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 (2020 Conference Journal, pages 44-49--Chapter 3 in the digital version; find the Policy in Spanish here/Código de Ética Sexual del Clero en Español aquí). To be in full compliance with the policy, the following three tasks must be completed:


  • All clergy who hold full or provisional membership in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and have any conference relationship 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 pastoral 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.

All the persons listed above are 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 steps outline the process for taking the test:

1. Read the Sexual Ethics Policy for Clergy, (2020 Conference Journal, pages 44-49--Chapter 3 in the digital version; find the Policy in Spanish here/Código de Ética Sexual del Clero en Español aquí).

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. Please contact Laura Jaquith Bartlett at, Administrative Assistant for the Board of Ordained Ministry, or leave a message at 503-802-9215 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; in fact, it is recommended that you have the policy open in front of you while taking the test. Each question will be scored immediately, and you'll be able to see if you received a point for the correct response. If your response was incorrect (no point), you can immediately return to that question and try again before continuing to the next question. You need to receive a point for the answer in order for your entire response to be considered "correct."

6. When you have completed the test, you will receive your overall results instantly. Only 100% correct answers fulfill the requirement. You may take the test as many times as necessary (note: if you correct each response as you go through the test, you will only need to take the test once).

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

8. Laura 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.


Questions about the test, policy, the reason you have to take the test, or technical difficulties in taking the testPlease contact Laura Jaquith Bartlett at, Administrative Assistant for the Board of Ordained Ministry, or leave a message at 503-802-9215.


OR-ID Healthy Boundaries Workshops. For the 2017-2020 quadrennium, the Board of Ordained Ministry offered Healthy Boundary Workshops in a variety of locations across the annual conference in 2018 and 2019. 

Additional options available:

  • 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.   

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.

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