be:  February 11, 2019. 

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town
Direct:  866-505-7829 | Fax:  505-222-8703


Most meals are included within the registration fee, except Monday evening’s dinner:

Included, Sunday, Feb 24 - Opening plenary/Keynote dinner

Included, Monday, Feb 25 - Breakfast, lunch, snacks

Not Included: Dinner on your own this evening

Included, Tuesday, Feb 26 – Breakfast, lunch, snacks, closing plenary dinner

 Please note that the executive boards of both associations have agreed to a vegetarian menu throughout the conference. We have taken this step in an effort to maximize inclusivity and minimize our impact on the environment. It is our hope that you will enjoy the delicious food options.

Travel Information

Many airlines travel to Albuquerque International Sunport and there are nonstop flights to and from major cities across the United States. For more information, see

Albuquerque can be warm and sunny but during the winter season temperatures can drop dramatically at night, with highs around 55 and lows at 30. Please check the 5 day forecast before packing for your trip. Also, Albuquerque sits at a higher elevation than many visitors are used to.  Altitude sickness impacts people differently, you may find yourself needing to breathe a little deeper, move a little slower and drinking more water in order to stay hydrated and functional.

Additional helpful resources and FAQs can be found on the official travel Albuquerque site.


Tentative Conference Schedule: We invite all participants to plan to stay for the entirety of the conference so that we can discuss our future together at the final plenary.

Day 1 Sunday, February 24

8:00am-5pm Optional Excursion to Santa Fe

4:30pm Registration Opens

6:00-7:00pm Welcome Reception

7:00pm Opening Dinner/Plenary Session I with Richard Rohr


Day 2 Monday, February 25

7:30-8:45am Registration/Breakfast     

9:00-10:30am  Plenary Session II with Valarie Kaur

10:30-11:00am Refreshments/Light Break

11:00-12:00 Concurrent Session I (2 Options)

12:00-1:00pm Lunch                                                                    

1:00-2:00pm Concurrent Session II (2 Options)

2:00-2:30pm Refreshments/Light Break

2:30-4:30pm  NACUC Members Business Meeting or Concurrent Session III                                         

4:30pm Free time begins:

Guided Walking Tour Old Town Albuquerque Optional Excursion

Dinner on the Town


Day 3 Tuesday, February 26 

7:30-8:45am Breakfast     

9:00-10:30am Plenary III

10:30-11:00 Refreshments/Light Break

11:00-12:00 Concurrent Session IV (2 Options)

12:00-1:00pm Lunch

1:00-3:00pm ACURA Members Business Meeting or Concurrent Session V                                               

3:00-4:30pm Petroglyphs National Monument Optional Excursion

6:00-8:30pm  Closing Dinner/Plenary Session IV: ACURA and NACUC: Imagining a Future Together.

ACURA is a collegial association that brings together professionals working in higher education to support pluralistic, inclusive approaches to claiming the role of religion, spirituality, and ethical identity in colleges and universities.

Copyright Ⓒ ACURA