Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics

Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics is the first, foundational course in the Lewis Center’s Keeping Our Sacred Trust series of online courses that deal with issues of ethical boundaries in ministry. This course is designed to help prevent clergy sexual misconduct by creating awareness of what constitutes misconduct and how issues of misconduct typically arise. It addresses the relational dynamics, internal motivations, and vulnerabilities that can lead to misconduct and the positive steps that can be taken to help prevent misconduct or the appearance of misconduct.  The goal is to help course participants develop a strong and reliable “internal compass” that will help them to steer a safe course even in confusing or difficult situations.

The cost for the course is $49. If a group is paying some or all of that cost, you will enroll using a group code.  Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate of completion bearing .5 units of continuing education credit will be emailed to you.

Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics is organized into two main parts addressing:

  1. What is keeping sacred trust and why is it important, and
  2. How do you keep a sacred trust and prevent misconduct? Each main part has a number of subsections designed to address real concerns and questions from the perspective of those in the practice of ministry — questions such as:
  3. A concluding section provides opportunities for review, reflection, and self-evaluation as well as sources of information for additional learning.
  • Why is keeping sacred trust essential to my pastoral effectiveness?
  • What behaviors violate sacred trust?
  • How do I maintain appropriate boundaries?
  • Why is it important to avoid the appearance of misconduct?
  • What factors and feelings can make me vulnerable to misconduct? 

⇓Download a printable information sheet.

How to enroll in Lewis Online Learning courses

If a denominational or judicatory leader arranged for you to enroll in this course, or if you received a code for participating through the Lewis Center or Wesley Theological Seminary, your group code or link must be used when enrolling. If you are not part of such a group, you may enroll in the course independently by simply leaving the group code box empty.

If you choose to take a course more than once or if you are asked to retake a course, it is important to demonstrate additional reflection on the questions by composing new answers. We reserve the right to review your answers in light of the ones you submitted previously.

After entering and confirming your email address, click the "Enroll Now" button to land on the "Enrollment account information" page. If this is your first Lewis Online Learning course, you will need to create a password. Your email address and password are your unique credentials to sign in to Lewis Online Learning courses. After clicking the "Submit to register" button, you will land on your personal home page where you will find this course listed. You may also edit your account information on this page.

If you need more information before enrolling, or if you are a denomination or judicatory leader interested in arranging enrollment for a group, call 202-664-5700 or email the Lewis Center at lewiscenter@wesleyseminary.edu.

Lewis Center for Church Leadership

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Lewis Center for Church Leadership is part of Wesley Theological Seminary
Email: lewiscenter@wesleyseminary.edu
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Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-664-5700
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