21st Century Initiatives

The Twenty-First Century Initiatives evolved from recommendations made in 1998-2000 by a committee whose stated purpose was to think about the current status and future directions of the Society as its members approached the beginning of a new millennium and the fortieth anniversary of the Society.  The committee was charged to address the evolving needs of our scholarly field by considering the following and related issues: the Society’s mission, likely changes in size and membership base, format of the annual meeting, governance structure, and access to new communication technologies to enhance the work of the Society.  Four subcommittees were formed, a survey instrument was designed that gave all members input, and recommendations emerged. The Initiatives chose to place its attention on the practices of the Society rather than on the name of the Society and to foster the particular practice of expanding our ethical conversations with ethicists in other cultures, traditions, and institutional settings.  The Initiatives have encouraged the formation of:

  • Three Working Groups, to enhance the visibility and contribution of emerging constituencies within Christian ethics: the African-American and African (since 2003), Latino/a (since 2007), and Asian and Asian-American (since 2008);
  • Two academic associations which now meet conjointly with the SCE: the Society of Jewish Ethics (since 2003) and the  Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics (beginning in 2010). 
  • The Global Scholars Program (since 2009). which coordinates and funds the visits by distinguished international scholars to annual meetings of the Society.