The Mormon Social Science Association (MSSA) exists for the purpose of promoting and sharing the scholarly study of Mormon life. Any person with an interest in the study of the social, cultural, or religious life of Mormons is eligible to join. MSSA provides contact and association among researchers and educators working in both academic and applied settings. It is interdisciplinary and international in scope and purpose. The association participates in the annual joint meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) and the Religious Research Association (RRA). MSSA also publishes and distributes a semi-annual newsletter to its members.
The membership of MSSA includes social scientists, educators, writers, church researchers, and consultants. The association is financially supported by the annual dues of its members. Members receive the semi-annual newsletter which contains the president’s message; news of member activities, association business, and up-coming professional meetings; book reviews; and occasional bibliographical updates of Mormon research. Members also have the opportunity to vote in the bi-annual election of association officers.
MSSA began in 1976 as the Society for the Sociological Study of Mormon Life (SSSML), established under the leadership of Glenn M. Vernon and Armand L. Mauss. For many years SSSML was housed primarily at the Sociology Department of Brigham Young University, but during the past two decades the majority of our members have been associated with other institutions. SSSML met with the Pacific Sociological Association until 1989, when it began meeting with the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Association. In order to reflect the increasing diversity of its membership, the name was changed to Mormon Social Science Association in 1995.
MSSA holds its business meeting in conjunction with the annual meeting of SSSR/RRA. All members are invited to attend. The association also sponsors panel discussions, paper sessions, and the bi-annual Glenn M. Vernon Lecture as a part of these meetings.
Glenn M. Vernon Lectures
Every two years, the association invites a distinguished scholar of Mormon studies to present the Glenn M. Vernon Lecture. The lecture honors the legacy of Glenn M. Vernon, a pioneer in Mormon studies, and the first president of the Society for the Sociological Study of Mormon Life, which later became MSSA. It is intended to be an original contribution to the study of Mormon life and an edited version of the lecture is published in the newsletter.
By-Laws (2007) Revision
How to Join?
Prospective members can join MSSA by completing and mailing the membership application. For more information, please e-mail Michael McBride: mcbride [at] uci.edu