American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

Online Clergy Ethics Course 2021

Friday, June 4 (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.)

Saturday, June 5 (8 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Online Registration Form

The Commission on Ministerial Leadership (COML) requires the successful completion of a course in Clergy Ethics for all candidates applying to the ABCOPAD Region for Certification, Ordination or Ordination recognition.

Course Description: Clergy Ethics course will help ministerial leaders develop a better understanding of the various ethical issues that impact one's ministry. It will assist ministerial leaders in understanding the issues of potential misconduct and equip them to better minister in these times. This course will focus on three areas relating to Clergy Ethics: money, sex and power. 2.4 CEUs will be granted to those who successfully complete the requirement.



6:00 – 6:30 pm Welcome
6:30 – 6:45 pm Orientation
6:45 – 7:45 pm Case Study #1 – Time for Family
7:45 – 8:00 pm Break & Fellowship
8:00 – 9:00 pm Case Study #4 – Romantic Interest
9:00 – 10:00 pm
Strong in the Lord (Gordon MacDonald)
10:00 pm Closing Prayer


8:00 – 8:15 am Devotions & Prayer
8:15 – 9:15 am Case Study #3 –
Nominating Church Officers
9:15 – 9:30 am Break & Fellowship
9:30 – 10:00 am Post-Class Assignment
10:00 - 11:00 am Case Study #2 – Pastor Leaving
11:00 – 12:00 pm Video: Not In My Church
12:00 – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 pm Case Study #5 – The Family Income
1:30 – 1:45 pm Break & Fellowship
1:45 – 3:00 pm Case Study #6 –
Should Pete Be Reinstated?
Question & Answer Session
and Wrap-up

Click to Download Schedule

Click to Download Class Assignments


1. Do a complete reading of the textbook entitled, Ministerial Ethics: Moral Formation for Church Leaders, Second Edition, by Joseph E. Trull and James Carter. LINK TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON
2. Read provided case studies prior to the class event. LINK: Case Studies
3. Select a Congregational Ethics Team (CET) consisting of three or four lay persons from your congregation. Please use the following guidelines:
  • Membership is by invitation of the pastor/student.
  • Team members are persons with whom the pastor/student has a comfortable working relationship.
  • Team members may be representative of the Pastoral Relations Committee, Diaconate, Board of Deacons, Church Officers, and/or any active church member. (If you are taking the course and not currently a pastor, please invite persons to be on the CET from the church where you are a member).
4. Select an accountability partner using the following guidelines and place on worksheet:

LINK: Accountability Partner Guide

  • We do not recommend using your spouse for this.
  • We recommend a same-sex accountability partner who will both support and encourage your ministry and your spouse and family.
  • This person does not have to be in your local church. They must be a Christian. A mentor in ministry is appropriate.
5. Meet with your CET prior to the course and take notes of their responses. Prepare and bring your detailed notes for discussion of the following items: (instructors will ask to see these)
  • Read with the Congregational Ethics Team the Case Study called, "Time For The Family."
  • Discuss with the CET the questions provided at the end of the case study, plus the additional questions listed below:
  • What information from the textbook, Ministerial Ethics: Moral Formation for Church Leaders, sheds light on the case study? Discuss with your CET.
  • What are the Biblical passages that relate to the case study? (In other words, "What saith the Lord?" or, "What has God already revealed in His written word on this subject?") Discuss with your CET – gain their input.
  • How is ministry affected?
  • When and how does the case study (issues, themes, etc.) speak to the Ministerial "Code of Ethics"? Congregational Code of Ethics? (Refer to the documents below: "A Covenant For Ministry")
  • What have you learned from a pastor's perspective; from a CET member's perspective? Prepare written responses to all questions regarding this case study and bring with you on Friday, June 4. Limit responses to a few salient points. The case will be reviewed in class.
1. Write a reflection paper which connects and is informed by your reading of the Ethics book, the course teaching, the reflections by your CET (Clergy Ethics Team) on the case study "A Time for Family," and the personal ethics statement you created. This should be 4-6 pages, double-spaced in length not including the title page.

2. Write a Personal Ethics Statement that is concise and memorable. The CET would be an excellent "sounding board" and resource for aiding in the development of the Personal Ethics Statement. This should be 1 page in length and suitable for framing.

TUITION: $99.00

Class size is limited. Early registration is encouraged because of the reading and Clergy Ethics Team pre-requisite (above).

Deadline for course registration is Monday, May 24, 2021. Late Registrations require a $10 late fee.

Registration may be mailed with payment to:

159 N. Bellefield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213