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Constitution and By-Laws

This page contains the full text of the CBA's Constitution and By-Laws approved by the CBA membership on July 28, 2014, subsequently emended for consistency of style and language.

CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

In keeping with the love and veneration which the Church has ever had for the inspired word of God, and in obedience to the desires of the Holy See for a deeper study and a wider knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, we, who are especially devoted to biblical studies, have united, under the patronage of Saint Jerome, to form this Association.

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this Association shall be THE CATHOLIC BIBLICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.

ARTICLE II - MISSION OF THE ASSOCIATION

As a religious, non-profit, scholarly organization the Association shall have the following mission:

Section 1: The Association, in fidelity to Dei Verbum, The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, seeks to devote itself to the scholarly study of the Bible and related disciplines, in conformity with the teaching of the Magisterium, especially as expressed in that Dogmatic Constitution: "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ" (DV, 10).

Section 2: The Association affirms Dei Verbum and its teaching that the "Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully" (DV, 10). This Association proffers its expertise to the Church, particularly in cooperation with the Bishops, through the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., to help the Church in its task of discerning the meaning of the Word of God for the faithful.

Section 3: In addition to promoting, encouraging, and supporting Catholic biblical scholars in their fields of specialization, the Association desires to promote better mutual acquaintance and constructive interchange with other Christian and Jewish biblical scholars, in accord with Dei Verbum and its desire for "cooperation" among all Christians (DV, 22), and with Nostra Aetate (NA, 4) with its desire for "mutual understanding and respect." In this way, the Association hopes to promote effective ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue and greater universal appreciation of the Word of God.

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: The membership in this Association shall consist of Full Members, Associate Members, and Sustaining Members. The respective qualifications, rights, and privileges of each class of membership shall be designated by the specific authority specified in the By-laws.

Section 2: Any eligible person who contributes the sum specified in the By-laws shall be so designated Life Member by the specific authority specified in the By-laws.

Section 3: Life Members whose total contributions amount to the sum specified in the By-laws shall be honored with the title of Benefactor.

Section 4: From time to time the Association may elect by majority vote Honorary Life Members as provided for in the By-laws. Honorary Life Members shall not be subject to dues and shall enjoy the privileges accorded to Associate Members as specified by the By-laws. Any Honorary Life Member who was previously a Full Member of the Association retains their voting rights.

ARTICLE IV - ADMINISTRATION

Section 1: The supreme authority in the Association resides in the Full Members duly assembled in annual general meeting. However, before decisions on matters that concern Catholic doctrine are made, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., shall be consulted.

Section 2: Between annual general meetings the Association shall be governed by an Executive Board consisting of the Chair, the President, the immediate Past President, the Vice-President, the Executive Director (ex officio, non-voting), the General Editor of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly (CBQ), the General Editor of Old Testament Abstracts (OTA), the General Editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series (CBQMS), the Chair of the Committee on Finance and Investment, and four Consultors who serve as non-officer members. These officers and members of the Executive Board shall be duly elected or appointed according to the prescriptions of the By-laws. The Executive Board shall have general responsibility for overseeing all the functions of the Association and shall oversee the work of the Executive Director.

Section 3: An Executive Committee consisting of the Chair, the President, and the Executive Director can act in the name of the Executive Board when emergencies arise and it is not feasible for the Executive Board to meet. This committee is directly responsible to the Executive Board and must inform the board by e-mail of any decisions taken and its rationale within two days.

Section 4: Officers of the Association may be removed from office for serious cause, including professional malfeasance or moral turpitude, when two-thirds of the whole Executive Board votes to do so. Voting in absentia is not permissible.

ARTICLE V - DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

Section 1: The dutes of the Chair of the Executive Board shall be:
     (a) To convene and chair the periodic meetings of the Executive Board;
     (b) To work with the Executive Director and the President in determining and implementing the agenda for the work of the Executive Board;
     (c) To initiate and maintain timely ongoing communication with the Executive Board and the Executive Director.

Section 2: The duties of the President shall be:
     (a) To act as the presiding officer of the Association;
     (b) To chair the annual general meeting;
     (c) To deliver a presidential address;
     (d) To appoint ad hoc committees, as needed.

