About the Journal

Aim and Scope

The Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies is a multidisciplinary, international, peer reviewed journal that focuses on the plain branches of the seven major Anabaptist religious traditions: Amish, Apostolic Christian / Nazarene (Froelich), Brethren / German Baptist, Bruderhof, Hutterite, Swiss Mennonite, and Russian Mennonite. JAPAS welcomes a variety of approaches to knowledge-making, including the empirical, the theoretical, the humanities, and the applied. JAPAS strives to:

  1. Serve as a hub for knowledge creation in Amish and plain Anabaptist studies through the publishing of fresh, insightful, and thought-provoking research.
  2. Encourage systematic inquiry into focused research questions.
  3. Provide a focal point for plain Anabaptist studies research.
  4. Support strong literature reviews that weigh the contributions of relevant past research.

Peer Review Process

JAPAS uses a double blind review process for all original research articles and research notes; a minimum of two reviewers are assigned. Our reviewer pool includes the editorial board, Association members, and non-members. Shorter submissions and book reviews are peer reviewed by our administration. The title pages of publications indicate that the piece has been peer reviewed.


Our experienced multidisciplinary staff come from eight U.S. states and five European countries, and is inclusive of five plain Anabaptist adherents.

Publishers: The Amish & Plain Anabaptist Studies Association and the University of Akron IdeaExchange

Editor in chief    
Cory Anderson Rural sociology &
The Pennsylvania State University
Assistant editor    
Steven Reschly History Truman State University
Copy editor    
Rosanna Hess Health Independent scholar / Malone University
Editorial board    
Andrea Borella Anthropology Independent scholar / University of Turin
Elizabeth Cooksey Sociology and demography The Ohio State University
John Cross Geography University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Jeanette Harder Social work University of Nebraska
Berit Jany German University of Colorado-Boulder
Katherine Jellison History and gender studies Ohio University
Natalie Jolly Sociology University of Washington
Jeffrey Longhofer Social work Rutgers University
Martin Lutz Economic history Humboldt University of Berlin
Christopher Petrovich Theology Independent scholar
Dan Raber History Ohio Amish Library
Carel Roessingh Anthropology VU University-Amsterdam
Michael Sauder Health Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Byran Smucker Statistics Miami University (Ohio)
Vlatka Skender Anthropology Independent scholar

Board members serve four year terms on rotation.


Indexing: ATLA Religion Database, Google Scholar, BASE search, University of Akron IdeaExchange; Crossref, Ohio State University Libraries (Vols. 1-6)

The Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies (Online) ISSN 2471-6383

The Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies (Print) ISSN 2471-6391


This is the first journal in Anabaptist studies to focus exclusively on the plain branches. JAPAS places particular emphasis on the Amish, among other plain Anabaptists, due to their comparative size and sustained research focus over the years but encourages research on all traditions.

Outside monographs, plain Anabaptist publications have long been scattered across many venues, namely obscure journals across any number of disciplines. Consequently, plain Anabaptist-focused research has lacked coherence. Responding to the need for a focal point, in May 2013, the first issue of JAPAS was launched through Ohio State University's Knowledge Bank. During its first years, Cory Anderson was editor, Joseph Donnermeyer was co-editor then assistant editor, and Elizabeth Cooksey, Mark Louden, Denise Reiling, Steven Reschly, and John Roth were editorial board members.

In 2019, JAPAS took advantage of a broadened support base. With the Amish & Plain Anabaptist Studies Association now formed and able to provide formal sponsorship, JAPAS became a publication of APASA in collaboration with the University of Akron (the host institution of the editor), continuing to publish under the same ISSN numbers. The editorial board also expanded in 2019 to better represent JAPAS's wider geographic and academic base.

About the JAPAS Editors

Editor Cory Anderson is an NIH-NICHD postdoctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University's Population Research Institute and a founder of JAPAS. He is interested in the variety of plain Anabaptist traditions and denominations, with specific focuses on theory, population, social structure and culture, and Amish studies as a research area. As a religious convert to the plain people, his perspectives are informed by sustained, daily interaction and experience as both an insider and outsider. He has published about the plain people in a variety of outlets including Rural Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Review of Religious Research.

Assistant Editor Steven Reschly is a professor of history at Truman State University.

Copy Editor Rosanna Hess was a nursing instructor with a focus on research for many years, on faculty at Malone University. She takes a holistic, qualitative approach to understanding health practices among the Amish with a particular interest in burn care. She has published her findings in the Journal of Transcultural NursingJournal of Holistic Nursing, and JAPAS.

Andrea Borella is an independent scholar who received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Turin, Italy, where he currently works as administrative staff. He is the author of Gli Amish. In his native Italy and abroad, he has spoken on and written many articles about the Amish.

