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Constitution & By-Laws

Constitution of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology

Article 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (hereafter 'SMPT', or 'the Society').

Article 2: Purpose

The purpose of SMPT is to promote disciplined reflection on Latter-day Saint beliefs. Its aims include constructive engagement with the broader tradition of philosophy and theology. All its publications, conferences, and other forums for discussion will take seriously both the commitments of faith and the standards of scholarship.

Article 3: Officers

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of five officers: the President of the Society, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and one additional member as specified in the By-Laws. In case the offices of Secretary and Treasurer are held by the same individual, there shall be two of these additional members, preserving the total of five.
    1. The President and Vice-President each shall be appointed by the Executive Board.
    2. The term of service of President and Vice-President each shall normally be two years, but may be adjusted to fit the conditions of their availability.

  2. The Executive Board of the Society shall comprise the Executive Committee, the Editor of the Society's Journal, and several elected members, for a total of up to twenty Board members. Elected members of the Board, as other members of the Society, may hold offices in the Executive Committee. In such cases, the total membership of the Board will be fewer as a result.

  3. The Executive Board shall include up to fourteen elected members.
    1. Elected members of the Board shall be elected by a plurality of ballots from the general membership of the Society.
    2. The elected members' terms of service shall be staggered for substantial continuity in the Board from one year to the next. Each elected member shall serve for a term of five years. (Exception: the inaugural terms of elected members of the Board taking office at the founding of the Society shall be as they are set at the time of the first elections, up to a maximum of seven years)

  4. Final authority for the direction of the Society's activities resides in the Executive Board. In particular the Executive Board shall have the following functions:
    1. to regulate the general policy, including editorial policy, of all publications originated by the Society;
    2. to organize Meetings of the Society, and their programs;
    3. to control the affiliation of the Society with universities, other learned societies, or publications not wholly originated by the Society.
    4. to control the general management of the Society's funds.

  5. The Executive Committee and the Executive Board each shall meet as often as necessary to conduct their business. The President shall have the primary responsibility to call such meetings. At any meeting of either body, a simple majority shall constitute a quorum.

  6. As vacancies may occur in the Executive Committee, the President may appoint temporary replacements, in consultation with the other officers. Temporary replacements shall serve until the Executive Board elects a replacement. In case the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall serve as President until the President is replaced by the Executive Board. For purposes of measuring officers' terms of service, a year shall be measured from one Annual Meeting until the next.
Article 4: Membership
  1. All who affirm the stated purpose of the Society are eligible for membership.

  2. A member of the Society may be removed from membership by the Executive Board if the Board finds that (i) the member's participation in Society activities is substantially out of keeping with the Society's stated purpose, and (ii) the member does not respond favorably to reasonable and timely correction. Readmission to membership of one who has been removed in this manner shall require the approval of the Executive Board.
Article 5: Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members, drawn from the current membership of the Executive Board and/or past members of the Executive Board who have recently left office, as specified in the By-Laws. (Exception: the first Nominating Committee shall be the Organization Committee assigned at the formation of the Society) The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for identifying suitable candidates for the Executive Board, and verifying the candidates' willingness and availability. The Nominating Committee shall produce a slate of candidates for each election, and, in conjunction with the Secretary, shall announce the slate in a timely fashion so as to allow time for voters to consider the candidates.

Article 6: Meetings

The Society shall meet annually at a time and place to be selected by the Executive Board. Along with papers presented and any other activities, there shall be a business session involving the general membership of the Society. Officers whose terms of service expire in a given year shall hold office until the close of the annual meeting for that year, at which time their successors shall take office.

Article 7: Journal

The Society shall publish a Journal, to be circulated to the members of the Society and other interested parties. The name of this Journal shall be Element: a Journal of Mormon Philosophy and Theology. The Journal shall serve the purpose of the Society, as stated in Article 2, and shall be published in accord with standards of academic publishing.

Article 8: Amendments

This constitution may be amended, after appropriate circulation of the proposed amendment, either (i) by a two-thirds majority of either the membership or the Executive Board, ratified by a majority of the other body, or (ii) by a three-fourths majority of the Executive Board.