Section 3: The duties of the Vice-President shall be:
     (a) To assist the President in his/her duties;
     (b) To act as substitute for the President in the latter's absence from the annual general meeting;
     (c) Normally, to succeed as the President of the Association at the end of the annual general meeting.

Section 4: The duties of the Executive Director shall be:
     (a) To record the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board, to record and publish the minutes of the annual general meeting of the Association, and to keep the records and papers of the Association;
     (b) To conduct the correspondence and ordinary administrative affairs of the Association according to the instructions of the Executive Board;
     (c) To sign contracts and other official papers in the name of the Association at the direction the Executive Board;
     (d) To receive the monies of the Association and to make disbursements as authorized by the By-laws, the Executive Board, or the members at the annual general meeting in approving an annual budget;
     (e) To act as business manager of the periodical publications of the Association;
     (f) To draw up and submit to the President, the Chair of the Executive Board, and the Chair of the Finance Committee at the end of each month and quarter an itemized account of the income and expenses for the month/quarter;
     (g) To submit a quarterly financial statement to the members of the Executive Board;
     (h) To submit annually to the members at the annual general meeting a report on the state of the Association, including its operations and finances.

Section 5: The duties of the General Editor of CBQ shall be:
     (a) To fulfill the purpose of the CBQ, that is, a periodical devoted to scholarly articles on subjects connected with the study of the Bible;
     (b) To serve as Chair of the CBQ Editorial Board;
     (c) To accept (after due consultation with members of the Editorial Board) and to edit manuscripts for publication in the official organ;
     (d) To prepare the CBQ for publication as the official organ of the Association.

Section 6: The duties of the General Editor of OTA shall be:
     (a) To serve as Chair of the OTA Editorial Board;
     (b) To receive exchange and gift periodicals, as well as books from publishers, and, assisted by abstractors designated by the General Editor, to prepare and edit abstracts for publication.

Section 7: The duties of the General Editor of CBQMS shall be:
     (a) To serve as Chair of the CBQMS Editorial Board;
     (b) To accept, after due consultation with members of the Editorial Board, manuscripts for the CBQMS and to prepare them for publication.

ARTICLE VI - EDITORIAL BOARDS

Section 1: Members of the CBQ Editorial Board shall be duly elected as specified in the By-laws and serve under the direction of the General Editor of CBQ; their function shall be to assist the General Editor in preparing the CBQ for publication.

Section 2: Members of the CBQMS Editorial Board shall be duly elected as specified in the By-laws and serve under the direction of the General Editor of CBQMS; their function shall be to assist the General Editor in planning and developing the series.

Section 3: Special editorial boards serving under the direction of a General Editor for other projects may be set up by the members at the annual general meeting. Some projects may be undertaken in collaboration with the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc.

ARTICLE VII - COMMITTEES

Section 1: There shall be a Committee on Membership consisting of three members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee shall examine the qualifications of candidates for election to Full Membership or Associate Membership and to recommend for election to Full Membership or Associate Membership at the annual general meeting those candidates who are deemed qualified.

Section 2: There shall be a Committee on Nominations consisting of six members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee, seeking to ensure broad representation of the members and considering the needs of each position, shall solicit nominations from the general membership for all open positions and prepare a ballot with no more than two candidates for each of the elective officers of the Association. It shall refer to appropriate boards and committees others nominated for election to those boards and committees, as provided for in the Constitution and By-laws. The members of the Association at the annual general meeting may also accept nominations from the floor.

Section 3: There shall be a Committee on Finance and Investment consisting of the Executive Director (ex officio) and six members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee shall be responsible for advising the Executive Board on fiscal and investment policy and for implementing the policy determined by the Board. The committee shall also be responsible for securing periodic independent audits of the finances of the Association and for providing regular financial reports to the Executive Board.

Section 4: There shall be a Committee on the Program for the Annual General Meeting consisting of the Executive Director (ex officio) and six members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee shall be responsible for planning and administering the annual general meeting of the Association and other programmatic activities in support of its mission.

Section 5: There shall be a Committee on Research Support consisting of six members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee shall be responsible for recommending such grants as the Association may make in the support of biblical scholarship and for overseeing the award of any and all grants.

