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Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. (2012, December 20). Division 36 bylaws. American Psychological Association.

1. The name of this Division shall be Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality: A Division of the American Psychological Association and hereafter referredto as the Society.
2. The purpose of this Society shall be:

(a) to encourage and accelerate research, theory, and practice in the psychology of religion and spirituality and related areas.
(b) to facilitate the dissemination of data on religious, spiritual, and allied issues, and the integration of these data with current psychological research, theory, and practice.

1. Membership of the Society shall consist of three classes, viz. Fellows, Members, and Associates.

(a) Members:

(1) Charter members are those APA members who signed the petition for the establishment of the Society and paid Society dues for the calendar year 1976.
(2) For all others, application for membership shall be made to the Membership Committee on application forms specific to the Society.

(b) Fellows. To be eligible for nomination by Division 36 to APA Fellow status a person must:

(1) meet the minimum standards for Fellow status established under APA Bylaws;
(2) have been a member of Division 36 for at least one year;
(3) have made an outstanding contribution to the study of religious or spiritual issues in psychology as demonstrated through research, teaching, professional practice, or supervision thereof;
(4) at the time of nomination be actively engaged in advancing scholarly or professional goals relevant to the concerns of Division 36.

(c) Associates. Those who are interested in the advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession and who have met the standards of the American Psychological Association are eligible for Associate status in this Society.
(d) APA members and Associates: Members and Associates of the APA applying for Society membership in the same status help in the APA may be admitted to the Society upon recommendation of the Membership Committee.
(e) Fellows and Members of the Society may vote and hold office within the Society, pursuant to the criteria established by the Bylaws of the American Psychological Association. Associates may not hold office but are eligible to vote after five years in APA. Professional and Student Affiliates may not hold office or vote.
(f) Affiliates are not members of the Society, but are persons sufficiently interested in the work and aims of the Society to wish to affiliate themselves with it. There are two classes of Affiliates as follows:

(1) Professional Affiliates. These shall be persons who are not members of APA but whose qualifications are at least equivalent to those required for membership in the Society. They may be either psychologists or professionals from disciplines bearing on the central interests of the Society. Affiliates shall receive the Society Newsletter.
(2) Student Affiliates. A student who has been accepted by APA as a Student Affiliate is eligible for the same status in Division 36 and will be accepted upon receipt of a request for such affiliation and after review by the Membership Committee. Student Affiliates shall receive the Society Newsletter and will be encouraged to participate in the activities of the Society.

(g) The minimum membership dues are set by the Council of Representatives and are paid to the Society by the Association from the members' annual dues payments. Additional dues or assessments may be imposed by vote of the Society.

(1) Professional Affiliates pay Society dues equal to those of regular members.
(2) Student Affiliates pay Society dues set by the Executive Committee.

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Society: President, President-Elect, immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Representatives to the APA Council of Representatives, and three Members-at-Large who shall be elected to membership on the Executive Committee. The Society President shall serve for a period of one year and the Secretary and Treasurer will each serve three-year, overlapping terms. Members-at-large, one of whom is elected each year, serve for three years. One (non-voting but participating) student member and one (non-voting but participating) Early Career Professional member will be appointed by the President each year and shall serve co-incident with the President.

  2. In the event of the President's death, resignation, or absence, his/her duties shall devolve successively onto the President-Elect, the Secretary, and then the Treasurer. \

  3. Candidates for office in the Society shall be Fellows or Members of the Society. The nomination and election of officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall be carried out by means of an electronic ballot. A vacancy in any office may, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, be filled by the runner-up for that office at the last election. A sincere and timely effort will be made to inform members who are not able to be contacted electronically about impending votes, so that they may vote.

1. The President:

(a) Shall have all the duties usually ascribed to the presiding officer by a standard manual of parliamentary procedures.
(b) Shall be empowered to appoint appropriate representatives wherever necessary.
(c) Shall be further empowered to establish and appoint such committees of a temporary nature as are important to his/her adequate function as executive officer.

2. The President-Elect:

(a) Shall act in place of the President whenever the latter shall be unable to carry out his/her assigned duties.
(b) Shall carry out other duties as assigned.

3. The Secretary:

(a) Shall keep appropriate records of all business.
(b) Shall take minutes of all official meetings and maintain a permanent file of business transacted.
(c) Shall issue an annual report which includes a summary of all business transacted.

