A culture of collaboration, collegiality, and public outreach sets Westar apart from other academic societies.


Opportunity to collaborate with community of scholars on large-scale projects addressing specific questions and sharing the resulting scholarship with the general public.


Opportunity for public outreach

  • Interact and engage with Associate members at twice-yearly meetings and in online formats.
  • Share scholarship with non-specialists through various social media outlets, the Westar blog and The Fourth R
  • Present scholarship to the general public at regional Jesus Seminars on the Road and also in online formats.

Additional benefits include:


  • The Fourth R: Westar’s popular bimonthly magazine for members
  • Forum: The academic journal publishing the scholarship emerging from Westar Seminars
  • Seminar papers: Prepared by scholars and distributed before each national meeting, they form the basis for deliberations at Westar Seminars


The distinctive culture of Westar seminars depends upon Fellows taking active part in the conversation. Westar Fellows are expected to attend Westar meetings, participate in the discussion, and present contributions, as appropriate, to Westar’s scholarly projects.

More about Westar’s unique culture

See a list of Fellows

“Many of us [Fellows] see the value of Westar scholarship, with its collaborative culture, as an on-going post-doctoral seminar. The opportunity to participate in significant research projects in this collegial way has been a very rewarding part of our professional experience.”

“Because of my heavy teaching load, I was drawn to the collaborative nature of Westar. As a participant in the Jesus Seminar and the Acts Seminar, I have been able to contribute to projects that I could not have hoped to complete on my own. To work with so many fellow scholars has been very rewarding, and the Associates have helped me see that work such as our matters.”

“The seminars of Westar are unique. Nowhere do scholars in our discipline gather for regular, sustained, focused discussion of critical historical questions related to the origins of Christianity.”

“One of the most supportive institutions in my life and ministry was the [Westar Institute’s] Jesus Seminar. It forced contemporary biblical scholarship into the public awareness and enabled me to become an effective teacher to those I served.”