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Online training to help stop sexual abuse in the church.
All active ministers and lay pastors have been emailed a unique login link. If you have not received a login link, please complete the form below and click Submit. If you’re an Educator, Youth Leader, or other church professional, fill out the form and credentials will be emailed to you in a few days.
Start Your Training
Our Presbytery uses Praesidium Academy to provide highest quality, Insurance Board certified online instruction at no cost to you. To start the training, fill out the form below and click Submit. In a few days you’ll receive login credentials and instructions.
From Section I of the Presbytery of East Tennessee’s Sexual Misconduct Policy:
Our sexuality is a gift from God and when rightly used helps lead to the wholeness of life which God intends for all people. Those who serve through the offices of the Church bear particular responsibility in making manifest the goodness of God’s gift of sexuality.
SCRIPTURE states: As God who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not under compulsion but willingly, not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge but be examples to the flock. You know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. (1 Peter 1:15; 5:2; James 3:1 NRSV)
THE BOOK OF CONFESSIONS states: “The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God’s ordering of the interpersonal life for which God created humankind. Anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of our alienation from God, neighbor, and self. The Church, as the household of God, is called to lead persons out of this alienation into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ. Reconciled to God each person has a joy in and a respect for one’s own humanity and that of other persons…The church comes under the judgment of God and invites rejection by people when it fails to lead men and women into full meaning of life together, or withholds the compassion of Christ from those caught in the moral confusion of our time.” (Confession of 1967, 9.47d)
THE BOOK OF ORDER states: To those called to exercise special functions in the church—deacons, ruling elders, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament—God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. They must have the approval of God’s people and the concurring judgment of a council of the church. (Gifts and Qualifications, G-2.0104)
THE PRESBYTERY OF EAST TENNESSEE states: We believe and proclaim that all people are created by God. God values all human life and intends that everyone — children, women, and men — have worth and dignity in all relationships.
We further believe in justice for all persons. Sexual misconduct of religious leaders is an abuse of power and trust, and is, therefore, unjust. Scripture asserts that religious leadership involves a covenant relationship that presumes the trustworthy exercise of power in behalf of those in our care. A betrayal of this is more than just a personal tragedy for the victim. It reflects a tragic breakdown in the character of the abuser that seriously threatens, not only those immediately affected, but also the well-being of the Church itself.
THE PRESBYTERY OF EAST TENNESSEE proclaims that the Church can never be well served by overlooking an abuse of power and trust, that sexual misconduct is wrong and that charges of misconduct must be dealt with swiftly, fairly, and with compassion for both the accused and the accuser.
In doing so, we are to remember “…the purpose of church discipline is…to preserve the purity of the Church by nourishing the individual within the life of the believing community, to correct or restrain wrongdoing in order to bring members to repentance and restoration…” (D-1.0101) It is …”for building up the body of Christ, not for destroying it, for redeeming, not punishing. It should be exercised as a dispensation of mercy and not of wrath so that the great ends of the Church may be achieved…” (D-1.0102)
The full text of the Sexual Misconduct Policy of the Presbytery of East Tennessee is available for download here.