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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Responding to Clergy Misconduct: A Handbook

General Material
Training Tools
Published Date
January, 2009

An invaluable resource for congregations, this extensive handbook offers practical approaches to addressing clergy/teacher misconduct and/or abuse. Based on a justice model, rather than the traditional legalistic approach, Responding to Misconduct addresses harm done within a spiritual community, and takes seriously the reality of abuses of power in ministerial relationships. Fair investigation and adjudication are essential, as are transparency of the process and outcome.

Clergy misconduct is when any person in a ministerial role of leadership or pastoral counseling engages in sexual contact or sexualized behavior with a congregant, client, employee, student or staff member in a professional relationship. Such misconduct is a violation of the ministerial relationship in which a person in a position of religious leadership takes advantage of a vulnerable person, instead of protection her/him.

This handbook lays out the basic principles of analysis of ministerial misconduct: who, what, when, and where. It offers the basic principles for response to complaints and the conceptual framework to navigate the process of response. The handbook is non-denominational and not intended to represent the teachings of any particular denomination or movement in matters of doctrine or morals.

A valuable resource for judicatory leaders, committees and commissions who are addressing complaints of clergy misconduct. A comprehensive and essential resource with reference materials, detailed appendices and case studies..

Associated Files