Sexual Ethics - Compliance, Online Test, and Healthy Boundaries

BACKGROUND: In 2008, the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference adopted the Sexual Ethics Policy for Clergy. At the 2012 Annual Conference was passed to add the requirement of attendance at a Healthy Boundary Workshop once a quadrennium. The Board of Ordained Ministry was assigned responsibility for conducting training events and testing.

THE POLICY: The Sexual Ethics Policy for Clergy is printed annually (2018 Conference Journal, Volume #1, pages 43-48 in the digital version). To be in full compliance with the policy, the following three tasks must be completed:


  • All clergy who hold membership in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and are in any appointment status including active, retired, on leave*, honorably located and those appointed to school.
  • All currently licensed local pastors.
  • All clergy from other annual conferences and other denominations who are appointed to a ministry in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference or have a charge conference relationship in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference regardless of their home Annual Conference..
  • All lay persons assigned by District Superintendents for leadership in local congregations.

* Clergy on medical leave have the option of delaying completion of the test and workshop until their leave is over. However, all tasks will need to be completed before return to any other conference status.

Everyone is required to complete the online test and disclosure form annually. You must complete the online test with a score of 100%. The test can be taken repeatedly to achieve a perfect score.

HOW: The following outlines the process for taking the test:

1. Read the Sexual Ethics Policy for Clergy, 2018 Journal, Volume #1, pages 43-48 (digital version).

2. Go to the Sexual Ethics Online Test.

3. Enter the password. (The password is the same for everyone and is in the emailed test announcement. Contact Rev. Janet Farrell, Administrative Assistant for the Board of Ordained Ministry, if you need assistance.)

4. Complete the requested information, including your agreement to abide by the Conference Sexual Ethics Policy.

5. Complete the 10 multiple-choice questions. This is an open book test; you are welcome to refer to the policy while taking the test. You may pause the test at any point and resume later.

6. When you have completed the test, you will receive your results instantly. Only 100% correct answers fulfill the requirement. You may take the test as many times as necessary.

7. When you have achieved 100% the testing service will automatically send notification to Rev. Janet Farrell, Administrative Assistant for the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

8. Rev. Janet Farrell will forward the notification to your District Office where a copy of certification will be placed in your district file and your District Superintendent will be notified of your successful completion of the test.


Taking the test or having technical difficulties: Rev. Janet Farrell, Administrative Assistant, Board of Ordained Ministry, 503-376-9049

Questions about the test, policy, or reason you have to take the test: Donna Haines, Clergy Sexual Ethics Coordinator of the Board of Ordained Ministry, 541-844-8527


OR-ID Healthy Boundaries Workshops. For the 2017-2020 quadrennium, the Board of Ordained Ministry is offering Healthy Boundary Workshops in the fall of 2018 across the annual conference. You are encouraged to make all possible efforts to attend one of the following three offerings in 2018. Click on a workshop area below for more information and to register. The fee is $15 per person; retired clergy are free.

  • Portland Area:   September 15, 2018  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Lake Oswego UMC 
  • Boise Area:       October 20, 2018         1 p.m. to 7 p.m.   Whitney UMC
  • Eugene Area:    December 8, 2018     10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Wesley UMC

Additional options available:

  • At least two more workshops will be offered in 2019. Locations will depend upon areas that have the greatest need for an additional workshop.

  • If you live outside of the OR-ID Annual Conference, you may seek out and take a Healthy Boundaries workshop or the equivalent offered by the UM Annual Conference where you live. You will need to submit documentation which shows you attended this workshop and an outline of the course.

  • If you are unable to take the OR-ID Healthy Boundaries Workshop or the equivalent offered by another Annual Conference, you may take the online course offered by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, “Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics.” If you have already taken this course, you may take “Maintaining Boundaries in a Digital Age.” Upon completion of either course, you will be given a certificate of completion to submit. Cost of each course is $49.

  • If you prefer a more in-depth study, you may take Healthy Boundaries 101, a 5-week, online class from the FaithTrust Institute founded by Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune. Cost is $349.

All workshops and classes are eligible for reimbursement through the Ministerial Education Fund.  

If you are unable to attend one of these options to fulfill the quadrennial requirement, contact Donna Haines, Clergy Sexual Ethics Coordinator of the Board of Ordained Ministry, to discuss other options.

Deferment or Exemption

Exemptions will only be granted to clergy who are no longer performing any ministerial duties. If your status is medical leave, honorable location, or retired, you may request deferment or exemption from the Bishop and your District Superintendent using the forms below. You can also contact your District office or Bishop’s office to obtain an application by mail. 

This is a significant decision because you will agree to “not perform any functions of the ministerial office” while under the deferment or exemption. Carefully read the request and agreement before you exercise this option.

Boldly Making Disciples of Jesus Christ - Vitalizing the Church - Transforming the World