What is the CTRF?

CTRF is the Christian Theological Research Fellowship, a scholarly, Christian organization promoting systematic and moral theology, along with related disciplines. The members, women and men who belong to various Christian denominations, meet during the American Academy of Religion or Society of Biblical Literature annual conventions each fall. We gather for the following purposes:

The CTRF was first formed in 1992 at the San Francisco AAR/SBL meeting. About 50 people crowded into a small room to express the desire for normative, constructive theology during the national convention. Membership is now approaching 500 people. What is distinctive about this organization? The CTRF is an ecumenical, international organization devoted to the scholarly advancement and study of Christian doctrine and ethics in America. Various regions sponsor American Theological Society meetings (Princeton and Chicago) and Pacific Theological Society meetings (Berkeley). Catholics, Orthodox, Wesleyans, and Evangelicals have their own unique theological groups, which are open to others (especially the Catholic societies). But we bring into dialogue and fellowship various traditions within the Church catholic. We hope to represent a gathering of theologians that is genuinely Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical (Protestant).

The CTRF currently sponsors the oldest completely online academic journal of Christian theology on the Web: the Journal for Christian Theological Research.  We also sponsor three books series: Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology for a Postmodern Age and Guides to Theology, both with Eerdmans; and the Distinguished Dissertations in Christian Theology with Pickwick Press.  For more information on these publications see our web page: www.ctrf.info.

The focus of the group, set forth in our mission statement, lies in the development and advancement of the Apostolic tradition (the mainstream or consensus of Christian doctrinal history), not simply in its description or criticism. Each year we sponsor sessions with a unified theme at both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature national meetings. Our sessions are listed in the "Additional Meetings" section of the AAR Program Book, and as the Christian Theology Group in the SBL program book. Membership is currently free, thanks to the generous support of Luther Seminary.