The Uniting Church has a Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice which applies to Candidates, Community Ministers, Deacons, Deaconesses, Interns, Lay Pastors, Ministers of the Word, Pastors, Youth Workers and Ministers from another denomination serving in an approved placement. Each year Port Phillip East Presbytery runs two Ethical Ministry Refreshers that cover one aspect of the Code of Ethics.

Lay Preachers

The Uniting Church also has a Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice for Lay Preachers, which applies to people who are accredited by the Presbytery and the wider church in that role.

Lay Leaders

The Uniting Church has a Code of Conduct for Lay Leaders, which outlines the behaviours expected of persons who participate in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia as leaders. It applies to all the Church’s lay leaders, including but not exclusively Church Councillors, elders, worship leaders, chairs of committees, team / activity leaders. That is, any lay person who accepts a leadership role within a Congregation, Presbytery, Synod or Assembly. It does not apply to those holding paid positions as it is expected that employment contracts will bind employees to the organisation’s code of conduct.

Ethical Ministry Refreshers

Each year Uniting Church Presbyteries run two “Ethical Ministry Refreshers”, three hour sessions that focus on a section of the UCA Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice. They include theological reflection, consideration of case studies, and time to meet with colleagues to talk about ministry.

Teaching & Competence 2024

The Ethical Ministry Refreshers (Code of Ethics Training) first session for 2024 will be on Thursday 6 June and Wednesday 12 June.

Eugene Peterson attempts to voice what a congregation is saying when they ordain or call a pastor to serve among them. In their best and deepest longings, they are saying,

“We need help in keeping our beliefs sharp and accurate and intact. We don’t trust ourselves; our emotions seduce us into infidelities. We know we are launched on a difficult and dangerous act of faith, and there are strong influences intent on diluting or destroying it. We want you to give us help. Be our pastor, a minister of Word and sacrament in the middle of this world’s life. ‘( from Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 144–45)

Download Resources

Code of Ethics 2024 Session 1 Competence