CSO Bylaws


Christian Science Organization

at Principia College


This organization shall be known as the “Christian Science Organization at Principia College.”


This organization is formed under the authority of Article XXIII, Section 8 of the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, by Mary Baker Eddy, and in accordance with the rules of Principia College.


The purpose of this organization is:

to nurture the study and practice of Christian Science,

to spiritualize learning in the Principia community,

to respond with inspiration to local, national, and global needs.


Section 1.   Election to Membership

Applicants for faculty, staff, or student membership shall complete an application form. Applicants will be interviewed by the Membership committee, which will send the completed applications to the Executive Board for approval. Applicants will then be notified of the Board’s decision.

A member who has been absent from the college for more than a year will no longer be considered a member, but may make a written request to the Board for reinstatement of membership upon their return. A member who has graduated will no longer be considered a member, unless they immediately join the faculty or staff, therefore remaining a member. A former member and graduate of Principia College who returns to join the college faculty or staff will reapply for membership.

Applicants for graduate membership who are members in good standing with The Mother Church shall complete an application form and shall be elected by unanimous vote of the active members present at any business meeting.

Section 2.   Duties and Privileges

The primary duty and privilege of all members is the daily study and practice of Christian Science, including prayer for the organization and its activities.

Members are expected to attend services and business meetings, contribute financially to the organization, and uphold the moral standards of Christian Science. Membership in this organization must be active for the organization to succeed.

Section 3.   Discipline

If a member is believed to be neglecting the duties of membership, the case shall be handled according to Matthew 18: 15-17.

If an elected officer is neglecting the duties of office, the Board may remove that individual from office by a seven-eighths vote.


Section 1.   Enumeration

The elected officers of this organization shall be one President, eight members of the Executive Board (each chairing one of the eight Committees of this organization: Outreach, Music, Platform, Lecture, Usher, Communications, Study Room, and Membership), two Sunday Readers, and five midweek Readers.

Section 2.   Terms of Office

The President shall serve for one academic year.

Members of the Executive Board shall serve for one semester, with the option of serving a second. Each Executive Board position is a separate term of office; this means that an individual can serve on the Executive Board more than one year if chairing different committees. Of the eight Executive Board members, there must be at least two Faculty/Staff representatives and two student representatives at all times.

Only faculty and staff members shall be eligible to hold a full year of the same office more than once. No elected officer shall hold more than one office simultaneously.

The Sunday Readers shall serve for one academic semester.

The midweek Readers shall each serve for one-fifth of the academic semester. In cases of outlying services before or after the academic semester, the President will appoint one of the elected midweek readers for that semester to read for the outlying service.

Section 3.   Eligibility for Office

Student, faculty, and staff members who are members of The Mother Church are eligible to serve as officers. Sunday Readers must be 20 years of age or older.

Section 4.   Duties of the Executive Board

The Executive Board shall carry out the regular business of the organization and coordinate its activities in accordance with the organization’s purpose and democratic design. A Board decision must be by simple majority. The President shall cast the determining vote in case of a tie vote.

The Board may approve day-to-day expenditures of the organization. Other than expenditures for the organ maintenance fund, lectures, and periodicals, any single expenditure exceeding $750 must be presented by the Board to the membership for approval.

Each time new members are elected to the Board, the new Board shall choose from its members a Vice President.

The President shall nominate a Clerk and a Treasurer to be approved by the majority of the Executive Board.

The CSO President should seek to meet with the President of Principia College at least once per semester. As needed the CSO President should also meet with the administrative contact, the Dean of Students.

The Executive Board shall notify the membership of new members of the organization.

Section 5.  Duties of Individual Board Members

The President shall chair and formulate the agendas of all Board and business meetings, ensure proper communication with members of the organization, and act as the official representative of the organization.

The Vice President shall assist the President, and chair Board and business meetings in the President’s absence.

Section 6.   Duties of the Readers

The duties of the Readers shall be as specified in Article III of the Manual of The Mother Church.

Section 7.   Duties of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall receive and have custody of all monies of the organization, make all disbursements authorized by the Executive Board, and maintain an adequate set of accounts of the financial affairs of the organization in a bank designated by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall present a report to the Executive Board at its request and at all business and election meetings.

Section 8.   Duties of the Clerk

The Clerk shall be present at all Board, Business, Election and Special meetings, take minutes, and maintain the organization of files.. The Clerk does not participate in discussions or vote.

Section 9.   Election of Officers

The President, Readers, and members of the Executive Board shall be elected by the membership the semester before they take office.

Section 10.   Vacancies and Substitutes

If a vacancy occurs with less than one half of the term remaining, the Executive Board shall fill it by appointment. If more than one half of the term remains, the vacancy shall be filled by special election.

