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Ethical Education

 

2020 Ethical Education is Online 

To fulfill the requirement for ethical education for the current quadrennium, the Mountain Sky Conference will be using the course, “Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics” from The Lewis Center for Church Leadership.  

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 September 1, 2020. This fulfills the 2016-2020 quadrennial requirement.

The total cost of the training is $39 per person, with a group grant from the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) that pays for $19 per person, leaving a cost of $20 to be paid by the participant to the Mountain Sky Conference.  

 

Here’s how to log-in and get started:

  • Submit form and payment ($20) to the Mountain Sky Conference  Ethical Education 
  • Your confirmation email will contain the link and code for the course.

For questions please contact Rev. Ann Lantz, at annlantz13128@gmail.com.

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To find more info on Safe Sanctuaries resources, click here:  Safe Sanctuaries 

For more Ethical Education Resources, click here: Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics

 

Guiding Policies for Ethical Education

The .pdf version of the Mountain Sky Guiding Policies and Procedures can be found here:  Guiding Policies and Procedures

 

T.  CLERGY ETHICS AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PREVENTION TRAINING

T100       Clergy Identified in Schedule A

Mountain Sky Conference clergy as identified in Schedule A must attend a Mountain Sky Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training workshop or an approved on-line ethics training at least once in each quadrennium.*

T200       Clergy Identified in Schedule B
Mountain Sky Conference clergy as identified in Schedule B must attend a Mountain Sky Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training workshop or an approved on-line ethics training at least once in each quadrennium.* If the person is serving in a ministry setting either by appoint of the Bishop, by DS assignment, or by arrangement with the ministry setting.

 T300      Lay Employees and Volunteers
While not required, lay employees and volunteers in leadership roles in UM ministry settings are strongly encouraged to attend a Mountain Sky Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training workshop or an approved on-line ethics training at least once in each quadrennium*.

* Note: For purposes of this petition, “quadrennium” is defined as the time period beginning July 1st following one UMC General Conference and extending through June 30th following General Conference four years later.

Schedule A

  • AF Affiliate Member
  • AM Associate Member
  • CLM Certified Lay Minister
  • COD Clergy, Other Denomination
  • DM Diaconal Member
  • DP Provisional Deacon from Another Conference
  • FD Deacon in Full Connection
  • FE Elder in Full Connection
  • FL Full-time Local Pastor
  • OA Associate Member, Other Conference
  • OD Deacon, Other Conference
  • ODP Provisional Deacon, other Conference
  • OE Elder, Other Conference
  • OF Full Member, Other Conference
  • OP Provisional Member, Other Conference
  • PD Provisional Deacon
  • PE Provisional Elder
  • PL Part-time Local Pastor
  • PM Probationary Member (1992 Book of Discipline)
  • SP Student Local Pastor
  • SY Supply Pastor

Schedule B

  • OR Retired Member Other Conference
  • RA Retired Associate Member
  • RF Retired Affiliate Member
  • RD Retired Deacon
  • RI Retired Diaconal Minister
  • RE Retired Elder
  • RL Retired Local Pastor
  • RP Retired Probationary Member

T400       Clergy Serving in Extension Ministry
The requirement for quadrennial Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training applies to clergy serving in extension ministry (defined as any ministry setting beyond the local church). However, these settings are sometimes at great distance from the Mountain Sky Conference, and the Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training workshop or on-line ethics training may not address ethical issues in ways that are relevant to the range of extension ministries to which our clergy are appointed. Therefore, clergy serving in extension ministry may petition the Chair of the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry (with copy to their respective District Superintendent) to substitute training either closer to them or more appropriate for their setting. Information describing the alternative training’s content sufficient to allow the Chair of the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry to determine equivalency to our standards must be provided well ahead of participation in such training. A decision regarding the acceptability of the alternative training will be rendered in writing (or by e-mail) by the Chair of the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry and upon completion, the clergy person(s) making the request shall provide an official certificate of completion to the Chair of the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry and their District Superintendent as proof of their participation in that training.

T500       When N. American Culture is not a Primary Language/Culture
Clergy for whom English and/or for whom North American culture is not their primary language or culture are not exempt from this quadrennial ethics training requirement. Nor are they exempt from conducting their ministry within the laws of the State in which they serve or within the guidelines and requirements of The Book of Discipline. However, the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry recognizes that extra effort needs to be made to develop Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training that is accessible and understandable to them, and the Task Force commits itself to this work.

T600       Concerning Compliance
The Clergy Continuing Formation Report received from each person as per Schedule A or Schedule B in connection with each local church’s annual church or charge conference shall include the following question: “When and where did you last attend a Mountain Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training workshop or on-line ethics training?” The office of the District Superintendent shall review each report to ensure compliance. In addition, the Chair of the Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry shall report to the Cabinet prior to the Annual Conference session marking the start of the fourth year of the quadrennium (see * Note above for definition of “quadrennium”) the list of clergy in compliance with this Conference mandate and those out of compliance, with the intent being that all clergy are given ample opportunity to participate in acceptable ethics training. Clergy mandated by this petition to complete Ethics in Ministry training who fail to do so by the end of the current quadrennium (see * Note above for definition of “quadrennium”) shall have a letter noting their non-compliance placed in their District and Conference personnel files. Two such letters shall result in the matter being referred to the Bishop for possible further disciplinary action.

T700       Content of the Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training
The curriculum used by the Mountain Sky Conference Committee on Ethics in Ministry shall be focused on matters of understanding ministry as a sacred trust with clergy being held to the highest standards of ethical behavior within this understanding. Therefore, matters of power and appropriate behavior in clergy relationships, particularly where intimacy and sexual expression intersect with the sacred trust of clergy leadership, along with clergy emotional and spiritual self-care, will be central to the Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training. To the extent that mandatory reporting of suspected abuse (including neglect) of any sort of children, youth, and vulnerable adults by State law is a necessity for clergy, this topic will be addressed, as well. Other areas of ethics in ministry are, no doubt, of great importance and sacred trust, e.g., “Safe Sanctuaries” (ministries dealing with safe and ethical treatment of children, youth, and vulnerable adults), appropriate use of social media and church technology, financial ethics, and how best to be in ministries with those on the margins of society, to name a few. However, these areas will not be addressed by the Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training because they are seen as being more the purview of the local church rather than this AC legislation.

T800       Frequency of Offering the Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training
The Conference Ethics and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training will be offered as follows:

  1. Online training will be available through an approved program.
     
  2. In-person training will be provided on the day prior to the start of the Annual Conference sessions the last year of each quadrennium.
     
  3. Online training will also be part of the Board of Ordained Ministry credentialing process for incoming clergy, whether they be clergy seeking commissioning as provisional members of the Annual Conference or credentialed clergy coming into the Mountain Sky Conference from other locations.