A program unit is a group of ETS members, led by a steering committee, that conducts sessions at the annual meeting which are organized around specific areas of study and special topics. The steering committees for the units determine areas of focus for the sessions, solicit invited papers, and in some cases, review and select papers submitted by the membership at large for presentations in one of the Section open sessions. For details on the three types of units and a listing of active program units, follow the links below.
The program units are designed to reflect a range of opinion for discussion rather than a particular position to be promoted. Steering committees are broadly representative of the range of viewpoints or methodologies found within the Society, as well as broadly represented across institutional and denominational lines. The tone of the units should be irenic, scholarly, critical thinking, and Christ-like in papers and discussion.
There are three types of program units. The first is a Consultation. All units begin as Consultations. A Consultation is responsible for one session at the Annual Meeting (4 presentations slots or 3 hours and 10 minutes). Generally, Consultations use this session for a slate of invited papers or a panel discussion. A Consultation will be approved for a three-year term, after which it must apply for renewed status as a Section or a Study Group or to continue as a Consultation, or else disband. The absence of an application will taken as a decision to disband. Responsibility for Consultations resides with each Consultation’s chairperson and steering committee, answerable to the Program-Units Committee and ultimately to the Executive Committee.
A Study Group consists of scholars working in a collaborative fashion on a narrowly defined topic, requiring active participation. Normally a Study Group is assigned one session in the Annual Meeting for invited papers or a panel discussion. Study Groups are strongly encouraged to work toward publication of the results of their work. Study Groups normally have a six-year term which is renewable once. If a particular Study Group wishes to continue longer than this, it must take a two-year hiatus, and apply for new status as a Consultation in the third year. Responsibility for Study Groups resides with each Study Group’s chairperson and steering committee, answerable to the Executive Committee (via the Program-Units Committee).
A Section is the most broadly defined program unit, representing areas of general interest, and it offers presenters the most access for unsolicited papers. Normally Sections are responsible for two sessions at the Annual Meeting. Often one session is used for invited papers or a panel discussion, while the other session is constructed from presentations submitted by members at large in response to the general call for papers. Sections may also use the their two assigned sessions to address different topics within their area of study. At a minimum, one of the two sessions must be constructed from papers submitted in response to the general call for proposals. Sections normally have a six-year term and are renewable indefinitely, contingent on the demonstration of continued viability and compliance with the goals for all program units and the Society at large. Responsibility for Sections resides with each Section’s chairperson and steering committee, answerable to the Executive Committee (via the Program-Units Committee).