4. The Treasurer:

(a) Shall issue an annual financial report, a budget for the next year, and file necessary papers to maintain tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service.
(b) Shall be in charge of all financial matters, unless otherwise assigned. Funds received either shall be kept with the APA or deposited in an appropriate financial institution. Funds shall be paid out only when properly allocated according to the budget adopted at the annual meeting, and when invoices have been rendered indicating services provided.
(c) Shall be responsible for mailing any special assessment notices other than those which are collected for the Society by APA.

5. The Executive Committee:

(a) Shall act as a deliberative body on all issues involving the government of the Society and shall conduct the business of the Society between annual meetings. When major issues of policy arise, the Executive Committee shall make necessary decisions in the interim between annual meetings; such decisions, however, to be subject to the approval of the membership either through mail ballot or at the annual business meeting.
(b) Exceptions to the responsibilities of the Executive Committee shall be where power is delegated otherwise in these Bylaws either to an officer, or to a committee, or to the membership.

  1. The Committees of the Society shall consist of such standing Committees as may be provided by these Bylaws and such special Committees as may be established by the Executive Committee or by the President. In accordance with Article V, Section 7 of the Bylaws of the American Psychological Association, all committees shall be subject to review by the Association's Board of Directors.

  2. The Membership Committee. There shall be a Membership Chairperson appointed annually by the President. The Chairperson, in turn, may appoint two members of the Society to serve with him/her on the Membership Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the Membership Committee to publicize the Society so as to attract new members, to review the credentials of those applying for membership, and to recommend to the Executive Committee those applicants who are qualified for admission as Members, Associates, Professional Affiliates or Student Affiliates.

  3. The Program Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and four other members of the Society. In order to provide continuity on this Committee, the President-Elect, on assuming office, shall appoint two members to serve on the Committee for two-year terms. One of the members shall be designated to become Chairperson of the Program Committee when the President-Elect becomes President of the Society. The remaining one member of the Committee is appointed each year by the President for a one-year term. This Committee shall be responsible for organizing the Convention Program of the Society.

  4. The Committee on Fellows shall consist of three Fellow of the Society. The incoming President-Elect shall appoint one person to the Committee who shall continue into the second year. The two others of the Committee shall be appointed by the President each year. It shall be the duty of the Committee on Fellows to receive all nominations for Fellowship, to collect and consider such supporting materials as are necessary, and to recommend nominees for Fellow status in the Society, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Society and those of APA, to the Executive Committee.

  5. The Election Committee shall consist of the Past-President as Chairperson and two other members appointed by the Chairperson. The Election Committee shall secure nominations by December first of any given year to the Election Committee Chair. The Committee shall ascertain whether the nominees are qualified and willing to serve, if elected. The list of nominees for each office shall be reported to the American Psychological Association Central Office for inclusion in the election ballot issued by the Association at a date specified by the Association. If possible, there shall be at least two nominations on the election ballot for each office to be filled. If not possible, then a space for a write-in candidate shall be provided.

  6. The Publications Committee shall consist of the President, the President-Elect, the Editor, and the Newsletter Editor. This committee shall have the responsibility for the publication(s) of the Society.

  1. The annual meeting of the Society shall take place at the same time and place as the annual convention of the American Psychological Association for the transaction of the business of the Society.

  2. In order to carry out the work of the Society, the outgoing and incoming Executive Committees shall meet at the time of the annual convention of the Association. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called during the year, as needed, at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Any member of the Society may attend these meetings but participation is restricted to invitation by the Executive Committee.

  3. The Society shall issue a newsletter to inform the members of the business of the Society and of any other matters related to the purposes of the Society.

  1. The Parliamentary Authority for the Society shall be Roberts' Rules of Order Revised unless specifically superseded in some areas by provisions of these Bylaws.

1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee or by a majority vote of the members present at any annual meeting. Proposed amendments that come from the Executive Committee will be announced prior to vote for ratification in the Newsletter. Ratification of the amendment(s) proposed requires a two-thirds majority of those members voting. Voting will be by electronic ballot (unless an individual makes a special request to the President to submit his or her ballot by mail).

A sincere and timely effort will be made to inform members who are not able to be contacted electronically about impending votes, so that they may vote.

Revised to reflect results of Fall, 1992 Bylaws amendment vote. Submitted by Margaret Gorman, Secretary.

Revised to reflect results of Fall, 1993 Bylaws amendment vote on affiliates. Submitted by Margaret Gorman, Secretary.

Revised to reflect the results of Summer, 2011 Bylaws amendment vote. Submitted by Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Immediate Past-President (Elections Chair).

Date created: 2012