Elizabeth Cooksey is a professor of sociology and director of the CHRR at The Ohio State University. As a demographer, she is particularly interested in Amish demographic structure and change, and the influence that Amish population growth has on patterns of migration, the development of new Amish settlements, their effects on Amish life and the English communities they interact with. For the past 15 years, she has been working to create a large database of Amish communities.

John Cross is a professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He has published extensively on Amish occupational change, agricultural practices, and ethnic landscapes in Wisconsin.

Jeanette Harder is a social work faculty member at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Through her affiliation with Dove’s Nest, she provides cultural awareness trainings for professionals in social services, law enforcement, and healthcare, especially in the broad area of child welfare.  She is currently conducting research on Plain communities’ experiences with adoption and foster care in hopes of moving social services to evidence-informed practice in this area.  She is also working to bring liaisons to social service and healthcare settings in New York to improve services to Plain community families.    

Berit Jany is senior instructor and coordinator of the undergraduate German language program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests include early Anabaptism in (German) literature and German-Americana studies with a focus on historical and contemporary religious groups of German speakers in North America. Having a multi-linguistic, -cultural, and -denominational background, she brings a strongly rooted interdisciplinary perspective to her work.

Katherine Jellison is professor of history and history department chairperson at Ohio University. She is co-chairperson of the Rural Women’s Studies Association and past president of the Agricultural History Society. Her research centers on gender issues in American consumer culture, and her publications include Entitled to Power: Farm Women and Technology, 1913-1963 (1993), It’s Our Day: America’s Love Affair with the White Wedding, 1945-2005 (2008), and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is currently working with Steven D. Reschly on a study of Old Order Amish women’s production and consumption activities during the Great Depression. 

Natalie Jolly is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington Tacoma.  After spending several years apprenticing with a midwife in central Pennsylvania, she has an ongoing interest in Amish homebirth, midwifery, and women's health more generally. Natalie is interested in Amish women's social position and in gender norms; both of which can help us understand how women (and men) live in plain society.

Jeffrey Longhofer is a Professor in the Rutgers University School of Social Work and has published several social work volumes with Oxford, Palgrave MacMillan, and Routledge. He has started important debates in plain Anabaptist research regarding agricultural sustainability, the link between genetics and mental illness, and structural systems of the Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish.

Martin Lutz joined Humboldt University's Department of History in October 2012, where he is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer of social and economic history. His research interests include the influence of religion in modern economic history, the history of globalization, business history and neo-institutional theory. Martin's current research looks at religion and ethnicity's influence on economic activity. In analyzing the history of Mennonite, Amish, and Hutterite communities, he tackles the question of how these Anabaptist groups adjusted to the modern market economy in the United States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Christopher Petrovich is an independent scholar who is a long-term convert to the Amish/Amish-Mennonite tradition. His primary interests include history of Christianity, systematic theology, and social change. As an “insider” now living abroad, his research benefits from living at the rough edge between sermonic discourses on mission work and the limitations of planting a new community on foreign soil.

Dan Raber serves on the board of the Ohio Amish Library and is a member of the Old Order Amish.

Carel Roessingh studied cultural anthropology and received his Ph.D. at the University of Utrecht. His Ph.D. research was on the Belizean Garifuna and ethnicity. In 2002, he started a research project with some of his students on the organizational activities of the Mennonites in Belize. One of the main issues is the question of how the different Mennonite communities navigate between their religious principles and their business activities with people or organizations in the Belizean Society. He worked as an Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Organization Sciences. Nowadays he is retired, but still works freelance at the department of Organization Sciences, supervising students while they are doing their research and writing their Masters Thesis.

Byran Smucker is an associate professor of Statistics at Miami University. As a statistician, his primary research interests are in the design and analysis of experiments as well as applied predictive modeling. He has also been involved in a wide variety of statistical consulting projects. Dr. Smucker was born into a conservative Anabaptist family and continues to embrace this tradition. Additionally, he has served as a non-resident adjunct professor at Sattler College.

Michael Sauder works as a hospital medicine doctor with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, and holds an adjunct appointment at Temple University. He earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University and also in philosophy of medicine from King’s College, London.  He is a member of the Old Order River Brethren and is a monthly columnist for the widely read Amish periodical Family Life.

Vlatka Skender received her M.A. in Philosophy and Comparative Religious Studies from the University of Zagreb and her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Münster. Her research interests include social-anthropological theory, qualitative research methods, and anthropology of religion. In Amish studies, she focuses on cosmology, social structure, and social reproduction of the Amish system of thought.

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