open and relational theologies group...

In November of 2003, at the annual American Academy of Religion meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, a group of diverse scholars came together to form the Open and Relational Theologies Unit of the AAR. The Center for Process Studies is a proud participant in this endeavor. The ORT unit is a diverse group, made up theologians from a wide array of backgrounds and affiliations, evangelical and liberal, including both openness and process theologies. Despite the diversity of origin, these scholars are united in their conviction that God is personal, loving, and relational, creatures are free, and the future is undetermined. If you would like more information about the goings-on of the ORT group, please contact Thomas Oord.

YouTube YouTube Channel: Check out the Open Theology channel on YouTube, where you can watch presentations by the leading openness theologians. Visit it here.



The Open and Relational Theologies group, which meets during the American Academy of Religion (AAR) meetings, enjoyed two excellent sessions during its November, 2014 meeting.
In one session, six distinguished panelists read papers and offered appreciative comments about John B. Cobb, Jr. The session was titled, “John B. Cobb, Jr.: Work and Legacy,” at it was cosponsored with three other AAR groups.
The second Open and Relational Theologies session was also a rousing success. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publishing of the book, The Openness of God (IVP Academic, 1994), three of the original authors and three respondents offered reflections.

"John B. Cobb, Jr.: Work and Legacy"
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 9:00am-11:30am

Panelists for the session included Philip Clayton, Gary Dorrien, Catherine Keller, Michael Lodahl, Jay McDaniel, and Marit Trelstad. Cobb responded to the papers and fielded a few questions from the audience, which packed the large room.
This session was held not only to recognize Cobb’s influence in many arenas. But it also was held in anticipation of Cobb’s upcoming 90th birthday (Feb. 2015).


  • Liberal Theologies Group
  • Open and Relational Theologies Group
  • Religion and Ecology Group
  • Wesleyan Studies Group
  • AAR Program Description:

    John B. Cobb, Jr., has exerted extraordinary influence on how scholars think about a wide range of topics. In addition to being a foremost spokesman for process theology, Cobb's work on economics, liberal theology, postmodernism, ecology, Wesleyan theology, politics, metaphysics, feminism, religious pluralism, science and religion, and more is remarkable. Cobb has authored more than 50 books, co-established a major theological center for research, and is recognized around the world as an extraordinary scholar of transdisciplinary studies. His stamp on theology -- especially in America and China -- is indelible. As Cobb nears his 90th birthday (Feb. 2015), this quad-sponsored session honors his intellectual legacy. Panelists explore Cobb's contributions to many subjects, and Cobb will be present in the session to respond.


  • Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene Universityy
  • Presenting:

  • Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology
  • Catherine Keller, Drew University
  • Gary J. Dorrien, Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary
  • Michael Lodahl, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Marit Trelstad, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Jay McDaniel, Hendrix College
  • Responding:

  • John B. Cobb Jr.

  • "20th Anniversary of Book, The Openness of God"
    Sunday, November 23, 2014, 9:00am-11:30am

    When The Openness of God hit bookshelves twenty years ago, it created a stir, especially in Evangelical circles. Co-written by Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker, and David Basinger, the book offered a biblical challenge to the traditional understanding of God.
    The position advocated by the co-authors said God grants freedom to humans, is involved in genuine interaction with creation, takes risks, and does not know the future exhaustively.
    What has come to be called "open theism" was born with the publishing of that book. Since then, this theological approach has grown and expanded in ways the original authors never could have imagined.
    Coauthors David Basinger, Richard Rice, and John Sanders offered reflections on how the book originated, the impact it has made, and some changes in their own research since the book’s publication. Their reflections were the main focus of the session. Respondents TC Moore, Thomas Jay Oord, and Bethany Sollereder reflected on open theology's influence on the Church, Millennials, the academy, and various sciences. Several panelists reflected on the differences and similarities between open and process theologies.


  • Brenda Colijn, Ashland Theological Seminary
  • Richard Rice, Loma Linda University
  • John Sanders, Hendrix College 
  • David Basinger 
  • Responding:

  • Bethany Sollereder, University of Exeter
  • Terry C. Moore, New City Covenant Church 
  • Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University

  • Business Meeting:

  • Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University, Presiding 
  • Krista Hughes and Andrew Schwartz were elected to the Open and Relational Theologies steering committee. They join Monica Coleman, Tripp Fuller, Curtis Holtzen, Oord, and Trelstad in leadership roles.



    Jobb B. Cobb Jr. and Panelists for "John B. Cobb, Jr.: Work and Legacy"


    Jay McDaniel



    Cobb and attendee

    John B. Cobb Jr. and attendee

    Cobb at reception

    John B. Cobb Jr. at CPS reception

    CST students

    Claremont School of Theology students in conversation.


    Helene Russel in conversation with Gary Dorrien

    Jung and Lee

    Jung Mo Sung in converstation with CST student

    Keller and CST students

    Catherine Keller in Conversation


    Michael Lodahl


    Les Muray


    Thomas Oord

    Process People

    Panelist for "20th Anniversary of Book, The Openness of God"


    Andrew Schwartz in converstation with attendees

    Previous Meetings

  • 2013 Meeting
  • 2012 Meeting
  • 2011 Meeting
  • 2010 Meeting
  • 2009 Meeting
  • 2008 Meeting
  • 2007 Meeting
  • 2006 Meeting
  • 2005 Meeting
  • 2004 Meeting
  • 2003 Meeting