By-Laws of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology

Article 1: Dues

The dues required of members of the Society shall be set by the Executive Board, subject to the approval of the general membership.

Article 2: Duties of the President and Vice President

  1. The duties of the President shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. to appoint, in consultation with the other officers, all committees other than the Executive Board and the Nominating Committee;
    2. to conduct the meetings of the Executive Board, and of the Executive Committee;
    3. to oversee the preparation of the program for the Annual Meeting, including the selection of presenters and papers to be presented.

  2. The duties of the Vice President shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. to assist the President in performing his duties;
    2. to act in place of the President when the President is not available.

Article 3: Duties of the Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor

  1. The Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Editor of the Journal shall be elected by the Executive Board. Their term of service shall normally be two years, but may be adjusted to fit the conditions of their availability. Should the service of either of these officers prove unsatisfactory, the Executive Board may remove either of them by a two-thirds majority vote.

  2. The duties of the Secretary shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. to oversee the practical arrangements of the Annual Meeting, including recommending to the President a Committee on Local Arrangements;
    2. to conduct primary mailings to members of the Association, other than the Journal;
    3. to print and distribute the program of the Annual Meeting;
    4. to record and circulate the minutes of the Executive Board;
    5. to record and circulate the minutes of the business meeting session at the Annual Meeting;
    6. to supervise elections (in the case of elections by the general membership, the secretary shall supervise in conjunction with the Nominating Committee);
    7. to admit new members;
    8. to maintain and publish the membership roster of the Society;
    9. to conduct such other business of the Society as the President or the Executive Board shall assign to him/her.

  3. The duties of the Treasurer shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. to collect all moneys due to the Society;
    2. to open and maintain bank accounts in the name of the Society;
    3. to pay the debts of the Society;
    4. to maintain accurate records of the disposition of the Society's funds;
    5. to report on the state of the Society's finances at meetings of the Executive Board and at the business session of the Annual Meeting;
    6. to conduct such other business of the Society as the President or the Executive Board shall assign to him/her.

  4. The duties of the Editor shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. to invite papers and receive submissions of papers to the Journal;
    2. to circulate papers under consideration for review via members of the Editorial Board.
    3. to oversee the printing and circulation of the Journal;
    4. to appoint subordinate officers and other staff as he/she deems expedient for the production of the Journal.

Article 4: Re-election of Board members

Members of the Executive Board shall be eligible for re-election to the Board, for election to offices in the Executive Committee, and for election as Editor of the Journal.

Article 5: Nominations and Elections

  1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the immediate past-President and two others appointed by him/her in keeping with Article 5 of the Constitution. (Exception: the first Nominating Committee shall be the Organization Committee assigned at the formation of the Society)

  2. In making their nominations, the Committee shall strive to achieve a broad representation from among the more active members of the Society. They shall consider names submitted by the membership as proposed nominations.

  3. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of candidates more numerous than the offices to be filled by the election in question.

  4. Candidates for office must be members of the Society.

  5. Ballots shall be collected, and votes counted, in a reasonable manner as determined and overseen by the Secretary.

  6. Any ties shall be resolved by the current Executive Board.

Article 6: The Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall exercise the decision-making and oversight authority of the Executive Board between meetings of the Executive Board, in a limited manner, and shall act by majority vote.

  2. The Secretary shall promptly report all decisions made by the Executive Committee to the Executive Board.

  3. The additional member or members of the Executive Committee, bringing the Committee membership to five, shall be either the Editor or an elected member or members of the Executive Board, as designated from year to year by the Board.

Article 7: Journal

  1. The Journal shall be housed at the institution where the Editor resides. Normally, it is expected that the sponsoring institution and the Society each shall bear part of the cost of publishing the Journal.

  2. Shortly after taking office, the Editor shall submit a written statement of editorial policy to the Executive Board for its approval.

  3. The members of the Editorial Board of the Journal shall be appointed by the Editor and the Executive Board of the Society, with the assent of both.

Article 8: Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Board, or by a majority vote of both the Executive Board and the membership, after appropriate circulation of the proposed amendment.

Copyright © 2012, Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology
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