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Annual Conference - Overview

Theme of Conference: The global challenge of young people born, raised or recruited into extremist groups, abusive religious organizations, or coercive/exploitative relationships
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania




The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is conducting its 2018 Annual International Conference jointly with Info-Secte/Info-Cult of Montreal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 5 – 7, 2018 (preconference workshops on Wednesday July 4, 2018). The conference will address the needs and interests of ICSA’s four main constituencies: 
  • former group members
  • families
  • helping professionals
  • researchers. 
The conference will take place at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia. Hotel details. 

Though the conference has a theme focusing on those born or raised in cultic groups, the program will be varied, with numerous sessions pertinent to former members of cultic groups, families, helping professionals, researchers, and others. 

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We are proud to offer continuing education credit hours to mental health professionals. The Mental Health Preconference Workshop and selected sessions throughout the conference will offer CE hours. The sessions that offer CE hours are clearly marked in the agenda. 


International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6893. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. ICSA is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

Please check with your individual boards to be sure that CE's are accepted. 
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See links on the left column (links above if viewed through a phone) for details on agenda, abstracts, speakers, meals, directions, hotel, etc.

A special guided tour of Philadelphia new religious movement sites is planned for the afternoon of Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Review the email messages sent to attendees and speakers to make sure that you didn't miss important messages that may have been sent before you registered.

ICSA's annual conference is open to diverse opinions and perspectives. Individuals speaking at the conference - including plenary speakers - do not speak "for" ICSA and may hold widely divergent opinions. ICSA believes that the informational needs of attendees are best met by enabling them to hear from a large variety of views. See ICSA's article on dialogue.