American Academy of Religion (AAR)


The American Academy of Religion's (AAR) mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and to enhance public understanding of religion. We are the largest scholarly society dedicated to the academic study of religion, with more than 5,000 members around the world. Our mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.


Amy Defibaugh, Director, Programs and Meetings


This internship will prepare interns for careers in any of the following: 

  • Academic Research and Administration
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Communication, Outreach, and Publishing
  • Non-profit
  • Marketing and Sales


This internship will provide experiences to develop and polish the following skills: 

  • Communication
  • Grant Writing and Funding Development 
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Knowledge of Sector and Networking
  • Marketing
  • Problem-solving and Analytical Thinking
  • Project Management
  • Self and Career Management
  • Thought Leadership and Innovation


This intern will work closely with our Programs and Publications team, shadowing them to gain knowledge and experience while also doing hands-on work around strategic vision, membership, programming, and publications. Feedback will be provided during one-on-one weekly or bi-weekly calls depending on availability. The intern would also have opportunities to broaden their networks with humanities scholars, across geographic regions and fields. They would not only be exposed to traditional scholarship within the academy but ways in which scholarships engages different kinds of communities. The Director of Programs and Publications is also trained in graduate student professional development and will be able to offer resources and guidance on career diversity, specifically for humanities grad students.


Goals will include helping the intern:

  • Develop strategic organizational sensibilities 
  • Develop networks 
  • Develop nuanced questions 
  • Understand the relationship between mission, values, and goals and implementation processes, specifically in nonprofit setting 
  • Set appropriate professional development goals 
  • Think critically about career path 
  • Project management and event planning 
  • Publishing landscape: academic (relationship with OUP) and news writing 
  • Relationship/partnership building


The intern will participate in the strategic thinking and building of AAR annual meetings, while helping with plans and strategy for year-round programming. They will also help to rethink some of our publications. Through this work, an intern will have the opportunity to connect with peer scholars, gain experience in academic and popular publishing, and develop an understanding of nonprofit and membership policy, programming and benefits. The internship will include administrative work, research, and communications. The intern will enhance their understanding of the guild and its work in supporting scholars of religion.


  • Desire to learn
  • Ability to engage in self-reflection
  • Detail-oriented
  • Well-organized
  • Engaged and asks tough questions
  • Demonstrated ability to follow-through
  • Familiarity with the world of religious studies
  • Some editing experience would be beneficial




Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025


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