Section 6: There shall be a Committee on Resolutions consisting of three members appointed by the President. This committee shall be empowered to formulate and to present at the annual general meeting resolutions requested by the Executive Board. Individual members or groups wishing to present resolutions shall be required to confer with the Committee on Resolutions concerning the formulation of their resolutions. The text of the resolutions shall be distributed to the Full Members at least twenty-four hours before the business session if the committee deems it advisable.

Section 7: There shall be a Committee on Technology and Outreach consisting of six members duly selected as determined by the By-Laws. This committee shall be responsible for maintaining and developing the technological capabilities of the Association.

Section 8: There shall be a Committee on Liaison with the USCCB consisting of three members duly selected as determined by the By-laws. This committee shall be responsible for maintaining and developing a positive relationship with the USCCB.

Section 9: Other committees to carry out the work of the Association may be established by the President on an ad hoc basis.

ARTICLE VIII - REGIONAL CHAPTERS

Section 1: The Association encourages the establishment of geographical regional chapters of the Association according to the norms established in the By-laws.

ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS AND BY-LAWS

Section 1: This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds of the Full Members present and voting at the annual general meeting, voting to approve proposed amendments, provided that official notice of any proposed amendment shall have been sent by the Executive Director either by mail or by electronic means to the members of the Association at least three months before the annual general meeting at which it is to be considered. Amendments can be proposed by any Full Member and are first submitted to the Executive Board which must approve of the said amendment by a majority vote before the proposed amendment is allowed to go forward for vote by the Full Members.

Section 2: By-laws which are not inconsistent with this Constitution may be adopted, changed, or abrogated by a majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the annual general meeting, voting to approve proposed changes, provided that the Executive Director has sent notice of the proposed new By-law or of the change or abrogation of the By-law to the members of the Association at least one month before the annual general meeting at which the matter is to be considered.

BY-LAWS

1. Location

In order to facilitate the cooperation with the Board of Trustees of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., the headquarters of the Association shall be in Washington, D.C.

2. Membership

2.1. Criteria for Membership

2.1.1. Candidates for Full Membership shall normally have an advanced research degree in Sacred Scripture or biblical theology, including the Ph.D., Th.D., S.T.D., S.S.L., or S.S.D.

2.1.2. Candidates for Associate Membership shall normally either be engaged in or have completed post-baccalaureate studies in biblical or allied fields or shall have taught Sacred Scripture for at least one year at the major-seminary or college level.

2.1.3. Candidates for either Full Membership or Associate Membership must be formally sponsored by a Full Member of the Association.

2.1.4. Sustaining Members consist of those who have paid the membership dues but are not proposed as members under the other categories. Upon payment of dues, they receive the CBQ and are eligible for all the other discounts that other members enjoy. They do not have voting privileges and cannot attend the annual general meeting (unless invited by the President, as specified in By-law 3.2).

2.1.5. The Executive Director shall make available to all candidates appropriate application materials. In order to allow the Committee on Membership adequate time for review, all applications for Full or Associate Membership must be received by the Executive Director at least one month before the day on which new Full and Associate Members are nominated and elected to the respective membership.

2.2. Types of Members

2.2.1. Full Members may attend annual general meetings and may present papers at those meetings. They have the right to vote at annual general meetings, but no proxy or in absentia votes are permitted.

2.2.2. Associate Members may attend annual general meetings, without the right to vote.

2.2.3. Life Members are so designated by the President upon a contribution of $10,000. Only Full Members are eligible to become Life Members.

2.2.4. Benefactors are so designated by the President upon a contribution of $15,000 or more.

2.2.5. Honorary Life Members shall be scholars noteworthy for their contributions to biblical studies. They may be elected to membership at any annual general meeting of the Association on the recommendation of the Executive Board. Any Full Member may propose the name of a candidate for Honorary Membership, but all such proposals must be received in writing by the Executive Director at least one month prior to the meeting of the Executive Board in connection with the annual general meeting. Only Honorary Life Members who were previously Full Members retain and have voting privileges. The number of Honorary Life Members shall never exceed twenty at any given time.

