Augsburg Fortress

Ethics in Ministry: A Guide for the Professional

Ethics in Ministry: A Guide for the Professional

An ethical guide for clergy and laypersons who deal with "the vexing questions that arise in the daily life of a minister at work." The authors discuss salaries, truth-telling, surviving church politics, confidentiality, the unmarried pastor, the two-clergy family, accepting gifts, working with other church staff, and more.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800623913
  • eBook ISBN 9781451407679
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 192
  • Publication Date November 1, 1989


"Wiest and Smith here invite clergy into a stimulating conversation about professional ethics. With real cases, solid theological-ethical reflection, and wise moral counsel, they illuminate an impressive array of issues. They resist easy moralisms and lofty generalities as they examine truth-telling in recommendation letters, boundaries in counseling relationships, fund-raising ethics, public invocations, and much, much more. This is an impressively useful book."
— James B. Nelson, United Theological Seminary

"With wisdom borne from years of their own ministries in seminary and parish, Wiest and Smith have given us not only solid insight into issues of integrity in ministry, but into the complex and theological nature of the profession of ministry itself."
— Marjorie Suchocki, Wesley Theological Seminary


"In this world, the comfort of knowing oneself to be right is denied to all but the Pharisees among us. No individual can evade responsibility for ethical decisions. The person and words of Christ ... point directions, set limits, and profoundly shape the mind of the professional clergy ... To live confidently and faithfully with incompleteness, risk, and ambiguity in the name of one's Lord is to become the kind of person demanded by the religious professions."
— Walter E. Weist and Elwyn A. Smith

Table of Contents

  1. Preface

    Part One: Truth

  2. What Is Telling the Truth?
  3. How We Tell the Truth

    Part Two: Authority
  4. The Authority of the Minister
  5. The Pastor as Professional
  6. Practicing the Pastor's Authority

    Part Three: Character & Relationships
  7. The Pastor as Human Being
  8. Professional Relationships among Ministers
  9. The Ethics of a Worldly Church
  10. Ministers and Social Establishments
  11. The Professional Character