Westar Associates are a vibrant community with an interest in the scholarship of religion and a willingness to engage in civil discourse about important religious issues, past and present.

Membership is open to anyone—there are no academic or creedal requirements for Associate membership. Westar is not affiliated with any religious institution and does not advocate a particular theological point of view. Westar Associates come from a wide range of professions and religious backgrounds. Read more about Westar members from a recent survey.

Westar Associates can stay abreast of the latest scholarship about religion and interact with the scholars themselves as participants in workshops and lectures, observers of collaborative research projects, and through the pages of The Fourth R magazine.

Benefits of Membership

If you’re like many Westar members, you want to understand religion – its history, its role in the world today, and its role in your life and your community. That’s why Westar provides resources specifically for members. We want to help you find whatever information about religion is important to you.

The Fourth R magazine

Printed six times per year, Westar’s bimonthly magazine features the latest thinking from religion scholars and writers—in clear language for a general, non-specialist audience.

Meetings and Programs

Online and in-person program let you participate in workshops, be present for scholars’ deliberations, and weigh in on the issues by voting at select meetings.


Meet like-minded seekers to share questions, discuss ideas, and understand issues with Fellows and Associates at regional, national, and online meetings.


Get a 20% discount on Polebridge Press books and other media, and discounted registration rates for twice-yearly national meetings

When I was introduced to Westar, I found a place where no question was off the table.
When I first discovered Westar, I was so hungry for this scholarship and information, I got up at 4am to drive six hours and sit in on the early discussions of the Jesus Seminar about the historical Jesus. … I was so curious to hear answers to questions, and it was such a delightful time!
As I met people who were connected to Westar … I kept thinking, maybe I want to be part of this group, I need a community of scholars who I can bounce ideas off of. I realized I wanted to reach both scholars and a public audience with my work.