Project Documents

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Benjamin D. Schoun

Second Advisor

Atilio R. Dupertius

Third Advisor

Denis Fortin



Clergy sexual misconduct has become a major problem among Christian denominations. It involves violation of expectations and the breaking of public trust. There is also a growing awareness in our society of the legal implications of clergy sexual misconduct. This present study was to prepare, present, and evaluate a seminar for pastors on the dynamics, prevention, and legal implications of clergy sexual misconduct.


Research was done to help ministers understand the dynamics, prevention, and legal implications of clergy sexual misconduct. Then, a seminar was conducted in four areas of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This seminar was attended by fifty-seven pastors.


Pastors believed that all colleges and/or the seminary should include in their ministerial training program a core course on sexual ethics in the ministry. Also, seminars and/or programs should be created to help ministers who are already serving in their respective responsibilities. They also indicated that new and transferring pastors should be screened before hiring them and be asked to attend an orientation process. Finally, the pastors expressed the hope that some fallen ministers may be given the opportunity for restoration providing that certain requirements are met.


Church leaders should study the development and implementation of an instrument to screen new and transferring pastors which includes an orientation process. Colleges and/or the seminary should consider creating and incorporating a class on sexual ethics in the ministry. Seminars/workshops should also be made available to help ministers, especially those coming from outside of North America, deal with this problem in a Christian, professional, and responsible way. Finally, more study should be done to create a system of restoration for fallen pastors and a recovery program for victims of clergy sexual misconduct, their relatives, and congregations.

Subject Area

Sexual misconduct by clergy; Clergy--Sexual behavior

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