BLACK CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL SYMPOSIUM (BCTS)
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I: Name and Mission
Section 1: The name of the organization shall be: The Black Catholic Theological Symposium (abbreviated BCTS).
Section 2: The mission for which the BCTS is established is:
To foster among Black Catholics an ethical community of scholarly dialogue characterized by:
a) A commitment to the fundamental humanity of all persons;
b) Regard for the plurality of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and religious experience among Black peoples;
c) The development of a theology that is authentically Black and truly Catholic.
Examples of the activities that will aid in the development and fostering of said ethical community include:
ARTICLE II: Membership
Section 1: The BCTS shall be composed of Black Catholics holding or working toward the completion of a doctoral degree or its equivalents at accredited institutions of higher learning and engaged in active teaching, ministry, and whose teaching, ministry, and/or research is consistent with the mission of the organization. Membership in the BCTS includes: the Annual Journal; access to the Membership List serve; updates on job openings; network of persons focused on the concerns of Black Catholic academia and the wider Church.
Section 2: New members shall be invited by the Executive committee to participate in one of three levels:
Full Membership is restricted to Black Catholics who hold completed doctoral degrees or their equivalents. Full members are eligible to serve in any of the offices.
Associate Membership is restricted to Black Catholic doctoral students and those who possess scholarly expertise in the areas of theology or related disciplines. Associate members are excluded from the offices of convener, associate convener, and treasurer, but can serve in the office of secretary.
Affiliate Membership in the Symposium is by invitation only. Prospective members shall be nominated from among (a) those persons whose scholarly expertise or research is concerned with history, thought, and religious practices of Black Catholics or African American religion and culture; and (b) those persons whose employment or ecclesiastical appointments concern Black Catholics. Affiliate members who are not Black Catholics have voice in Symposium meetings but no vote, and are not eligible to serve in any of the offices.
Section 3: As a professional society, members must be actively engaged in the publication of their research, projects, or creative expressions according to their particular disciplines.
Section 4: Each member of the BCTS shall pay an annual membership fee, the amount to be determined by the BCTS itself. Voting is restricted to those Full and Associate members whose dues are current at the time of the election
ARTICLE III: Officers
Section 1: The Officers
The officers of the BCTS shall consist of the Convener, Past Convener, Associate Convener, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor/Archivist. The convener and past convener are progressional offices; the associate convener, secretary, and treasurer are elected offices, and the editor/archivist is an office appointed by the other members of the executive committee. No individual shall occupy more than one office simultaneously.
Section 2: Progressional Offices
Progressional offices are those that are filled not by election but instead by a junior officer transitioning into the senior position.
Convener: The primary roles of the convener shall be to:
The term of office for the convener shall be 3 years. At the end of the 3-year term of office, the convener transitions into the role of past-convener.
Past Convener: The primary roles of the past convener shall be to:
The term of office for the past convener shall be 3 years, after which time the past convener transitions off of the executive committee.
Section 3: Elected offices
To be eligible for elected office, those wishing to run must have attended at least 3 of the previous 5 consecutive meetings, and must be in good standing with respect to dues. Officers are elected by a plurality of the combined total of full and associate members in attendance at the business meeting. In the event of a tie vote, the names of the tied candidates will be written on slips of paper. After a prayer led by the senior elected officer present, the most senior full member present will blindly draw one of the slips, whose name will be deemed the member elected to the position.
Associate Convener: The primary roles of the associate convener shall be to:
The associate convener is an elected position, and the term of office is 3 years. Only full members are eligible for this position. After the term of office expires, the associate convener transitions into the role of convener.
Secretary: The primary roles of the secretary shall be to:
The secretary is an elected position, and the term of office is 3 years. Full and associate members are eligible for this position.
Treasurer: The primary roles of the treasurer shall be to:
The treasurer is an elected position, and the term of office is 3 years. Only full members are eligible for this position.
Section 4: Appointed office
Editor/archivist: The primary roles of the editor/archivist shall be to:
Section 5: Vacating an office
a) If an office is vacated for any reason before the end of a term, the executive committee will appoint a temporary successor to fill the un-expired term until the following annual meeting. The temporary successor will become permanent if, at the following annual meeting, the appointment is approved by a simple majority of the general voting membership in attendance.
b) For serious cause (for example, dereliction of duty or incapacity to fulfill the duties of their office in a constructive or collaborative manner), the situation should be brought to the attention of the officer by the Executive Committee. In the event that the situation is not satisfactorily resolved, the officer may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the active membership. Such a poll should be conducted in the most expeditious manner (for example, email) by the most senior member of the Executive Committee. The process of notification and tabulation is to be determined by the Executive Committee, in a manner that respects confidentiality and is consistent with Gospel values.
ARTICLE IV: Standing Committees
Section 1: There shall be three standing committees: the Executive Committee, the Program Committee and the Editorial Board.
Section 2: Roles of the committees
(1) The Executive Committee
Members: Past Convener
The role of the executive committee shall be to oversee the activities of the organization, to ensure that the purpose for which the organization was established is being met, to develop a vision for the organization and a practical plan for meeting the vision, and to ensure that the voices of the general membership are heard.
(2) The Program Committee
Chair: Associate Convener
Members: On-Site Chair(s)
The role of the program committee shall be to solicit abstracts and ideas from the general membership for the annual meeting, to prepare the program, and to ensure that the program runs smoothly.
The associate convener’s role shall be to solicit papers from the general membership and organize the program, and work with the on-site chair(s) to coordinate the program.
The role of the on-site chair(s), i.e., the member(s) whose institution has agreed to host the annual meeting, shall be to ensure that all necessary facilities are available for the annual meeting. This includes ensuring that:
The on-site chair(s) must also work with the university/college personnel to:
(3) The Editorial Board
Members: Volunteers from among the general membership
The role of the editorial board shall be to:
Section 2: Other committees may be established by either the Executive Committee or the BCTS during its annual business meeting as seem necessary for the fulfillment of the organization’s mission and purpose.
ARTICLE V: Meetings
Section 1: The BCTS shall meet annually at a time and place decided upon by the general membership. In the event that the general membership cannot come to a conclusion regarding the venue of the next annual meeting, the executive committee shall determine the venue.
Section 2: The dates and place of the next annual meeting shall be announced by the associate convener to the general membership no later than two months following each annual meeting. Shortly thereafter, the associate convener will issue a call for papers, reminding the membership of the dates and venue of the meeting and soliciting ideas for papers/discussions.
Section 3: A number equal to a simple majority of associate and full members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of any business of the annual meeting of the BCTS.
Section 4: Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the executive committee.
ARTICLE VI: Amendments
Section 1: These by-laws may be amended at any meeting of the BCTS provided:
a) the proposed amendment is indicated in the final notice of the meeting;
b) a simple majority of the associate and full members present vote for the amendment or approve of it in writing.
c) Proposed amendments should be distributed to the membership 4-6 weeks prior to the annual meeting at which they will be considered.
First Draft presented by Jamie T. Phelps, O.P. at the Annual Meeting, June 1992 Version 1 (June 6, 1992)
Version 2 Amended at Annual Meeting, June 1992, Pittsburgh
Final Version Amended and Passed at Annual Meeting June, 1993, San Antonio
Revision presented at 15th Annual Meeting, October 2004, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, New Orleans
Revision approved at 16th Annual Meeting, October 2005, in Houston, TX
Draft sent to members with proposed revisions on September 5, 2013
Final Version Amended and Passed at the 24th Annual Meeting, October 5, 2013 at Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY.