Membership Requirements

Doctrinal Basis:

All members must subscribe annually to the Doctrinal Basis of the Society. Initially, this is done by completing the application process and affirming the ETS Doctrinal Basis.

For the purpose of advising members regarding the intent and meaning of the reference to biblical inerrancy in the ETS Doctrinal Basis, the Society refers members to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978). The case for biblical inerrancy rests on the absolute trustworthiness of God and Scripture’s testimony to itself. A proper understanding of inerrancy takes into account the language, genres, and intent of Scripture. We reject approaches to Scripture that deny that biblical truth claims are grounded in reality.

Annual Dues:

ETS memberships are valid for one year from the date of initial membership or renewal. Annual dues are $50 (USD) for full members ($30 USD, if retired), $45 for associate members ($30 USD, if retired), and $30 (USD) for student members. A subscription to JETS is included as a membership benefit.

Full Members:

($50 USD)

Full members must have earned a PhD, ThD or other research doctorate in biblical studies, theological studies, or a related discipline. This educational requirement has two components: level of degree (research doctorate), and academic discipline (biblical studies, theology, or related disciplines). Only full members have voting privileges.

The ETS bylaws allow for exceptions to the educational requirements for membership based on similar qualifications to an earned research doctorate. This can be difficult to assess, but in general, for a body of publications to warrant full membership it must:

  • be indicative of a level of biblical scholarship commensurate with the Ph.D. in biblical or theological studies
  • contribute to the academic literature of biblical or theological studies
  • demonstrate fluency in the tools, methods, history and literature of biblical or theological scholarship
  • be published through a peer review process in an established academic journal or by an established academic press

Publications that are self-published, of a strictly pastoral nature, written for a non-academic audience, or not primarily based on biblical or theological research are not sufficient to support a case for full membership.

These guidelines do not diminish the value of contributions that fall outside these criteria. Rather, these guidelines seek to delimit the type of writings that might serve as a substitute for the academic study and competency represented by a Ph.D in biblical or theological studies.

Associate Members:

($45 USD)

Associate members are those who are in sympathy with the scholarly and theological purposes of the society. Typically, associate members do not present papers at the annual meeting, but may be able to present qualified research at regional meetings. Associate members are non-voting members.

Student Members:

($30 USD)

Student members must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school. Only students enrolled in a doctoral program may submit a proposal for a paper to be read at the annual meeting. All student proposals must be accompanied by the recommendation of a professor familiar with the research to be presented. Students at all levels are encouraged to participate in the regional student paper competitions. Student members are non-voting members.