Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
I. Name: Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
II. Purpose: To foster study and scholarly exchange in the field of Christian spirituality.
III. Membership: The Society welcomes to membership all persons who express their interest in the Society’s work and support the Society by subscribing to the Society’s journal, Spiritus.
IV. Board of Directors
A. Composition: The Board of Directors Board normally consists of four officers, six at-large Directors, and four ex officio members.
1. The officers include the Vice President/President-Elect, elected by the membership to a one-year term followed by a one-year term as President and a one-year term as Past President; the President; the Past President; and the Secretary-Treasurer, elected by the membership to a three-year term renewable indefinitely.
2. The six At-Large Directors are elected by the membership to serve staggered three-year terms.
3. The ex officio members include the Editor of the journal Spiritus, appointed by the Board to a five-year term renewable indefinitely; the two Co-chairs of the AAR Christian Spirituality Group, appointed by the Board to staggered three-year terms, renewable once; and the Liaison Member, elected by the membership to a nonrenewable five-year term on the Board of Directors. The Liaison Member serves a concurrent term on the Editorial Board of Spiritus.
B. Duties: To plan for meetings of the Society, propose to the membership ways to foster the study of spirituality, carry out directives of the membership, participate in activities of the Society as requested by the officers of the Society, oversee the financial affairs of the Society, and assume the responsibilities of the Board of Directors for the SSCS corporation. Only current members of the Society may serve on the Board of Directors.
C. Executive Committee of the Board of Directors: The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President/President-Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer, with the President acting as chair. The Executive Committee shall have the responsibilities listed in the By-Laws of the Society, consisting primarily of overseeing the day-to-day business and affairs of the Society.
V. Elections: Elections follow the guidelines delineated in the Policies and Procedures Manual. For all elections, the Nominations Committee moves the election of the candidates at the Annual Members Meeting, and the members present constitute a quorum to ratify (or reject) the election.
A. Election of the Vice President/President-Elect: The Vice President/President-Elect shall be nominated by the Board of Directors from among its present or past elected or ex officio members. The Board will make every effort to honor demographic diversity in nominating candidates. The Chair of the Nominations Committee ascertains the willingness of the person to serve as Vice-President/President-Elect, as President the following year, and as Past President in the third year.
B. Election of the Secretary/Treasurer and At-Large Members of the Board of Directors: The Nominations Committee using nominations from the membership and the input of the Board of Directors, formulates a slate of candidates for these positions and ascertains before the Annual Meeting that the nominees are willing to serve for a three-year term.
C. Selection of Ex Officio Directors
1. Editor of Spiritus: The Editor shall be selected when necessary by the Board of Directors, in consultation with the Nominations Committee and the Editorial Board of Spiritus.
2. Liaison Member: The Nominations Committee, using nominations from the membership, formulates a slate of candidates for this position. The Liaison Member is then selected with input from the Board of Directors and the Editor.
3. Co-chairs of the AAR Christian Spirituality Group: These two persons shall be selected when necessary by the Board of Directors, in consultation with the Nominations Committee, following the rotation established by the AAR guidelines, which specify that no one may serve more than two consecutive three-year terms in this position. These persons shall be recommended to the Society at the Annual meeting to be nominated to the AAR.
VI. Resignation, Removal and Replacement of Directors: Directors, including officers, may resign at any time by written notice delivered to the Board of Directors. Directors, including officers, may be removed with cause by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors at a meeting of the Board.
A. Officers: If a Past President resigns or is removed, the position will remain vacant. If a President resigns or is removed, the Vice President will replace the President, serving the remainder of that term. If six months or less remain in the term, the Vice President will serve a full term subsequent to completing the term of the predecessor. If more than six months remain in the term, a new President will be nominated and elected at the next Annual Members Meeting. If the Vice President resigns or is removed, the Board will appoint an at-large director in the third year of service to serve the remainder of the Vice President’s term. The appointed replacement shall not serve as President unless elected in accordance with section 5.9(a) of the By-Laws. If the Secretary/Treasurer resigns or is removed, the Board will appoint a replacement to serve until the next Annual Members Meeting, at which time a new Secretary/Treasurer will be elected in accordance with section 5.6(b) of the By-Laws. The interim Secretary/Treasurer may stand for election for a full term.