2.3. Removal of Members: Any member can be removed from membership of the CBA for grave cause by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board meeting in quorum. Voting in absentia is not permissible.

2.4. Membership Dues: All members shall pay annual dues in the amounts determined by the Association at its annual general meetings. However, the Executive Board may, for special reasons, grant membership to certain persons or groups who shall be exempt from this annual assessment.

2.5. Membership List: The Association shall publish on its website a list of its Full and Associate Members.

2.6. Membership Benefits: All members shall receive without additional cost the official organ of the Association. All members shall likewise receive a discount of twenty percent on the sale of books that are published by the Association or advertised for sale by the Association.

3. Annual General Meeting of the Association

3.1. The Association shall ordinarily hold a general meeting each year at the place and time selected by the Executive Board.

3.2. Attendance at annual general meetings of the Association shall be open to Full and Associate Members and to those persons who receive an invitation at the request of the President or the Committee on the Program for the annual general meeting. Papers at these meetings may be presented only by Full Members or by other persons at the invitation of the President.

3.3. Ten percent of the Full Membership of the Association shall suffice to constitute a quorum at the Business Session of the annual general meeting provided that official notice of the meeting has been duly sent to all the Full Members at least three months in advance. This notice can be sent by electronic means.

3.4. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or the By-laws, all matters to be considered shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast. Only Full Members of the Association who are present at the Business Session of the annual general meeting may vote, which includes Honorary Life members who retain voting privileges.

3.5. Elections at the annual general meeting of the Association

All appointments and elections of officers and committee members are effective after the closing session of each annual general meeting.

3.5.1. The Chair of the Executive Board shall be elected by the majority vote of the Full Members of the Association in the annual general meeting upon nomination by the Committee on Nominations. The Chair shall serve for a term of three years and may be re-elected once.

3.5.2. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected at the annual general meeting by the majority vote of the Full Members present and voting.

3.5.3. Two Consultors of the Executive Board shall be elected at each annual general meeting by the majority vote of the Full Members to serve for a term of two years.

3.5.4. The General Editor of CBQ, who shall be a Full Member of the Association, shall be elected by majority vote of the CBA Editorial Board for a term of four years and who may be re-elected once.

3.5.5. The General Editor of OTA shall be elected by the majority vote of the Full Members for a term of four years and may be re-elected.

3.5.6. The General Editor of CBQMS shall be elected by the majority vote of the Full Members for a term of four years and may be re-elected once.

3.5.7. At each annual general meeting at least four Associate Editors of the CBQMS, upon recommendation by the Editorial Board, shall be elected by the majority vote of the Full Members for a term of four years. Associate Editors may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

3.5.8. At each annual general meeting eight Associate Editors of the CBQ, upon recommendation by the Editorial Board, shall be elected by the majority vote of the Full Members for a term of four years. Associate Editors may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

3.5.9. Members of other committees shall be elected by the Full Membership at the annual general meeting, or appointed by the President, or elected by the Executive Board, as specified in 4.4 below.

4. Governance of the Association

4.1. President and Vice-President

4.1.1. The terms of office of the President and the Vice-President shall extend for one year from the end of the annual general meeting at which they have been elected until the end of the next annual general meeting. The President and the Vice-President shall be ineligible for reelection to these offices.

4.1.2. In case of the death or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall succeed to the President's office until the completion of the term.

4.2. Executive Board

4.2.1. The Executive Board shall meet at the time of the annual general meeting before the business session. Only Full Members are eligible to be elected to the Executive Board. The Chair, if he or she deems it advisable, may call for additional meetings of the Executive Board during the annual general meeting or at other times of the year.

4.2.2. By a majority vote, the Executive Board shall appoint the Executive Director for a specified term, normally three years, and who may be reappointed normally for a maximum of two more terms.

4.2.3. By a majority vote, the Executive Board shall appoint an additional person to act as signing officer for the Association for a term of one year.

4.2.4. In case of the absence of the Chair of the Executive Board, the Board shall appoint by majority vote one of their number to act as temporary Chair.