If, following an election meeting, the need arises to fill a vacancy for the position of a Reader or Board member, a special election shall be held by ballot. The nominees will be those persons nominated at the time of the initial election, excepting those persons who were elected to a Reader’s position or as a member of the Board. The number of voters participating in the special election will constitute a quorum.

If a Reader needs a substitute, the President shall appoint a student, faculty, or staff CSO member who is a member of The Mother Church, with the approval of the majority of the Executive Board if time permits. The President shall first request previous Readers of the CSO to substitute.


Section 1.   Sunday Services and Midweek Testimony Meetings

This organization shall conduct Sunday service and midweek testimony meetings in accordance with the Manual of The Mother Church, pages 120 and 122, beginning New Parent Orientation Weekend and continuing throughout the academic year.

At the discretion of the CSO Executive Board, either the Scriptural Selection or the Benediction may occasionally be read out of Bible translations other than the King James Version during Sunday Services.  The Sunday Readers must submit their proposed translation and the desired passages to the CSO Board for approval by the Wednesday preceding the Sunday Service in which a translation will be used. While the inspiration of the Reader is a crucial element in choosing any portion of the service, the frequency with which other translations are used shall be balanced to support a familiarity with the King James Version.  Any passage chosen shall align with the focus of healing in our services.

At the discretion of the CSO Executive Board, and in accord with Article XXIII, Section 8 of the Manual of The Mother Church, the midweek testimony meeting format may be altered to meet a special need for the community.

At the discretion of the CSO Executive Board, the midweek Reader may include other authorized* writings by Mary Baker Eddy after readings from the Bible, and correlative passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

*Includes all of Mary Baker Eddy’s works approved by the Christian Science Publishing Society.

Section 2.   Business Meetings

A regular business meeting of the membership, called the Semester’s Business Meeting, shall be held each semester and shall include these elements:

Readings from the Bible and/or the writings of Mary Baker Eddy

Abbreviated minutes of the previous business meeting

Report of the Executive Board

Report of the Treasurer

Special business meetings may be called by the Executive Board at any time or by a written request of at least twenty members, submitted to the Vice President at least one week prior to the proposed meeting.

At the regular spring semester business meeting an item on the agenda shall address possible contributions to be made by this organization to other deserving activities. Members may submit suggestions at any time during the year to the Executive Board. The Board will present its recommendation to the membership at any business meeting.

The portion of the membership attending a business meeting shall constitute a quorum. Regular business at the meeting shall be decided by simple majority. No new business that has not been previously posted on the agenda for said business meeting may be voted upon unless one third of the membership currently on campus is present at said business meeting.

If an in-person meeting is impossible and voting must be done electronically, 50% of the CSO Membership shall constitute a quorum. In this case, a two-thirds majority is required to pass the motion electronically.

Notice of a business meeting stating its purpose shall be sent to the membership at least one week prior to said meeting, and an agenda shall be posted at the same time.

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern business meetings of this organization in cases where these bylaws do not apply.

Section 3.   Election Meetings

A regular election meeting of the membership, called the Semester Election Meeting, shall be held each semester and shall include readings from the Bible and/or the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.

The portion of the membership attending an election meeting shall constitute a quorum.


Policies that supplement these bylaws may be adopted or repealed by a three-fourths vote of the Executive Board or by a majority of the members present at any business meeting.


In the event that this organization disbands, all of its assets shall be turned over to The Mother Church’s fund for Christian Science Organizations at colleges and universities.


Amendments to these bylaws may be suggested in writing to the Executive Board by any member. The Board shall submit proposed amendments in writing to the membership at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the amendments will be voted upon. At said meeting any proposed amendment may be approved or amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present. No amendment is valid that is contrary to the rules of the College or to the rules of the 89th edition of the Manual of The Mother Church. Once these bylaws have been approved, the Bylaw Amendment sheet shall be updated.

Addendum – Bylaw Changelog:


Grammatical changes:

Split membership bylaw into multiple sentences

Moved faculty/staff term limits to “Terms of Office”

Removed requirement for Vice President to write announcements

Removed requirement for Clerk to channel communication of the organization

Functional changes: simple operational changes to how CSO conducts business

Added Membership application process for former members who join the College Faculty/staff

Added process for selecting 16th Midweek Testimony meeting Reader

Removed VP requirement to type announcements

Removed Clerk requirement to handle external communication

Refined process for selecting substitute Sunday Reader

Added electronic voting quorum and process

Added Bylaw Amendment sheet process for tracking

Fundamental Changes:

Added process for selecting other Bible translations for either the Scriptural Selection or the Benediction of the Sunday Service