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Preamble: Believing that insight into the communicative process is vital in understanding and practicing of religion, we the undersigned meeting in the Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois, December 27, 1974, establish this Constitution to deal cooperatively with the problems of religious communication.

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Article I. Name

The name of this organization shall be: The Religious Communication Association (RCA). Official use of Association's name shall be made only through the authority of the Executive Council of the Association.

Article II. Purpose

The purpose of the Association shall be to provide a common organization for the study of religious communication by teachers, practitioners, and scholars. The Association is an educational, nonsectarian agency. All funds of the organization shall be used solely to achieve its stated purpose. The RCA is organized exclusively for, and will be operated exclusively for, literary and scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

Article III. Membership

Membership in the Association shall be (is) open to persons and institutions interested in the purposes of the organization.

Article IV. Related Organizations

The Executive Council shall seek to establish appropriate mutual relationship with other organizations in order to facilitate the fulfillment of the purposes of the organization.

Article V. Officers

The officers of the association shall be President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Executive Secretary, Editor of the Newsletter, and three Councilors. These eight shall constitute the Executive Council.

The terms of Office shall be:

  • One year for the President, First Vice President, and Second Vice President;

  • three years each for the Councilors, the Editor of the Newsletter, and the Executive Secretary.

  • One Councilor shall rotate off the Executive Council each year.

  • The First Vice President shall succeed the President, and the Second Vice President shall succeed the First Vice President.

The duties of each officer shall be stated in the Bylaws. In the event of the incapacity of any officer, the Executive Council shall, at its discretion, elect a replacement or establish a procedure for electing one.

A majority of the membership of the Executive Council shall constitute a quorum to do official business. The Council shall be the principle policymaking body of the organization.

The Executive Council shall have the power to make arrangements for the annual convention and the business meetings,  to establish relationships with other organization, to appoint ad hoc committees as shall be considered wise and necessary, to recommend divisions within the Association, to approve expenses, and to perform other such duties as may be set forth in the Constitution.

Article VI. Elections

The Nominating Committee, at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting, shall present a slate of nominees for publication to the membership. Elections, with opportunity for nominations from the floor, shall be held at a business session during  the annual convention (meeting). A majority vote of those members present shall be required for election. This article shall be applicable following the 1974 convention.

All officers shall be elected as noted above except for the Executive Secretary. Members present at the annual convention (meeting) shall vote "approve" or "disapprove" for the one candidate whom the Nominating Committee has determined as being qualified with the necessary skills and institution support required for the office of Executive Secretary.

Article VII. The Annual Convention

There shall be an annual convention at such time and place as shall be determined by the Executive Council. The program of the annual meeting shall consist of presentations and workshops of interest to teachers, practitioners, and scholars of religious communication;  discussion of the Divisions; business meetings for consideration of reports and elections of officers; and meetings of newly elected officers and committees.

Article VIII. Quorum

A quorum shall consist of those members in good standing and in attendance at a business meeting of the association, except that if less than twenty-five members are present, resolutions adopted in the meeting shall be referred to the membership by mail for ratification.

Article IX. (VIII). Amendment

Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Council and/or by the membership in regular business sessions. Upon passage by a simple majority, proposed amendments shall be submitted to total membership by mail ballot. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required for ratification.

Article X (IX). Bylaws

Bylaws not inconsistent with this Constitution may be adopted by a majority vote of the members present at a business meeting, provided that appropriate notice is made in writing 30 days in advance of the meeting.

Article XI (X). Parliamentary Authority

Guidelines for the formal meetings shall be Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedures by Alice Sturgis.

Article XII (XI). Enabling Clause

This constitution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.

Article XIII (XII). Dissolution

This organization may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at a business meeting, provided a written notice of dissolution shall have been sent to all members at least thirty days prior to the meeting. In unusually dire circumstances, the Executive Council may recommend dissolution and secure approval with two-thirds majority of those voting in (membership by) a mail ballot. In the event of dissolution, assets of the Association shall be distributed for purposes clearly within the stated exempt purposes of section 501 (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

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Article I. Expenses

The ordinary expenses of the Association and authorized committees shall be borne by the Association.

