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Ministerial Misconduct: Information and Resources
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Ministerial Misconduct 

The UUMA is deeply committed to nurturing integrity, accountability, justice, faithfulness, and leadership in ministry.  We know that ministerial misconduct violates a sacred trust. This page is intended to provide information about clergy misconduct, about how to file complaints and about how to access resources for support. If you have questions or would prefer to talk to someone about your concerns, you are welcome to reach out to the UUMA's Director of Collegial Practices for a conversation.  

What is considered ministerial misconduct?

How do I report ministerial misconduct?

  • If you are a victim/survivor of clergy misconduct and you want to consider filing a complaint, you can do so with the UUA’s Office of Ethics and Safety.
  • Members of the UUMA wishing to inquire about or initiate the UUMA’s Accountability procedures may contact the Director of Collegial Practices who will guide you through the process.

What are the UUMA's accountability practices?

  • The UUMA follows the process for accountability outlined in our Guidelines for the Conduct of Ministry. At this time, our members are considering significant revision of our Guidelines, including to the Accountability Processes. While our Guidelines are under review, we have made two adjustments that are within the purview of the leadership of the Board of Trustees:
    • We are completing intake forms whenever we receiving an inquiry concerning ministerial misconduct so that we can track concerns and patterns, even if people chose not to file a formal complaint.
    • Beginning spring 2019, if a person resigns from the UUMA during the course of an investigation into concerns of ministerial misconduct, we will inform the membership of the UUMA of their resignation while under investigation as a matter of transparency.

What resources are available to UUMA members who experience trauma as a result of ministerial misconduct?

If you are experiencing trauma as a result of misconduct, we encourage you to seek out therapy or counseling as needed.

  • For members who are feeling old pain activated by the June UUMA Board Apology Letter to the membership (click here to view letter in a member protected page) the following resources are available.
    • Care and Support Gathering on Zoom facilitated by two UUA Advocates - Rev. Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe and Rev. Denise Gyauch on Friday, June 7 at 3pm EST/ 2pm CST/ 1pm MST/ 12 pm PST. Click here to register and receive the Zoom call in information. 
    • Care and Support Gathering for those who will be in Spokane at Ministry Days facilitated by two UUA Advocates - Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson and Rev. Dr. Kate Walker on Tuesday, June 18 at 8:15 pm. Click here to register and receive the meeting location.
    • Anyone who is registered for Ministry Days in person or off site may reach out for support from the Ministry Days Chaplains.  

What resources are available to lay members and congregations impacted by ministerial misconduct?

The UUMA is a professional association for ministers and our programs, services and ministries are limited to members.  The UUA has ample resources for congregations and their members. 

  • The UUA’s Office of Ethics and Safety maintains a FAQ page with resources for victims/survivors and congregations.
  • The UUA's Congregational Life staff is focused on providing a range of resources for congregations. We encourage individuals who have been harmed to pursue therapy or counseling as needed.  If finances are an obstacle for you in accessing therapeutic support, the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline is able to refer you to free or low cost counseling in your area.  

How can I learn more? 

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
© 2020 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.