2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence

June 22 – June 24, 2017
UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, Los Angeles, California

The 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, & Spiritual Identities Convergence is designed to focus on Identity, Community, Leadership, and Research amalgamating for conversation and collective action in regards to Religious, Secular, and Spiritual initiatives in higher education. This conference will address the intersectionality of identity, religion, and spirituality on students, community members, and professionals and how those entities converge through one's work and collegiate experience.  Furthermore, the content presented through the 2017 Convergence is intended to spark thoughtful conversation and strategic action towards creating more socially just and inclusive campus environments that support the religious, secular, and spiritual exploration and practice of our communities.  

Register Online


The 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities (RSSI) Convergence is designed to be less of or atypical "conference" and rather a practice of "Convergence". To converge is to meet in a point or line or to move toward each other. Convergence is the very act of moving from parallel to common results and to common purposes. The 2017 NASPA RSSI Convergence proposes to do just that. Join us on the journey!

It has been almost 20 years since the landmark Education as Transformation conference at Wellesley College took up themes and, higher education has been on a steadily growing course to integrate religious, secular, and spiritual identities into the campus environment.  Now, faculty, student affairs, religious professionals in higher education, community organizers, and others are invited to bring their experience, distinctive approaches, and emerging questions together, converging our conversations into a singular space that will call us to yet more informed. skillful, and effective action. 

The 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence is designed for higher education faculty across all disciplines, administrators, students, campus ministers, chaplains, religious professionals, interfaith educators, as well as university affiliates and partners that work in and want to work in religious, secular, and spiritual endeavors.  This innovative three-day/two-night professional development opportunity intends to:

  • Enhance one’s understanding of spiritual, religious and secular student identities within the process of human development in the context of higher education.
  • Expand one’s confidence, knowledge and ability to participate in spiritual, religious and secular conversations.
  • Increase attendees’ spiritual, religious and secular network(s) and their understanding of the work of various organizations and individuals that work in this space and how to apply this information to a campus setting.
  • Discover innovative and intentional practices and programs.
  • Discuss opportunities in which religion and spirituality are components of creating more socially just and civically engaged campus communities.
  • Share strategies and management tactics of religious, secular, and spirituality programs on and off campus including: staff education, campus integration, identity development, and academic and student development partnerships.
  • Explore the breadth and depth of higher education’s responsibility to both undergraduate and graduate students that are lifelong learners with an understanding of religious, secular, and spiritual identities and how to engage with individuals of different faiths and individualities beyond graduation.

Convergence can only happen if we come together, therefore, we invite you to join us June 22-24, 2017 at UCLA to be fully present to share your experiences, talents, insights, and questions and to gather together with so many others to move our work forward.


Presented By


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • Faculty
  • Senior Level
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mid-Level
  • AVP or “Number Two”
  • Administrators
  • Students
  • Campus Ministers
  • Chaplains
  • Interfaith Educators
  • Religious Professionals


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #RSSIConvergence

Call for Programs

The conference executive planning committee is seeking proposals that enhance and progress the conversation of religious, secular, and spiritual identity on college campuses. Presenters will be asked to identify the intended audience for their session; foundational, intermediate and advanced. Additionally, the conference planning committee will select programs based upon the program's' relationship to the conference topics and learning outcomes. 

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • content (is your proposal clearly articulated?); 
  • relevance to a conference theme;
  • evidence of clearly stated outcomes and objectives;
  • contribution to the knowledge and practice of student affairs educators and religious, secular, and spiritual professionals within our communities. 

For the inaugural NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence meeting, the executive planning committee is looking for these types of programs to provide a holistic conference experience:

General Interest Session - A 60-minute presentation session that is ideal for a panel or multiple presenters submitting together. This is an option in which a presentation might include research, campus and/or community programs, partnerships, and background information. This session provides an opportunity to gather input from other meeting participants in an intimate setting. This session is intended for individuals or concise group presentations on trending topics.

Exploration Session - A 60-minute presenter-facilitated exploration of religious, secular, and spiritual identities. This might include facilitating a prayer, ritual, tradition, meditation, or embodied experience session. This session is intended for participants to experience different practices of faiths, beliefs, and identities.

Roundtable Reflection - A 60-minute presenter-facilitated discussion that allows participants to more deeply engage with an idea, program, research, or to reflect on their conference experience unencumbered by technology.

Mini-Institute - A 90- or 120-minute highly interactive session that teaches promising practices to enhance religious, secular, and spiritual identity development in the classroom, on campus and/or in the community.

Research- or Program-Based Poster Session - A session that allows presenter(s) to share an idea, a program or a specific topic. One-on-one interactions facilitated by a poster session help the presenter(s) gather feedback from conference attendees on their ideas, data, analysis, and/or results. 

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Data-Driven and Research Oriented

    Designed to incorporate data-driven decision-making practices using current research to provide fundamentals to those who are new to the field as well as a forum for experienced professionals to advance their skills by discussing these identities with educators, practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers.

  • Enhancing Practice(s)

    • College and University Driven Practice
      • Promising practices in community partnerships on-and-off campus, and program development.
      • Promising practices related to trainings, programs, and services.
    • Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Practices
      • Exploration of various religious, secular, and spiritual texts, traditions, and rituals.
      • Discussion of needs and opportunities for religious, secular, and spiritual groups.
      • Sharing of various models of religious, secular, and spiritual integration with the campus community.

