The Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 to foster biblical scholarship.
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About SBL

The Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest international scholarly membership organization in the field of biblical studies. Founded in 1880, the Society has grown to over 8,500 international members including teachers, students, religious leaders and individuals from all walks of life who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.
Career Resources Snapshot

The AAUP recently released its Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. Note especially a supplemental data report entitled The Employment Status of Instructional Staff Members in Higher Education, Fall 2011, which compiles fall 2011 IPEDS data on employment status and provides breakouts by institutional categories, gender, and race or ethnicity. This report adds to the 2010 CAW survey in efforts to develop comprehensive national data on working conditions, careers, and compensation of academics in contingent appointments.

We're Not a Hierarchy, We're an Ecosystem February 25, 2013
Graduate programs should ignore the rankings and find their niche

Do you have your own alt-ac story? Let us know about it

Click here for information about the Employment Center, sponsored by SBL and the American Academy of Religion, which provides the opportunity for employers and those seeking employment to register for interviews at the Annual Meetings, as well as interview facilities, job listings, candidate credentials, and a messaging service.
Tools and Advocacy
SBL strives to provide the most applicable professional development resources to its members.

On the Tools and Advocacy page:
  • Grants and Fellowships - with brief notes on the grant or fellowship itself and the field it concerns
  • Websites - helpful resources on outside sites
  • Articles - on current topics related to the job market in the field of religion scholarship
Growing Concerns with the increase of Contingent Faculty Positions

SBL works with many different organizations and institutions to enrich and broaden the spectrum of resources that the Society can offer members. Its affiliation with the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) addresses issues of contingent academic employment, working conditions, and their effect on college and university students in the United States. Many of you participated in CAW’s fall 2010 survey, which inquired about course assignments, salaries, benefits, and general working conditions as members of the contingent academic workforce experience them at the institutional level. Such data are critical to our work in SBL, the future of our Society, and the Society’s context within higher education.

CAW is a group of higher education associations, disciplinary associations, and faculty organizations committed to addressing issues associated with deteriorating faculty working conditions and their effect on college and university students in the United States. When faculty members are not sufficiently supported, they are not able to provide students with the highest quality learning experience. The survey finds that faculty employed in contingent positions are not provided with the support resources necessary to excel and consistently provide such a learning experience for their students. Faculty employed part-time and paid the low wages documented in this report would likely need to find some other means for supporting themselves, which takes time and energy away from their teaching and interaction with students. Moreover, while the survey primarily addressed material working conditions, comments received at the end of the survey confirm the common belief that such faculty operate under inordinate stress and uncertainty, often self-censor in various ways out of a fear of repercussions or losing their jobs, and are left out of governance discussions that affect them.

Equally critical are data from a new study by the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success. The data report discusses the impact of contingent working conditions on student learning outcomes, supporting the claim that under the working conditions that many contingent faculty face, they are not able to provide students with the highest quality learning experience. See the Research and Reports tab on the Coalition's website for more information on the history, problems, and details surrounding this important segment of our field. Given the fact that most of the academic workforce is employed in full and part-time contingent positions, all faculty need to pay close attention to what is happening in their own institutions. According to data from the United States Department of Education’s 2009 Fall Staff Survey, of the nearly 1.8 million faculty members and instructors who made up the 2009 instructional workforce in degree-granting two- and four-year institutions of higher education in the United States, more than 1.3 million (75.5%) were employed in contingent positions off the tenure track, either as part-time or adjunct faculty members, full-time non-tenure-track faculty members, or graduate student teaching assistants.

As a professional organization, SBL takes these issues seriously. SBL provides affordable avenues for professional enrichment and scholarly support. It convenes numerous sessions and events to bolster the pursuits of faculty members. And it works with membership and professional organizations to advocate for higher education and the importance of scholarship in society. Participation in CAW and with other organizations on issues of contingent academic employment fall among these pursuits and will continue to serve SBL members as they face the dynamics of the academic workforce and the problems that confront higher education.

Jobs Report

Job market stabilizes but with changes to public institution programs
We are pleased to announce the release of our second Jobs Report, tracking employment listing data in biblical, religious, and theological studies from 2011 through 2012. This report adds to the report released in November 2012 on data from 2001 through 2010. While the findings may not be predictive, we hope that you will find them instructive. We will continue to build and report on such data that are important for SBL members in many ways.

View a summary and the key findings of the report, as well as the full report here:
 Job Advertisement Data 2011-2012

Partnership and Collaboration
SBL partners with organizations in the fields of religious, theological, and biblical scholarship that are invaluable to its members. Partners include: 
By listing jobs with SBL, contributing professional development resources, informing members of organization activities, or collaborating on diverse initiatives, these organizations are shaping a broad and useful axis for the field.

If your organization is interested in partnering with SBL, please contact us.
Jobs at the Annual Meeting
For information on candidate and employer registration at the Annual Meetings 2014 San Diego, hosted by SBL and AAR, click here.
Registered employers and candidates may use career services such as:  
  •   interview facilities
  •   job listings
  •   candidate credentials
  •   messaging service
From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
What to Expect in a First-Round Interview

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