Biola professor appointed Evangelical Theological Society vice president

Biola professor Scott Rae will serve as the vice president of the Evangelical Theological Society from Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2014.


Grant Walter

Scott Rae speaks during a Tuesday Talbot chapel in a 3-day series. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Katie Nelson, Writer

Scott Rae speaks at Talbot chapel on Tuesday, Nov. 27. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

The Evangelical Theological Society chose Scott Rae, Biola’s chair for the philosophy of religion and ethics department in Talbot School of Theology, to serve as vice president for the upcoming year starting Jan. 2013.

Rae said he feels honored to be able to serve the society through this position of power. 

“It was very affirming that they felt like I could make a significant contribution to where ETS is going,” he said.

The purpose of the society is to bring together biblical scholars who share information and research on theological topics with one another, according to its website. Rae has been part of the group of biblical scholars for at least two decades.

“I’ve been a member for years and years,” he said. “I’ve been going to meetings fairly regularly, probably the last five years.”

The election process

With Rae’s recent promotion, he joins the ranks of the ETS executive committee, which also includes the program chair and the president. These three positions rotate each year, meaning Rae will be program chair in 2014 and president in 2015.

Current ETS president and Samford University theology professor Paul House noted that Rae’s election was a communal decision made by the body meeting. The meeting consists of whichever of the 4,000 society members decide to attend.

“The way the process works is there is a committee of nominations chosen by the ETS business meeting on the Wednesday of a meeting,” House said. “They brought back the recommendation that he be elected, and the body meeting elected him.”

The business meeting is a small group of pre-selected people who then decide who will nominate potential candidates for the executive committee, according to House.

“The business meeting elects the nominating committee [and consists of] the last two presidents and three chosen [members],” he said. “They take consultation with others and at the meeting we encourage people to give any suggestions to these folks.”

Fitting the bill

When it comes to desirable traits in a vice president, House mentioned several that the executive committee seeks out in candidates.

“You’re looking for someone who is a member in good standing, someone you would hope would enter into responsible work, someone who’s capable of being the program chair the second year and you’ll assume as far as the committee goes, they’re a person of good character,” he said.

The executive committee is in charge of planning the society’s annual meeting, during which different theological topics are discussed. This year’s theme was “Caring for Creation” and the meeting was held in Milwaukee the third week of November.

Rae said he feels that his background knowledge in ethics will positively contribute to the society because ethics is a subject not as deeply studied by many people.

“It’s good to have different fields represented. The haven’t had somebody who’s specially in ethics for a while, so they wanted more diversity in that field,” he said. “They wanted a connection to the academic world.”

Rae will begin his yearlong tenure as vice president in January 2013 and will continue in this role until January 2014, when he will become the program chair.

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