International Association for Near-Death Studies

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International Association for Near-Death Studies
AbbreviationIANDS Edit this on Wikidata
Established1981 Edit this on Wikidata (43 years ago)
Legal status501(c)(3) organization Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersDurham Edit this on Wikidata Edit this on Wikidata

The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is a nonprofit organization based in Durham, North Carolina in the United States, associated with near-death studies.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The Association was founded in the US in 1981, in order to study and provide information on the phenomena of the near death experience (NDE). Today it has grown into an international organization, which includes a network of more than 50 local interest groups,[1] and approximately 1,200 members worldwide.[7] Local chapters, and support groups, are established in major U.S cities.[2][5][8][9][10][11][12] IANDS also supports and assists near-death experiencers (NDErs) and people close to them. In one of its publications the organization has formulated its vision as one of building "global understanding of near-death and near-death-like experiences through research, education, and support".[1]


The organization was originally known as the Association for the Scientific Study of Near-Death Phenomena. This group was founded by researchers John Audette, Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring and Michael Sabom in 1978.[13][14][15] The first president of this association was John Audette, who later served as executive director.[13][14][16] In 1981 the organization changed its name to the International Association for Near-Death Studies (also known as IANDS).[13] A headquarter was established in Connecticut, and was affiliated with the University of Connecticut, Storrs.[16][17][18] Offices were administered by Nancy Evans Bush,[19] who later served as executive director,[17] and president.[20]

Past presidents of IANDS also include researchers Kenneth Ring and Bruce Greyson, who served as Presidents in the early 1980s. The presidencies of Ring and Greyson (1981–83) marked the beginning of professional research on the topic of NDE's, leading up to the establishment of the Journal of Near-Death Studies in 1982.[3][13][16] Greyson later served as director of research at IANDS.[21] During the presidency of John Alexander, in 1984, the organization held its first research conference in Farmington (CT).[13]

Elizabeth Fenske took over the presidency from John Alexander in 1986, and was involved in the relocation of the main office to Philadelphia in the late 1980s.[13][22] The end of the decade also marked a period of outreach for IANDS. Local branches were established in major U.S cities, and the first national IANDS conference was held at Rosemont College (PA) in 1989.[12][13][22] By the early nineties Nancy Evans Bush had taken over as president of the association.[23] In the period from 1992 to 2008 IANDS-offices were administered by external service providers.[13]

In 2008, during the presidency of Diane Corcoran, the organization established its current headquarter in Durham, North Carolina. Later activity includes development of the IANDS website, and continued maintenance of support groups and members.[4][5][7][13][24]

Publications and archives[edit]

IANDS is responsible for the publishing of the Journal of Near-Death Studies,[8][25][26][27][2][4][15][28] originally known as "Anabiosis".[3] The only scholarly journal in the field of Near-Death Studies. It is peer-reviewed, and is published quarterly.[9][13]

Another publication is the quarterly newsletter Vital Signs, first published in 1981.[1][8][21][26] The organization also maintains an archive of near-death case histories for research and study.[29]


IANDS arranges conferences on the topic of Near-death Experiences.[13][15][30][28] The conferences are held in major U.S cities, almost annually. The first meeting was a medical seminar at Yale University, New Haven (CT) in 1982. This was followed by the first clinical conference in Pembroke Pines (FL), and the first research conference in Farmington (CT) in 1984.[13] Each conference is usually defined by the formulation of a conference theme. In 2004 the conference theme was "Creativity from the light".[31]

The organization also collaborates with academic locations in regard to hosting conferences. In 2001 the IANDS conference was held at Seattle Pacific University.[10] In 2006 IANDS collaborated with University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which became the first medical institution to host the annual IANDS conference.[32] The papers from the conference were later compiled and published in The handbook of near-death experiences: thirty years of investigation[33]

