The annual meeting of and conference for the Northwest Region of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is coming up this weekend at Multnomah University. In light of this, Transformed asked Western’s Patrick Schreiner to tell us a little bit about ETS, along with who should attend conferences like this one, and why.
- What is ETS? Why was it started, and how does it differ from other professional organizations (especially those focused on religious studies or theology, like AAR/SBL/IBR)?ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society. It was started in 1949 as a place for Evangelicals to come together and exchange ideas both in oral and written formats. ETS is devoted to the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures and the orthodox Christian view of the Trinity. ETS is thus more narrow and confessional than AAR, SBL, and IBR. Although many members of ETS are also involved in these other organizations, ETS was started to foster conservative biblical scholarship by providing a medium for this exchange. The mediums are a journal, a national meeting, and regional meetings.
- What is your present involvement and past experience with ETS? What is Western’s history of involvement with ETS?I am currently a full member (which means I can vote and present papers). I also am the Vice-President for the NW Regional meeting which means that I set up the meeting in 2018 and invite the plenary speaker. Historically, Western faculty have been quite involved in ETS. For example James DeYoung, our former New Testament professor, chaired the Hermeneutics session at the annual meeting for many years. Also, Gerry Breshears was a past national president of ETS, and continues to chair committees.
- ETS has both national and regional meetings. What is the relationship between national and regional meetings (similarities and differences)? What happens at ETS meetings? What should a person who is attending a meeting expect?The national meeting occurs annually (in November), and each year it takes place in a different city across the nation. Regional meetings also occur annually, and vary more in their timing, but it is usually sometime in the spring. For the Northwest Region meeting we typically meet at the beginning of March. The annual meeting usually has around 3,000 people in attendance, while the regional meetings vary in size. The regional meetings are a good way for students to present and try out their ideas before they go to the annual meeting ,which is more intimidating in terms of presentation.
- Who can/should attend/participate in an ETS meeting, and why?Anyone who can sign the confessional statement (on inerrancy and the Trinity) can be a member (though student members need to be sponsored by a full member). However, you do not need to be a member to attend an ETS meeting. I would recommend ETS for anyone who is interested in fostering academic relationships in the sphere of Evangelicalism and wants to interact with scholars and students at other like-minded schools. Many times book deals and ideas are struck at these meetings, and people are invited to write or participate in conferences through relationships formed at conferences like these.
- What is the ongoing benefit of ETS? Why belong (maybe talk about JETS here)? Why participate?The benefit of participating in ETS is (1) networking and meeting like-minded people, (2) bouncing your ideas of others in a learning community (3) receiving the journal they produce (JETS), (4) being generally aware of what is happening int the Evangelical world. The website also posts recent publications and career connections.
- Tell us a little bit about the upcoming regional ETS meeting. What are you looking forward to when considering this meeting?The upcoming regional meeting is taking place at Multnomah Seminary on March 4th. Darell Bock will be the plenary speaker and he is speaking about the the issue of application: from Bible to life and life to the Bible. There will also be a variety of breakout presentations on a number of different topics. I am looking forward to hearing Darell Bock and also connecting with people in the area.
- How can a person who is interested in ETS get involved?You can find out more information about ETS by going to their website. It is here that you can also become a member. If you are a student member, then when you apply to present a paper you need a full member to recommend your presentation. In the regional meetings the requirements are not quite as tight as the national meeting. http://www.etsjets.org
The annual meeting of and conference for the Northwest Region of the Evangelical Theological Society is coming up March 4th, 2017. The title for the conference is, “Ethics Matters: From Bible to Life and Life to the Bible.” The plenary speaker will be Dr. Darrell Bock. The conference will be held at Multnomah University (8435 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97220). Registration opens at 8:30am, and the conference begins at 9:00am, and concludes at 3:50pm.