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The Minister as Moral Theologian:

VAUMC Clergy Ethics Quadrennial Training 2017-2021
with Dr. Sondra Wheeler, Wesley Theological Seminary

Due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person sessions of the Minister Theologian ethics training are cancelled. In light of the on-going gathering restrictions, this event has been adapted into a series of asynchronous and synchronous video sessions. As of April 30 scheduled training sessions have ended.

The following asynchronous work is required to receive 0.25 CEU. Your CEU certificate will be issued to you by email on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Asynchronous video segments

Before you begin, we invite you to center yourself and view the Meditation video. This is optional, however we believe you will find the time beneficial and may return to watch it more than once. “Spiritual Practice of Sustained Silent Prayer” (10:08)

Keynote Presentation: The Minister as Moral Theologian (pdf)
            Session 1 Video (41:23)
                        Introduction and Welcome
                        Church is a Moral Community
            Session 2 Video (28:11)
                        Ministry as a Peculiar Profession
            Session 3 Video (48:14)
                        Guidelines for Preaching on Morally Challenging Topics
                        Preaching on Controversial Topics (start time 23:46)
                        Preaching after a Disaster (start time 35:10)

Reflection & Questions

In response to the videos and to further absorb the materials, we ask that you answer a few short questions on the following JotForm.

Your submission of this form validates your participation in the asynchronous training.

Ethics of Preaching

The Board of Ordained Ministry wishes to highlight the concern of plagiarism. The following two videos are dramatic presentations meant to teach through humor and yet present a real problem seen from Virginia pulpits. The following resource will help guide you through the most obvious of issues and we are sure you will find others.

The Worst Sermon Ever – presented by Rev. Alex Joyner

An Even Worse Sermon – presented by Rev. Dave Rochford

Ethics in Preaching Citation Sheet (pdf)

Sondra Wheeler (PhD, Yale University) is the Martha Ashby Carr Professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  Dr. Wheeler’s book, The Minister as Moral Theologian: Ethical Dimensions of Pastoral Leadership is available now in paperback wherever you buy books.  Its companion volume, Sustaining Ministry: Foundations and Practices for Serving Faithfully was released in November 2017. 

We are grateful to James Mills, Director of Technology at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford, for his talents and time in producing these video segments.

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