Required Training for the Prevention of Clergy Misconduct
As most are aware, Healthy Boundary training is now mandatory in the United Church of Christ. These workshops are intended to equip ordained, commissioned, and licensed clergy, as well as other church leaders and staff, to understand healthy boundaries in ministry relationships. Healthy and vital ministries rely on trust and mutual support to create spaces of welcome and safety for all. Leaders must understand the role of power and vulnerability in order to create and maintain healthy boundaries and to choose healthy self-care strategies.
These workshops are a joint endeavor of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia and the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ and fulfill requirements for such a workshop every five years for DOC clergy and every four years for UCC clergy to retain ministerial standing.
There are two workshops offered:
- Healthy Boundaries 101: Fundamentals is an introduction to healthy boundaries for clergy and church leaders. Topics include power, vulnerability, dating, friendships, dual relationships, transference, intimacy, hugging, and self-care. It is a prerequisite to Healthy Boundaries 201.
- Healthy Boundaries 201: Beyond Basics and Into the Internet is an advanced discussion of healthy boundaries for clergy and church leaders, designed for those who have completed Healthy Boundaries 101. Participants will cover boundaries, power, vulnerability, and self-care, as well as topics in internet technology and social media. There is a prerequisite of Healthy Boundaries 101 or a similar foundation workshop.
- HB 101: June 4-5
- HB 101: September 17-18
- HB 101: November 5-6
These workshops are part of the Healthy Boundaries/Clergy Ethics curriculum developed by FaithTrust Institute, and is in widespread use among faith communities across the U.S. FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization, founded in 1977 by the Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, reach working to end sexual and domestic violence. Learn more at www.faithtrustinstitute.org.
- Rev. Marsha Brown was among the first ordained through PATHWAYS, a program of the United Church of Christ. She obtained her MA from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is the pastor of Phoenix Christian Church, UCC in Wildersville, TN, a member of the SECUCC Commission on Ministry, and has completed FaithTrust leadership training.
- Rev. Erica Geralds is an ordained Disciples minister serving at Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA. She also serves as a regional board member for the Christian Church in Georgia, licensed professional counselor, and hospice chaplain. Rev. Geralds earned both a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Mercer University.
- Rev. David Kenley is an ordained Disciples minister and graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary, currently serving as a chaplain with Capstone Hospice. For 10 years he ministered to congregations in the UK, followed by serving as senior pastor at Johns Creek Chris-tian Church in Georgia. For 15 years prior to that, he provided pastoral care in retirement and nursing facilities. He has completed FaithTrust leadership training.
- Minister Carrole Moss is an ordained minister serving at Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain, GA. She was a UCC PATHWAYS participant and has actively served in the Southeast Conference United Church of Christ for the past 15 years. She currently serves as the Generosity Coordinator and chair of the Scholarship Committee. She has completed FaithTrust leadership training.
- Rev. Kathy McDowell is an ordained Disciples minister and graduate of Candler School of Theology. She is the administrator of the Georgia Disciples Healthy Boundaries program and completed FaithTrust leadership training. She served 10 years as a pastor and associate pastor in two Georgia congregations. She also is a writer and editor, serving most recently as editor of Just Women magazine.