  • Campus Policy

    • Systemic and social justice approaches to including and discussing religious, secular, and spiritual identities on campus particularly in regards to current events.
    • Approaches to campus related issues regarding space, calendars, dietary restrictions, or other accommodations that are being created and implemented. 

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.

Submit Your
Proposal Online

Submit Proposal
Submission Timeline
  • October 4, 2016
    Call for Proposals Opens
  • January 20, 2017
    Call for Reviewers Closes
  • January 31, 2017
    Call for Proposals Closes
  • March 9, 2017
    Coordinating Presenters Notified
  • March 17, 2017
    Presenter Confirmation Deadline

Writing Tips

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


Thu, Jun 22

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Convergence Welcome & Opening Plenary
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
5:15 p.m.
Opening Reception

Fri, Jun 23

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Roundtables
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Morning Plenary
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Break/ Lunch On-Your-Own
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Featured Sessions
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
5:00 p.m.
Dinner On-Your-Own

Sat, Jun 24

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Roundtables
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Closing Plenary
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions


This professional development program is designed for higher education faculty across all disciplines, administrators, students, campus ministers, chaplains, religious professionals, interfaith educators, as well as university affiliates and partners that work in and want to work in religious, secular, and spiritual endeavors. 

Registration rates are based on your NASPA membership. If you are not a member, please visit the NASPA Membership page for more information.

Register Online

Registration Fees

Early Bird
09/01/2016 to 05/01/2017
Regular Registration
05/02/2017 to 06/14/2017
06/15/2017 to 06/20/2017
NASPA Member


Tonya Murphy
Membership Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202.265.7500 Ext. 1183

Stephanie Reynolds
Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and CLDE Initiatives
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202.719.1193


View Registration Policies


Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is May 1, 2017, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  No refunds will be given after the deadline for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing and sent to [email protected].

Group Registration Discount: NASPA offers a discount for members registering in groups of two or more individuals from a single institution. To apply for this discount send a request in writing to [email protected] prior to applying payment to registration orders. Please include all registrants’ full names, the institution name, and the title of the event. The membership department will follow up for any additional information required and provide a personalized discount code each member of your group can use when processing payment.

Purchase Orders: NASPA does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. For registrants requiring an invoice to have a check payment processed, please use the Bill Me payment method to complete your registration. The resulting invoice can be found and downloaded under the My NASPA section of the website (must be logged-in), by selecting the View Invoices link from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, email a request to Membership to have a PDF of your invoice sent to you. Bill Me registrations are considered complete and will hold your place in an event, however the balance due must be settled prior to attending.

Click here to view NASPA’s complete Payment Policies and Procedures.

Additional Questions? Please contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail to [email protected]


  • Amer Ahmed

    Amer Ahmed

    Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development
    University of Massachusetts

    Faculty Bio

  • Peter Laurence

    Peter Laurence

    Former Executive Director
    Education as Transformation Project at Wellesley College

    Faculty Bio

  • Rabbi Jessica Lott

    Rabbi Jessica Lott

    Director of Jewish Educational Networks
    Hillel International

    Faculty Bio

  • J. Cody Nielsen

    J. Cody Nielsen

    Executive Director
    Wesley Foundation at the University of Minnesota

    Faculty Bio

  • Sharon Parks

    Sharon Parks

    Senior Fellow
    Whidbey Institute

    Faculty Bio

  • Janett C. Ramos

    Janett C. Ramos

    Assistant Director for New Student and Transition Programs
    Northeastern Illinois University

    Faculty Bio

  • Larry Roper

    Larry Roper

    Interim Director, School of Language, Culture and Society Coordinator, College Student Services Administration Coordinator, Social Justice M
    Oregon State University

    Faculty Bio

  • Nick Stancato

    Nick Stancato

    Campus Organizing Manager
    Secular Student Alliance

    Faculty Bio

  • Ross Wantland

    Ross Wantland

    Diversity & Social Justice Education
    University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

    Faculty Bio

  • Jamie Washington

    Jamie Washington

    President and Founder
    Washington Consulting Group

    Faculty Bio


UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, Los Angeles, California

UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center
Los Angeles, CA

All conference activities will take place at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center.

The UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center has arranged special room rates for conference attendees starting at $229/night. Reservations must be made by Monday, May 22, 2017. Please make your reservations as soon as possible, as rooms tend to sell out for NASPA events. To book a room online, please click on the "Book Your Hotel Room Now" button below. To book a room by phone, please call 855-522-8252 and refer to the group code NASP0621.


Hotel Room Rate/Night
UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center
425 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095
$229 - Single/Double
  • Travel

    The closest airport to the conference location is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center is approximately 12 miles from the airport.

  • Transportation

    Taxis and Shuttles
    For more information about taxi and shuttle service, please visit the Ground Transportation page of the LAX website.

    Rental Cars
    For more information about rental cars, including available companies and contact information, please visit the Rental Cars page of the LAX website.

  • Weather

    Temperatures in Los Angeles in June are in the mid-70s F during the day and mid-50s F in the evening. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.

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