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.

In 2020 the two topics were Teaching, and Grooming Awareness.

In 2021 the two topics are Councils of the Church, and Confidentiality.

The first workbook for 2021 is available to download here: Relationships with Councils of the Church


The October 2021 Ethical Ministry Refresher events, focused on confidentiality, are being run on Zoom, Thursday morning 9.30 am – 12.30 pm October 21, and Wednesday evening, 6.30 – 9.30 pm, October 27. Register online at

You can download the resources here:

Confidentiality – Participant’s preparation and workshop material

Confidentiality in the Church, an article by D Elizabeth Audette