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Responding to Clergy Misconduct: Instituting Best Practices
Responding to Clergy Misconduct: Instituting Best Practices

Responding to Clergy Misconduct: Instituting Best Practices

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March 16, 23, 24 from 9:00 AM–12:30 PM CT online.
Additional videos and online discussion in the intervening days.

We are offering special pricing on this course: $549 

Policies and procedures are essential for every spiritual organization. They are how we embed our commitment to safety, equity, and justice into our communities. However, when faced with an allegation of abuse, it can be challenging to institute these policies with the highest level of fairness, confidentiality, and transparency.

This newly revised live online course will offer participants the opportunity to understand how to institute best practices related to the investigation and adjudication of allegations of abuse within your organization. This is an essential training for Boards, ethics committees, and institutional leaders.

Responding to Clergy Misconduct: Instituting Best Practices is a training designed to equip judicatory or organizational leaders to intervene effectively in response to complaints of misconduct. It will provide a clear understanding of what spiritual leader misconduct is, what boundary violations are, and what are the appropriate aspects of response to a complaint including investigation, adjudication, and possible actions of discipline or exoneration.

When a spiritual leader violates the boundaries of a pastoral or teaching relationship, it is critical that an organization have a policy in place to respond and then use that process appropriately. This training provides a theological and ethical foundation for this process and emphasizes a supportive response to complainants, respondents, and congregations.

This interactive workshop is offered for spiritual leaders, denominational executives, response team members, consultants, supervisors, and others who receive, investigate, or adjudicate clergy or spiritual leader abuse complaints or who assist persons and faith communities involved in leader misconduct incidents.

Learning Objectives:

  • Prepare leaders to respond to misconduct by clergy and spiritual leaders.
  • Expand the theological and ethical foundations for an appropriate response to clergy misconduct.
  • Review the importance of an awareness of power and vulnerability within pastoral/teaching relationships.
  • Look critically at policy and procedure issues including investigation and adjudication.
  • Address legal concerns.
  • Address communication concerns post-disclosure of abuse.
  • Prepare Response Teams to address concerns of their congregation or sangha.

Course Structure:

  • March 16: Orientation (9:00a-12:30p CDT): Groundwork in responding to spiritual leader misconduct (trauma, power, & culture)
  • March 23: Workshop (9:00a-12:30p CDT): Case studies & best practices
  • March 24: Workshop (9:00a-12:30p CDT): Workshop in policy and procedures and trauma-informed healing
  • Pre-Course Assignment: Read excerpts of Is Nothing Sacred? by Marie Fortune; read “The Factor of Race/Ethnicity in Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children” by Traci C. West; review excerpts of Responding to Clergy Misconduct Handbook
  • Videos and Online discussion:
    • A Common Framework for Understanding Clergy Misconduct
    • What Is Your Agenda?
    • How to Guarantee You Will Be Sued – and Lose
    • Justice, Hospitality, Accountability, and Forgiveness
    • Policy and Procedure: Making It Work
Course Materials:
  • Responding to Clergy Misconduct Handbook
  • Book excerpt: Is Nothing Sacred? by Marie Fortune
  • Article: “The Factor of Race/Ethnicity in Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children” by Traci C. West

Special Pricing for this Course:

  • $549 Early Registration (through March 1)
  • $600 Regular Registration (after March 1)
  • **Call for group rates (four or more participants)


Download the Training Information Sheet (PDF)

Download the Training Logistics and Technical Information Sheet (PDF)