Clergy Ethics

Taken from the 2016 Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church (pages 775-781)

The abuse of power occurs when we use power to gratify our own needs rather than to carry out God’s sacred trust. It happens when we refuse to own the responsibility of guardianship that comes with the privilege of power . . . until we understand that power is the responsibility to give, instead of the opportunity to take, we will continue to abuse it.”

“There is little doubt that sexual misconduct in church and society is significant and troubling for our communities and congregations worldwide. This unwanted behavior damages the moral environment where people worship, minister, work, and learn. In 1996, the General Conference made a commitment to focus on sexual misconduct within the church and took action to address this brokenness and pain within The United Methodist Church.” (The Book of Resolutions, 1996, p. 128; 2000, p. 135; 2004, p. 150)

The General Conference not only has mandated adoption of policies in our churches, conferences, agencies, and schools, it called for training, advocacy practices, and surveys of progress as a denomination conducted by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.

Therefore be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church renews its stand in opposition to the sin of sexual misconduct within the Church worldwide. It further recommits all United Methodists to the eradication of sexual misconduct in all ministerial relationships, and calls for:

annual conference boards of ordained ministry to provide education (entry level, follow-up, advanced) for all appointed clergy, local pastors, and commissioned members. Annual conferences are also encouraged to provide similar education and training for those employed in ministerial leadership;

For more information, see the United Methodist Web site on Sexual Ethics,

Instructions for all appointed or assigned Clergy (associate members, elders, deacons, local pastors, supply, provisionals, and certified candidates) are required to complete the online clergy ethics, by December 31, 2018.

The Indiana Annual Conference will be using the course “Maintaining Boundaries in a Digital Age.” The cost for all Indiana clergy is $25.00, and must be paid when registering to receive a completion certificate.

Here’s how to log-in and get started:

  • Register and log-in by going here
  • Choose the option to enroll and enter your email address
  • Copy and paste in this group code: GRP63192345800078
  • Then complete your registration and begin the course

When you return to the course you use the same link above but choose the first option already enrolled.

If you have any questions or problems please contact Stephanie Remington at or 202.664.5701 Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm EST.

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