4.2.5. In case of the death or resignation of any of the officers other than the President, the Executive Board shall appoint by majority vote a member to fill the vacancy until the next annual general meeting of the Association. In case of the death or resignation of any Consultor on the Executive Board, that position shall remain open until the next annual general meeting and the candidate elected to the vacant position shall serve the remainder of the term of the prior incumbent.

4.3. Executive Director

4.3.1. The Executive Director shall be a Full Member of the Association appointed by the Executive Board by majority vote for a specified term, normally three years, and may be reappointed normally for a maximum of two more terms.

4.3.2. Besides the ordinary disbursements approved by the Constitution or the By-laws or by the Full Members at the annual general meeting, the Executive Director may, according to his or her prudent judgment and in keeping with the provisions of Constitutions and By-laws, expend on individual items sums of money for office needs not exceeding $2,500. The total for a fiscal year is not to exceed $10,000. Between annual general meetings the Executive Director may, under the same conditions, expend on individual items sums of money for association needs not exceeding $5,000, provided written approval of the President and the Chair of the Executive Board has been obtained. The expenditure of higher sums, in cases of emergency between annual general meetings, may be authorized by majority vote of the Executive Board.

4.4. Committees

Committees normally report to the Executive Board through the Executive Director. Each committee is required to make an annual written report for the Executive Board to be given to the Executive Director one month before the annual general meeting. Only Full Members of the Association can be members of committees.

4.4.1. Membership
The Committee on Membership shall consist of the Executive Director, who shall act as its Chair, and two other members appointed by the President for a term of one year.

4.4.2. Nominations
The Committee on Nominations, including the member proposed as Chair, shall consist of six members who are elected by majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the Business Session of the annual general meeting. The term is for three years. Every year, two members are rotated off and two new members elected. Members are ineligible for re-election for five years after last serving.

4.4.3. Finance and Investment
The Committee on Finance and Investment shall consist of the Executive Director (ex officio) and six other members, including the member proposed as Chair, who are elected by majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the Business Session of the annual general meeting. The term for such appointments is for three years and members may normally be re-elected for two extra terms.

4.4.4. Program for the Annual Meeting
The Committee on the Program for the Annual Meeting shall consist of the Executive Director (ex officio) and six other members, including the member proposed as Chair, who are elected by majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the Business Session of the annual general meeting. The term is normally for three years and members may be re-appointed for one additional term. Usually, every year, two members are rotated off and two new members elected. Members normally are ineligible for re-election for five years after last serving.

4.4.5. Research Support
The Committee on Research Support, including the member proposed as Chair, shall consist of six members who are elected by majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the Business Session of the annual general meeting. Every year, two members are rotated off and two new members elected. Members are ineligible for re-election for five years after last serving.

4.4.6. Resolutions
The Committee on Resolutions, including the member proposed as Chair, shall consist of three members who are appointed by the President for a term of one year.

4.4.7. Technology and Outreach
The Committee of Technology and Outreach, including the member proposed as Chair, shall consist of six members who are elected by majority vote of the Full Members present and voting at the Business Session of the annual general meeting. The term is for two years and members may normally be re-elected for three extra terms.

4.4.8. Liaison with USCCB
The Committee on Liaison with the USCCB, including the member proposed as Chair, shall consist of three members who are appointed by majority vote of the Executive Board present and voting at the Executive Board Meeting during the annual general meeting. The term is for three years and members may normally be re-elected for two extra terms.

4.4.9. Quorum
The quorum for all meetings of the Executive Board or any Committee is constituted by two-thirds of the members of that Committee or Board. Any decisions of a meeting without a quorum must be ratified by the Committee / Board as a whole when there is a quorum.

4.5. Regional Chapters

4.5.1. The establishment and organization of a regional chapter shall be left to the determination of the Full Members of the Association in the particular geographical area for which a regional chapter is desired.

4.5.2. The Executive Board of the Association shall have the power to recognize formally and to approve by majority vote regional chapters. It shall also have the power to withdraw such recognition and approval.

4.5.3. In petitioning for recognition and approval, the newly formed chapter shall submit to the Executive Board of the Association a statement of the chapter's manner of organization and any other pertinent information the Executive Board may require. The Executive Board shall then, at its discretion, issue a statement of formal recognition and approval.