In 2013 the conference was held in Arlington, Virginia, and the theme was "Loss, Grief, and the Discovery of Hope: Stories and Studies from Near-Death Experiences."[34] The 2014 conference was held in Newport Beach (Calif.) and gathered the attention from the newspaper The Epoch Times, which produced several reports from the meeting.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d IANDS. "Near-Death Experiences: Is this what happens when we die?" Durham: International Association for Near-Death Studies. Informational brochure REV 4/11. Available at
  2. ^ a b c Graves, Lee. "Altered States. Scientists analyze the near-death experience". The University of Virginia Magazine, Summer 2007 Feature
  3. ^ a b c Griffith, Linda J. Near-Death Experiences and Psychotherapy. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2009 October; 6(10): 35–42.
  4. ^ a b c Beck, Melinda. "Seeking Proof in Near-Death Claims". The Wall Street Journal (Health Journal), October 25, 2010
  5. ^ a b c MacDonald, G. Jeffrey. "Scientists probe brief brushes with the afterlife". The Christian Century, Jan 12, 2011
  6. ^ Lam, Stephanie. "Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research — Part 1". The Epoch Times, published online September 13, 2011
  7. ^ a b c Upchurch, Keith. "Near-death researcher believes the mind survives death". The Herald Sun, published online 01.24.12
  8. ^ a b c Anderson, Jon. "Almost Blinded By The Light Near-death Experiences Share Common Thread". Chicago Tribune, September 29, 1999
  9. ^ a b Anderson, Jon. "Shedding light on life at death's door". Chicago Tribune, published online May 13, 2004
  10. ^ a b Forgrave, Reid. "A glimpse of the 'other side': Seattle conference unites near-death individuals". The Seattle Times, published online Friday, July 27, 2001
  11. ^ Morgan, Kim. "Members of Near Death group hear, share experiences at Center Point." The Houston Chronicle, published online March 13, 2008
  12. ^ a b Brody, Jane E. "Health; Personal Health". New York Times, November 17, 1988.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "IANDS Fact Sheet, as of December 2010. Accessed 2012-02-09.
  14. ^ a b Ring, Kenneth. Religious Wars in the NDE Movement: Some Personal Reflections on Michael Sabom's Light & Death. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 18(4) Summer 2000
  15. ^ a b c Greyson, Bruce. "An Overview of Near-Death Experiences". Missouri Medicine, November/December 2013
  16. ^ a b c New York Times Staff. "Connecticut Guide. Near-death Symposium". New York Times, April 25, 1982
  17. ^ a b Ziegler, Jan. "Near-death Experiences Deemed Worthy Of Serious Research". The Chicago Tribune, October 06, 1985
  18. ^ New York Times Staff. "Near-Death Experiences Illuminate Dying Itself". New York Times, October 28, 1986
  19. ^ Bush, Nancy Evans. Is Ten Years a Life Review? Journal of Near-Death Studies, 10(1) Fall 1991
  20. ^ Hagan, John. Near-Death Experiences. I Hope You Are Comfortable With Them By Now! Missouri Medicine, March/April 2015, 112:2
  21. ^ a b Genova, Amy Sunshine. "Experiencing Near-death Promotes Better Life". The Sun Sentinel, August 29, 1988
  22. ^ a b Detjen, Jim. "Near-death Experiences Deemed Worthy Of Study". The Chicago Tribune, January 08, 1989
  23. ^ Underwood, N. Between life and death. (cover story). Maclean's. 4/20/92, Vol. 105 Issue 16, p34.
  24. ^ Upchurch, Keith. "Retired colonel has dealt with near-death experiences since Vietnam War". The Herald Sun, published online 01.24.12
  25. ^ IANDS Journal of Near-Death Studies. Accessed 2011-02-06.
  26. ^ a b Anderson, Jon. "Doctor delves into mysteries". The Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2002
  27. ^ Williams, Daniel. "At the Hour Of Our Death". TIME Magazine. Friday, Aug. 31, 2007
  28. ^ a b Lichfield, Gideon. "The Science of Near-Death Experiences. Empirically investigating brushes with the afterlife". The Atlantic, April 2015
  29. ^ IANDS: NDE Archives. Accessed 2011-02-06.
  30. ^ Sofka, Carla J. "News and Notes". Death Studies, 34: 671–672, 2010
  31. ^ Gordon, Scott. "Evanston's brush with death." The Daily Northwestern, published online June 30, 2004
  32. ^ Hopper, Leigh. "Conference to shed light on 'near-death' experiences." The Houston Chronicle, published online October 25, 2006
  33. ^ Corazza, Ornella. Book review: The handbook of near-death experiences: thirty years of investigation. Mortality, 13576275, May2010, Vol. 15, Issue 2
  34. ^ Kinsella, Michael. Near-Death Experiences and Networked Spirituality: The Emergence of an Afterlife Movement. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, March 2017, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 168–198 doi:10.1093/jaarel/lfw037
  35. ^ MacIsaac, Tara. "11 Powerful, Thought-Provoking Quotes From a Near-Death Experiences Conference". The Epoch Times, September 12, 2014

Further reading[edit]

  • Holden JM, Greyson B, James D, editors. (2009) The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO

External links[edit]