Constitution and By-laws


Adopted March 8, 2007; amended December 24, 2012; amended December 1, 2017


The Society for Christian Scholarship in Music promotes the exploration of connections between Christian faith and the academic study of music. We are a cross-disciplinary society including ethnomusicologists, music theorists, musicologists, scholars of liturgy and of church music, theologians, and practicing church musicians. The Society understands itself as having an ecumenical Christian identity, reflecting the worldwide diversity of Christian traditions. The Society also sees it as vitally important to learn from scholars outside those traditions, and scholars who do not identify as Christian are welcome to join as full members.

Article I. Name

The name of this organization is “The Society for Christian Scholarship in Music” (SCSM).

Article II. Purposes

A. The Society for Christian Scholarship in Music shall be organized for scholarly and educational purposes, as specified in Section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

B. The primary purposes of the Society are:

  1. To encourage scholars to explore the connections between Christian faith and the academic study of music, to encourage and advance scholarly research informed by Christian faith commitments in all areas of musical study, and to foster research in the general area of faith and music.
  2. To provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas regarding connections among music, music scholarship, and faith; as a society we place no limits on theological or other ideological presuppositions or implications of any kind.
  3. To strengthen Christian scholars of music in their understanding of and faithfulness to their vocations.
  4. To provide opportunities for mutual support and encouragement, and to extend welcome to all who are interested in the intersections of faith and music.
  5. To provide contexts for mentoring and networking among scholars of music from various Christian traditions, seeking especially to welcome, support, and develop graduate student members.
  6. To bring before the larger scholarly community the work of the society.

C. To further these purposes, the Society will:

  1. Sponsor an annual meeting.
  2. Publish a newsletter, usually appearing twice per year, as a means to increase communication among members; this newsletter will include member news, news and reports regarding the annual meeting, and other articles and reviews.
  3. Seek to create other opportunities for community, support, and networking, e.g. through social media, electronic communications, or receptions at meetings of other scholarly societies.
  4. Publish materials deriving from the activities of the society as opportunity arises.

Article III. Membership

A. Membership in the SCSM shall be open to all scholars and students interested in and supportive of the stated purposes of the organization.
B. Categories of membership are: professional, student, and institutional. Membership in all categories requires the annual payment of dues.
C. Members in all membership categories, excepting Institutional, are entitled to vote in biennial elections.

Article IV. Dues

The amount of dues for the SCSM shall be determined by the Executive Committee. It will also determine the criteria for the various categories of membership and the requisite dues of members in each of these categories. Dues will be payable at the beginning of the calendar year. Members in arrears at the end of the calendar year shall be removed from the membership rolls. After being removed from the rolls a person may rejoin the SCSM at any time without penalty.

Article V. Executive Committee and Officers

A. The business, property, and affairs of the SCSM shall be conducted by the Executive Committee.
B. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the SCSM (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer), six (6) Members at Large, and a Graduate Student Representative.
C. The methods of selection of Executive Committee members and the functions of the officers shall be spelled out in the By-laws.

Article VI. Amendments

All amendments to the constitution of the SCSM must be approved by the Executive Committee and submitted to the membership for their ratification by mail or electronic ballot. A voting quorum is 50 percent of the membership. In order to be adopted an amendment must receive two-thirds of the votes cast.

Article VII. Dissolution

In the event it seems advisable to dissolve the SCSM, the following procedure shall be followed. The Executive Committee shall adopt a resolution setting forth that it is to the best interests of the SCSM that it be dissolved. Such a resolution must be submitted to the membership of the SCSM for their consideration at a meeting called for that purpose. If a majority of the total membership shall vote in favor of adoption of said resolution, the organization shall be dissolved. All assets of the SCSM shall by action of the Executive Committee then be distributed to one or more non- profit organizations with similar academic or musical purposes and Christian perspective.


Article I. The Executive Committee

A. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the annual meeting program and other programs sponsored by the organization, membership recruitment and retention, mentoring, nomination of members and officers of the Executive Committee, and general operations of the SCSM, although specific arrangements may be delegated to a committee.
B. In the interval between official meetings of the membership, the Executive Committee shall represent and act for the SCSM in any matter relating to the purposes of this organization.
C. The Executive Committee shall normally meet prior to the annual meeting of the SCSM. Meetings may be conducted by conference call or email at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
D. At any Executive Committee meeting, six members present and voting, including at least two officers, shall constitute a quorum.

Article II. Duties of Officers

A. The President shall be responsible for convening Executive Committee meetings, presiding at meetings of the organization, presenting a presidential address at the annual meeting, maintaining contacts with other scholarly organizations, and in general facilitating the stated purposes of the organization.
B. The Vice President will assist the President in these duties and will succeed to the office of President.
C. The Secretary shall be responsible for carrying out the customary functions of a Secretary. Duties will include keeping of the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings and other official meetings of the SCSM; carrying on correspondence with officers and members; preparing Secretary’s reports for the Executive Committee; providing for organizational continuity of the SCSM; overseeing the print and electronic communications of the SCSM; and conducting elections and other votes, at the direction of the Executive Committee. The Secretary will also be responsible for maintaining adherence to the Constitution and By-laws of the SCSM.
D. The Treasurer shall be responsible for customary functions of a Treasurer. Duties will include maintaining the financial records, checkbook, and bank accounts of the organization; maintaining the membership list; collecting dues; preparation of regular financial reports to the Executive Committee; and maintaining financial controls over the receipts and expenditures of the SCSM. Disbursements in excess of $1,000 must be specifically authorized by the Executive Committee.

Article III. Selection of Executive Committee Members and Officers

A. Elections for the Executive Committee of the SCSM will be held every two years, typically in the second half of even-numbered years. At that time a Vice President will be elected for a two-year term. The Vice President will then in due course succeed to the presidency and serve a two-year term in that office. Three Members at Large will be elected at each biennial election for four-year terms. Candidates shall be nominated by the Executive Committee. The President may appoint a Nominating Committee to propose nominees to the Executive Committee. Until the membership of the SCSM exceeds one hundred fifty (150), the slate may, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, include only one name for each position. No nomination shall be approved by the Executive Committee without the written consent of the nominee, who shall agree to serve if elected.
B. Elections will be conducted by mail or electronic ballot as directed by the Executive Committee, which shall provide due safeguards for the authenticity and anonymity of individual ballots. A candidate shall be elected by simple majority of those voting.
C. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed by the Executive Committee; they serve a four year renewable term.
D. The Executive Committee will appoint a graduate student representative to a two-year term with voting privileges on the Executive Committee. Any graduate student member of SCSM may serve up to two consecutive terms.
E. Newly-elected officers will begin their terms at the annual meeting following the election.

Article IV. Meetings

A. Meetings of the SCSM shall be held as determined by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will be responsible for selecting the date and venue of the annual meeting and for choosing a program and local arrangements committee.
B. Normally, annual meetings will alternate between Christian liberal-arts colleges and public or private research universities. The Executive Committee will seek to provide geographical variety in meeting places.
C. At or prior to the annual meeting, the Executive Committee shall present to the members an Annual Report for the calendar year most recently concluded, including but not limited to the following: assets and liabilities, receipts and disbursements, and the number of members of the SCSM.

Article V. Amendments

Amendments to the By-Laws of the SCSM may be made by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee provided that twenty (20) days prior notice has been given to Executive Committee members.