B. At-Large Directors: If an at-large director is elected an officer, resigns, or is removed, a replacement at-large director will be elected to serve the remainder of the director’s term, following the normal process, at the next Annual Members Meeting. Depending on the length of time remaining in the term, the Board will decide whether the director may then stand for election to a full term.
C. Ex officio Directors: If the Editor resigns or is removed, the Board, in consultation with the Editorial Board, will appoint an interim Editor. As soon as possible, a new Editor will be elected by the membership. The Board and Editor will decide whether the interim Editor may stand for election for a full term. If the Liaison Member resigns or is removed, the Board, in consultation with the Editor, will decide whether an interim Liaison Member should be appointed or whether a new Liaison Member should be elected at the next Members Meeting. If an interim Liaison Member is to be appointed, the Nominations Committee will propose names to the Board of Directors, who will consult with the Editor in choosing an appointee. The Board and Editor will also decide whether the interim Liaison Member may stand for election for a full term. If a Co-chair of the Christian Spirituality Group resigns or is removed, the Nominations Committee will provide a list of names to the Board, which will choose a new Co-chair to complete the term and to stand for election at the next Members Meeting. The Board will then nominate this person, following AAR regulations, to begin a full term as Co-chair.
VII. Nomination of Previous Directors: After serving a term on the Board of Directors, whether as an elected or ex officio member, a member may be nominated to the Board again after a hiatus of three years. By exception, this statement does not apply to the positions of Vice President/President-Elect, who may be elected to that position while serving, or within three years of serving, as an at-large or ex officio Director; and the Liaison Member, who may be elected to that position while serving, or within three years of serving, on the Board in any capacity except as Editor or Liaison Member.
VIII. Nominations Committee: The Nominations Committee shall be composed of three members: two members elected at large, and one ex officio member from the Board, namely the current Vice-President/President-Elect. The elected members serve staggered three-year terms. The role of the elected members of the Nominations Committee is to assure that the preferences of the membership, expressed through the mail-in suggestions of names, is honored. The role of the ex officio member is to represent the needs of the Board, in particular by working with the new members to choose candidates in a way that honors demographic diversity and attends to specific qualifications needed on the current Board.
IX. Dues: The dues will be proposed by the Secretary/Treasurer and submitted by the President for approval by majority vote of the membership attending the Annual Members Meeting. The fiscal year of the Society shall commence on June 1 and end on May 31.
X. Constitutional Amendments: The Constitution of the Society may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members voting at an Annual Members Meeting, or by 2/3 of the votes cast by the membership voting by mail.
This Constitution was originally voted on and adopted at the October 2001 Business Meeting. It was amended at the annual meetings of November 23, 2002; November 22, 2003; and November 18, 2006. It was amended specifically in light of the new by-laws of the corporation on November 20, 2011 and November 2012. At the request of the Executive Committee, Secretary/Treasurer Anita Houck thoroughly revised the Constitution and Policies and Procedures Manual in 2013, in order to rectify inconsistencies among documents, fully reflect the By-Laws, and incorporate the change in the Board of Directors to include the new position of Liaison Member. Changes recommended by the Executive Committee were then presented to the membership during the 2013 Members’ Meeting, during which seven changes were approved:
#1. Adding the Liaison Member position to the Board
#2. Allowing non-members to be nominated to (not elected to) the SSCS Board
#3. Broadening language on diversity, specifically in discerning candidates for election
#4. Establishing processes for replacing ex officio Directors (the Editor, Liaison Member, and Co-Chairs of the AAR Christian Spirituality Group) who resign or are removed from office
#5. Removing the requirement that nominees to the Nominations Committee be regular attendees at the annual members’ meeting at the AAR
#6. Adding a paragraph explaining the history of the document
#7. Overall editing to improve organization and wording
The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS) exists to promote research and dialogue within the community of persons interested in the field of spirituality. The SSCS is ecumenical and strives to be inclusive of the widest possible range of expressions of Christian spirituality. Its work is interdisciplinary, encouraging the application of diverse critical approaches to the study of spirituality.
Document reviewed and confirmed 15 June 2016 (Anita Houck)
Voted on at October 2001 Meeting
Amended at the Annual Meetings of:
November 23, 2002
November 22, 2003
November 18, 2006