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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 as Moral 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.

The following asynchronous work is required prior to attending the live video training. You will get the most benefit from the interaction with your colleagues if you have watched the video segments, or reviewed your notes and questions, within 24-hours of the live training.

Asynchronous video segments to watch prior to the live video training

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 due prior to the live video training

In response to the videos and to further absorb the materials, we ask that you answer a few short questions on the following JotForm. You may also wish to ask questions or make notes for yourself in anticipation of the live training.

Your submission of this form validates your participation in the asynchronous portion of the full continuing education event. You will receive your CEU at the conclusion of the live portion of the event.

Agenda for the Live training on Zoom

  • Summary and Q&A on Session 1 and 2 of the Keynote Presentation: The Minister as Moral Theologian
  • Sustaining Practices as a Ministry Leader
    Breakout room conversations and case studies followed by full group discussion
  • The Ethics of Preaching and Moral Leadership in the Pulpit (Session 3)
    Large group conversation

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.