CODE OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
the members of the Liberal Religious Educators Association, do affirm this
Code of Professional Practices as our standard of commitment to the practice
of religious education. This Code will be followed by all LREDA members
who are or have been engaged as professional religious educators. It is
supported by all who, by joining LREDA, indicate that they honor the
importance of religious growth and learning in the congregations or
communities they serve.
As a professional religious educator, or as a
supporter of religious education within the Unitarian Universalist
Association or the Canadian Unitarian Council, I commit myself to honor the
ideals of liberal religious education, and to actively explore and articulate
the underlying values and principles that those ideals express.
I recognize that as a religious leader in whom trust and power have been
placed, I am called to be faithful both morally and legally to my
professional relationships. I must never abuse the authority of my
position by manipulating others to satisfy my personal needs. (Examples
of such abuse would be sexualized behavior with any child, adolescent, or
vulnerable adult seeking advice or comfort; sexualized behavior with any
adult who is in another committed relationship; sexualized behavior with
interns or youth advisors).
I pledge that I will not engage in any other
exploitative relationship that abuses the power and damages the trust that a
specific individual, a congregation, or an institution has placed in
me. As a religious education professional, I have the responsibility to
have read and understood this Code, and to live in accordance with its
contents. I expect that my colleagues will do likewise.
I accept the responsibility to confront a
colleague's misuse of power or to report concerns about suspected misconduct
to a LREDA Good Officer. Furthermore, I will be aware of and observe the
legal requirements of my State or Province regarding reporting of physical or
The recognition of the importance of religious education by my congregation
or employer requires acknowledgment of my worth as a professional religious
educator. Understanding that other religious educational professionals will
follow after me, I will work with the appropriately designated group within my
congregation or place of employment to help establish up-to-date standards of
fair compensation and working conditions that support professional religious
Because the role and the demands on the religious educator require continual
updating of professional perspectives, I will seek and maintain outside
collegial contacts and continuing education opportunities to provide such
As an individual who brings a complex variety of needs and boundaries to my
professional life, I commit to seek any needed personal assistance and
counseling from a professional outside of my congregation. Since the
demands of others upon me will be many and constant, I will try to keep
especially aware of my rights and limits, and if I am not single, of the
rights and limits of my family, and of my relation to them as a spouse,
partner, parent, or friend.
I will stand in a supportive
relation to my ministerial, religious education and staff colleagues and keep
for them an open mind and heart.
I will strictly respect confidences given me by colleagues and expect them to
I will not speak scornfully or in derogation of any colleague in
public. In any private conversation critical of a colleague, I will
speak responsibly and temperately.
Should I know that a LREDA colleague is engaged in practices that are
damaging, as defined in our Code of Professional Practice, I will speak
openly and frankly to him/her and endeavor to be of help. If necessary,
I will bring such matters to the attention of the LREDA Board of Trustees.
Since I share the welfare of the congregation or community I serve with the
parish minister and/or other staff, I will seek to be part of mutually
cooperative and consultative relationships with them as we carry out our
shared and separate responsibilities. When difficulties arise, I
will seek help judiciously and express my concerns professionally, keeping in
mind the worth and dignity of all parties involved.
I will share leadership opportunities and responsibilities with my colleagues
openly, honestly, and ethically. In particular, I will consult with
them in advance of any professional or public engagements that I may be asked
to undertake in their communities or congregations.
When leaving a position of religious
education leadership for any reason, I will refrain from being involved in
the process of selecting my successor.
Further, I will support my successor by leaving room for her/him to
establish her/his own identity and leadership in the congregation and by
refraining from accepting positions on policy-making bodies in the
congregation (such as the Board, Religious Education Committee, Finance
Committee, or Personnel Committee) for two years after my professional
leadership has been concluded in that congregation. For two years, I will not accept or volunteer for roles in
the religious education program, and will encourage members of the
congregation to speak to the current religious educator or other appropriate
persons for answers to all current religious education issues or concerns.
I will uphold and honor the
practice of congregational polity within the congregation I serve, knowing
that by educating and modeling the practice of such polity, I am
strengthening the experience of free corporate religious life.
I will respect the traditions of the congregation or community I serve and
will seek changes that reflect liberal religious principles of inclusivity in
consultation with others in that body.
I will honor absolutely the confidences shared with me by members of the
congregation or place of employment keeping in mind that such confidentiality
should not contribute to personal or professional misuse of power.
In the case of planned or forced resignation or significant change in role or
responsibility, I will consult with a LREDA Good Officer for counsel and
assistance in executing a well-managed departure or change. I will refrain from actions or public statements that
intentionally initiate or foster divisiveness in the congregation.
IV. Movement and Association
As a LREDA member, I understand
my responsibility to educate lay people and ministerial colleagues about the
qualifications for and dimensions of religious education leadership, and to
enlist their help in according appropriate status to liberal religious
To promote professional integrity and leadership, I will be familiar with and
advocate for LREDA's Code of Professional Practices and Guidelines.
I will support and participate in activities and programs of the Unitarian
Universalist Association and the Canadian Unitarian Council and encourage the
participation of others in such events, knowing that wider participation will
lead to deeper understanding of our goals as liberal religious educators.
Recognizing the relationship between liberal religious goals and values and
adequate financial resources needed to support those goals, I will work to
support fair and appropriate funding efforts advocated by the Unitarian
Universalist Association, the Canadian Unitarian Council and associated
interests and programs of liberal religious educators.
As a professional religious
educator, I understand that whenever I participate in the wider community, I
represent my particular faith group and should provide a living model of
ethical and religious leadership for people of all ages and circumstances.
I will honor our liberal religious imperative to work for social
justice. In turn, I will encourage all people within my congregation to
participate in community and world issues as the embodiment of living
religiously in the liberal tradition.
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