Society for Pentecostal Studies
The Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) is an American scholarly association of biblical scholars, theologians, and others who are members of Pentecostal churches or are involved in the Charismatic Renewal. It was founded in 1970. The members of the Society consider themselves responsible for recording the history and developing the theology of these grassroots movements that have influenced Christianity worldwide.
SPS was first envisioned by three classical Pentecostals, Dr. William W. Menzies of the Assemblies of God, Dr. H. Vinson Synan of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and Dr. Horace Ward of the Church of God. The original requirement for membership was adherence to the statement of faith of the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America. However, because nontrinitarians and others were unable to sign the statement for doctrinal reasons, this requirement was eventually eliminated.
The purpose of the Society, as defined on its website, is to provide a scholarly forum in which to interpret the Pentecostal movement as well as "to stimulate, encourage, recognize, and publicize the work of Pentecostal and charismatic scholars; to study the implications of Pentecostal theology in relation to other academic disciplines, seeking a Pentecostal world-and-life view; and to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes of the Pentecostal World Fellowship."
The Society holds annual conferences. The organization, which began as a scholarly branch of classical Pentecostalism, is now ecumenical, with over 600 members from all major Christian denominations. For many years, the Society has hosted the meetings of the Roman Catholic/Pentecostal dialogue (see Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity).
The society publishes Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. First published in 1979, it continues publication as of 2009. Frank D. Macchia has been one editor.