Article III: Membership



Section l. Eligibility

Persons eligible for membership shall include (1) college, university, or seminary teachers of Christian ethics or social ethics; (2) persons teaching in similar institutions in other fields who are concerned with the relation of Christian ethics to their subject matter; (3) persons whose professional work in church, government, social agency or elsewhere is related to the purposes of the Society; (4) those whose professional, ecclesial, or social activities stand to make a contribution to the academic field of Christian ethics, as determined by the SCE board through the application process. 

A prerequisite for membership is at least one of the following: a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, scholarly publications in the above-named fields, or a teaching position in ethics and/or related fields in an accredited institution of higher education. 

Doctoral students in ethics or related fields may become members of the Society upon matriculation into a doctoral program. This status ordinarily may be retained for not more than ten years.

Section 2. Election to Membership

Membership in the Society shall be granted by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Applications for membership shall be made in writing to the appropriate staff member, who shall present the same to the Board of Directors for its action.

Section 3. Conduct of Members in the Internal Scholarly and Organizational Activities of the Society

The Society will conduct all its business in a manner appropriate to its purposes (see Article II), and expects members to conduct themselves within the Society in a manner appropriate to the purposes of the Society. Achievement of those purposes -- the formation of a community of discourse, debate, and research which engages in scholarly work in and teaching of Christian ethics in relation to social, economic, political, and cultural problems -- requires members to respect both the basic human dignity of all persons and the recognized social and political rights of individuals which proceed from that dignity. Society members, agents, or employees acting within the Society will therefore refrain from any form of harassment or unjust discrimination, in deed or word, based in race, sex, gender identity, age, nationality, ethnicity, religious community, sexual orientation, or physical condition. Respect for the work and property of others will exclude plagiarism, copyright infringement, and unacknowledged use of the research of others.

Nothing in this Article shall be interpreted to prohibit members of the Society from articulating the positions of their respective belief systems, religious traditions or ecclesial communions, nor shall this Article be interpreted to prohibit open and vigorous discussion of controversial issues by members of the Society, both within its meetings and elsewhere.

Section 4. Life Membership

Life Membership without payment of dues was granted by the Board of Directors to those who had retired and who had been members in good standing of the Society for at least 25 years. This practice was discontinued in January 2020. Those previously granted Life Membership status will continue to enjoy the benefit.

Section 5. Maintenance of Membership

Membership in the Society shall be maintained by payment of the annual dues. Membership shall be terminated by resignation or by failure to pay annual dues. Reinstatement of membership will automatically accompany the payment of annual dues.

Section 6. Dues

The Board of Directors shall set membership dues, which shall run for the fiscal year, October 1 to September 30.

Section 7. Termination of Membership for Cause

Membership in the Society may be terminated, suspended, or restricted for cause by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Directors.  The Board shall provide the members in question with no less than fifteen (15) days’ prior written notice of the proposed expulsion, suspension, termination, or restriction and the reasons therefore.  The Board shall also provide an opportunity for the members to be heard by the Board, orally or in writing, not less than five (5) days before the effective date of the expulsion, suspension, termination, or restriction.  It shall be the responsibility of the President of the Society, working together with the other members of the Presidential Cabinet as defined in Article V, to formulate and implement further details of a procedure that is fair and reasonable given the circumstances of the case, including but not limited to its timing relative to the regularly scheduled meetings of the Board, and the geographic proximity of the member in question and the members of the Board.  Nothing in this provision shall be construed to limit the right of the Society to terminate, suspend, or restrict membership for non-payment of dues.

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