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Code of Ethics for Ministers

A. Ministerial Sexual Ethics

  1. Ministers are representatives of God and the church, and as such are to be agents of healing and redemption. They are aware that sexual exploitation or abuse of spouse, family members, colleagues, congregational members, employees or counselees is an abuse of trust, an abuse of power and an abuse of the authority of a pastoral position. They accept their responsibility to define and maintain appropriate boundaries within their ministerial relationships.
  2. Ministers are aware that their personal relationships and lives must also reflect healthy morals and sexuality. Spouse or child abuse, domestic violence, use of pornography, or other forms of immorality may also lead to discipline.
  3. Ministers are aware that discipline for sexual misconduct and immorality may involve the loss of both their ministerial credentials and their vocational status.
  4. Ministers are aware of and willing to abide by church policies and disciplinary procedures to address sexual misconduct including Pastoral Sexual Abuse Policies and Procedures which is available on the MC USA website;
  5. Ministers accept responsibility to call each other to account and to exercise biblical responsibility to confront colleagues concerning perceptions of inappropriate sexual relationships.
  6. Ministers are aware of their calling as servants of God under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and from that they accept their responsibility for and accountability to people entrusted to their care.
  7. Ministers accept the obligation to disclose information regarding previous sexual misconduct for which they have been called to account prior to formal candidacy for a new ministry position.

B. Other Ethical Standards

  1. Ministers are aware of the harm that may be caused to themselves and others by engaging in addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, and use of pornography. Ministers accept responsibility to seek help and receive counsel regarding such addictions.
  2. Ministers will comply with ethical and legal standards regarding congregational finances.
  3. Ministers are expected to be truthful when representing their education, training, experience, and ministerial performance.
  4. Ministers are expected to keep and maintain strict confidentiality, unless that confidentiality will result in physical harm to a child and in the case of other threats that mandate reporting.
  5. In addition to the above affirmations, ministers are expected to have read and comprehended Section IV, Ethics in Ministry, in A Shared Understanding of Ministerial Leadership (MennoMedia, 2017), Expectations for Credentialed Leaders Regarding Healthy Boundaries Training (CDC Ministerial Committee September 21, 2018).

As a minister of Jesus Christ and as a representative of the church within its office of ministry, I accept and subscribe to these affirmations.

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