Annual Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies Conference

Join the members of APASA at one of our annual conferences. APASA conferences are friendly events that provide an opportunity to share your work and get feedback, meet colleagues who have similar focuses, and discover potential collaborators.

The 2019 Annual Conference

"Theory and Practice in Amish-Focused Work"

Millersburg, Holmes County, OH: August 2, 2019

Hotel Millersburg / University of Akron-Millersburg


Registration for the conference is now closed. We do have a waitlist; if you wish to be added, fill out the enclosed form but do not send payment at this time.

Register for the APASA Conferene (waitlist)

Registration is for a full day, from 8:30am to the reception that night. Registration includes a full, formal supper. The conference hotel offers a complimentary full breakfast for overnight guests. For lunch, attendees can explore one of several local restaurants that operate within two blocks of the conference hotel; cost is separate.

Lodging is available at a reduced rate for this conference, but rooms have now been open to the public, so supply is limited. See details below.


The ongoing growth of the plain people—the Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, German Baptists, Apostolic Christians, and others—means that more and more people are encountering these subcultures in the public sphere. For this reason, those who specifically study or work with the plain people—including service providers, practitioners, and social researchers—must continue advancing our bodies of knowledge and best practices through critical evaluation of old paradigms and introduction of new concepts. The goal of this conference is to discuss advances in theory—the conceptual understanding of the plain people—and practice—the hands-on experiences of service providers and practitioners working with the plain people. We will also explore the connection between the two, how the lessons of one can be used by the other.


The conference planning committee extends a welcome to a potpourri of professors and scholars, service providers—including those in health care, education, social work, agricultural extension, law, planning, and others—and community members, including members of plain churches. Such an eclectic mix offers a unique opportunity to compare notes and learn from one another. Thought-provoking conversations, presentations, and panels, all within a collegial context, are characteristic of APASA conferences, and this year will be no exception.

While the window for formal presentations is now closed, we continue to welcome posters. Late oral presentations may be considered if space is available, but contact the program committee chairman (email below) prior to submitting a proposal.

The conference is located within the sizeable Holmes County Amish community. The greater Holmes County area provides many opportunities for research and leisure.


The conference will be a potpourri of researchers and service providers who offer a variety of angles in their work with the plain people. There’s sure to be lots of take-aways as we compare notes. Thought-provoking conversations, presentations, and panels, all within a collegial context, are characteristic of APASA conferences, and this year will be no exception.

Following the conference theme, our sessions will include a mix of practice-based and academic-based topics, with some sessions mixing the two. We will have two concurrents across five sessions, two plenary sessions, and a round-table discussion.

(A)=Academic-oriented session content
(P)=Practice-oriented session content

Plenary sessions

“Understanding the Amish and Plain Anabaptists – Point-of-View Matters” (A&P)

Dr. Luann Good Gingrich
Associate Professor of Social Work
York University
Author of Out of Place: Social Exclusion and Mennonite Migrants in Canada

“Theory Working for Practice, Practice Working for Theory“ (A&P)

Dr. Cory Anderson
Independent scholar of Rural Sociology
Editor of the Journal of Amish & Plain Anabaptist Studies

Sessions topics*

  1. Panel: Tourism (P)
  2. Research: Health (A&P)
  3. Research: Legal/Public Relations (A&P)
  4. Research: Religious Changes (A)
  5. Panel: Agriculture Extension (P)
  6. Panel: Amish: mMnorities? (A&P)
  7. Research: Amish & Agriculture (A)
  8. Workshop: Child Welfare (A&P)
  9. Research: Theory and Method (A)
  10. Panel: Legal Issues and Law Enforcement (P)
  11. Panel: General Service Providers (A)
  12. Panel: Amish & Tax Issues (A&P)


"What can I expect to get out of attending the APASA Conference?"

(1) Gain awareness of important trends in Amish population and occupation changes, which can inform the nature of your service work

(2) Meet others who work with the Amish and Mennonites in a variety of services (e.g., social work, agriculture, conservation, education, tourism, health, governance, and others) as well as scholars with new perspectives and data that can inform your outreach work.

(3) Learn about service-specific topics from a variety of presentations and panels, including

(4) Learn more about the Amish and plain Anabaptist faith and culture, in particular:

Continuing education credit hours

We welcome K-12 educators who are seeking continuing education credit and who work with the Amish, Mennonites, German Baptists, and/or Apostolic Christians. Our program will be geared toward general cultural competency in work with plain populations so will be useful in educators' work. However, check with your school district to ensure that this event qualifies for credit.


APASA has a reduced rate for lodging at the beautiful, historic Hotel Millersburg in downtown Millersburg. 35. W. Jackson St, Millersburg, OH 44654; 330-674-1457.

Hotel Millersburg is listed on the U.S. Department of Interior's National Register of Historic Places and is located in the Millersburg National Historic district.

APASA will hold its main sessions in the Hotel Millersburg. The rates are a real bargain but the hold on rooms (June 1) has past and rooms are available to the public now. While rooms are available, the reduced rate is still extended. Mention "Amish Conference" when calling to receive the discounted rates. You must call to receive these rates; rates will not be honored for internet reservations.

Thursday, August 1 (also good for for Wednesday, July 31):
1 full or queen bed: $79
1 king bed: $99
2 full or 2 queen beds: $99
2 deluxe queens: $109
Suite: $139

Friday, August 2:
1 full or queen bed: $99
1 king bed: $119
2 full or 2 queen beds: $119
2 deluxe queens: $139
Suite: $189

Don't delay in booking a reservation! Millersburg's second "Antiques in the Alley" event in downtown will be on Saturday, August 3. While this provides an extra activity for conference guests the day after the conference, this and other hotels are expecting the event will fill rooms to capacity.


Area airports include Akron-Canton (1 hour), Cleveland (1.5 hours), and Columbus (2 hours). Amtrak has stations in Alliance (1 hour) and Cleveland (1.5 hours). Greyhound services Wooster (25 minutes) and Shreve (15 minutes). For participants seeking transportation from these terminals, contact Cory Anderson (email above) for arrangements.


For questions about the APASA conference, contact the program committee chairman at or visit the Amish & Plain Anabaptist Studies Association’s website for more information:

*Program subject to updates; individual presentations will be posted when available.

HomeRead the Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist StudiesSubmit a Paper for Review
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Plain Anabaptist Population Trends and Patterns