Article II. Membership and Fees

Section 1. The dues and/or fees of the Association shall be proposed by the Executive Council and approved by the Association. This provision shall be applicable after the 1974 RCA Convention. An annual convention fee may (shall) be set by the Executive Secretary in consultation with the Executive Council.

Section 2. Memberships and annual dues shall be of six types: student = $12.50; regular = $25.00; sustaining = $45.00; life = $250.00; institution or library = $50.00; emeritus or honorary = no fee. Overseas memberships add $10.00 to each category. Eligibility, rights and privileges for (of) each membership type (category) shall be set by the Executive Council.

Article III. Duties of Officers

The Immediate Past President shall serve as advisor to the Executive Council.

The President, as the chief presiding officer, shall conduct the regular business sessions and shall be responsible for the general welfare of the organization.

The First Vice President shall plan the annual convention (meeting) program and keep a careful record of the annual convention programs and workshops for the archives of the Association, shall act in the absence of the President, and shall succeed the President.

The Second Vice President shall be in charge of membership and recruitment, shall chair the awards committee, and shall succeed to the office of the First Vice President.

The Executive Secretary shall serve as secretary and treasurer and shall serve as chief executive officer of the Association under the direction of the Executive Council.

The Editor of the Newsletter shall prepare three newsletters each year-a spring issue with special emphasis on the activities of the membership, a pre-convention issue with special emphasis on the programs of the upcoming annual convention (national convention), and a post-convention issue with special emphasis on reporting the business conducted by the members assembled at the convention.

Councilors shall serve in such capacities as directed by the Executive Council. One Councilor shall (to) serve as the Association's representative to the Governing Board of Homiletic.

Article IV. Division Chairpersons

Division Chairpersons shall be appointed by the Executive Council for a term of two (three) years. Vice Chairperson, who shall succeed the Division Chairperson, shall be appointed by the Executive Council at the end of the first (second) year of the Chairperson's term.

The general responsibility of Division Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons shall be to promote scholarship, research, and creative endeavors relevant to the academic focus of the respective divisions. This responsibility includes developing programs for the Association's annual conventions; developing publications, exhibits, and performances; developing cooperative projects with affiliate and other organizations with allied interests, subject to the approval of the Convention Program Chairperson; and publicizing division events and developments of interest to the division membership in the RCA newsletter, as appropriate.

Article V. Committees

Standing and ad hoc committees for fulfilling the purposes of the Organization may be appointed by the Executive Council. The two standing committees are:

1. Nominating Committee

  • Immediate Past President, chairperson

  • One Councilor, named by the chairperson

  • One non-Executive Council (non-council) RCA member, named by the chairpersons

2. Awards Committee

  • 2nd Vice President, chairperson

  • Three current Councilors

Article VI. Amendment

Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those voting at any regular business session or by a simple majority vote provided that notice or proposed amendments is sent to the membership in writing 30 days in advance of the meeting.

Article VII. Editor and Editor Elect of the Association Journal

The Editor of the Association journal, Journal of Communication and Religion (JCR), shall serve as a supervising director of the journal for a three-year period. Selection of the Editor-Elect shall occur during the annual convention in the second year of the Editor's three-year term.

During the annual convention and at the end of the first year of the Editor's term, the Executive Council, upon the advice of the JCR Editorial Board, shall identify and approve qualifying criteria for the position of Editor-Elect.

The President, with the advice of the Executive Council, shall appoint an ad hoc Editor Search Committee, chaired by the Editor, to solicit and screen nominations in light of the established criteria.

After review of the credentials and at the following annual convention, the ad hoc Editor Search Committee shall present to the Executive Council the names and qualifications of at least one but no more than three candidates for the editorship. An Editor-Elect, who shall serve as an associate of the Editor for a period of one year and who then shall assume the editorship for the subsequent three-year term.

Article VIII.  Coordinator of Electronic Communication

The Coordinator of Electronic Communication shall supervise all electronic communication products of the organization for a three year period, including the maintenance and development of the RCA website, ensuring of the proper function of the listserv, and development of any new electronic endeavor (such as a web based membership database).

At the end of the second year of the Coordinator's term the President, with the advice of the Executive Council, shall appoint an ad hoc Coordinator Search Committee to solicit and screen nominations in light of the established criteria.

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