Code of Professional Practices

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Code of Professional Practices

Adopted at 2011 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC


We, the members of the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators, do affirm this Code of Professional Practices as our standard of commitment to congregational administration. This Code will be followed by all the members of this Association who are engaged as Professional Administrators working in UU congregations, and will be supported by all who are joining our membership.

I. Self

A. As a professional administrator serving within the Unitarian Universalist Association and Canadian Unitarian Council, I commit myself to honor the ideals of professional administration in a religious institution, and to actively explore and articulate the underlying values and principles that those ideals express.

B. I recognize that as a professional in whom trust and power have been placed, I am both morally and legally in a professional relationship to which I am called to be faithful. I will never abuse the authority of my position by manipulating others to satisfy my personal needs. Objectionable behaviors may include, but are not limited to, sexual behavior with any child, adolescent, or vulnerable adult seeking advice or comfort; or with any adult in another committed relationship; or with colleagues serving my congregation or organization. I will observe the legal requirements of my state or province regarding the reporting of physical or sexual misconduct.

C. The recognition of the importance of administration by my congregation requires acknowledgement of my worth as a professional administrator. Understanding that other administration professionals will follow after me, I will work actively with an appropriately designated group within my congregation to help establish up-to- date standards of fair compensation and working conditions that support our professional skills.

D. I recognize the need for continuing professional education and training, and will take advantage of opportunities to avail myself of these as time and resources allow.

E. I will sustain a respect for administration. Because my private life is woven into my practice of this profession, I will refrain from private as well as public words or actions which are degrading to my congregation’s ministry or destructive of congregational life.

F. I will serve each member of the church impartially.

II. Colleagues

A. Since I share the welfare of the congregation with other religious professionals, I will seek to be part of mutually cooperative, supportive, open, consultative and ethical relationships with them as we carry out our shared and separate responsibilities. Should difficulties arise, I will seek help judiciously and express my concerns professionally, keeping in mind the dignity and value of my position.

B. I recognize that in my relationship with religious professionals, I have a responsibility to be supportive in both personal and public situations. I will offer honest and caring responses to them and designate appropriate help when called for. Understanding the trust that colleagues place in relationships with each other, I will honor the need for confidentiality, keeping in mind that such confidentiality is not to be used to allow harm to another or to prevent appropriate help from being sought. I accept the responsibility to confront a colleague’s misuse of power, or to report concerns about suspected misconduct to an AUUA Good Officer or, in its absence, the AUUA Board of Directors.

C. In the event that I remain a member in the congregation where I have previously served as an administrator, I will refrain from being involved in the process of selecting my successor unless formally requested to do so. Further, I will support my successor by leaving room for him/her to establish her/his own identity and leadership in the congregation and by refraining from accepting positions on policy-making bodies in the congregation (such as board, finance committee, personnel committee) for two years after my professional leadership has been concluded in that congregation unless being specifically asked to serve by the new leadership. I will encourage members of the congregation to speak to their current administrator or other appropriate persons for answers to all current administration issues or concerns.

III. Congregation

A. I will uphold and honor the liberal religious principles of congregational polity and inclusiveness, within the congregation I serve, knowing that by modeling such principles, I am upholding the experience of free religious life for the entire congregation.

B. I will honor the confidences shared with me by members of the congregation, keeping in mind that such confidentiality should not contribute to personal or professional misuse of power.

C. I will exercise good stewardship in the use of the church’s resources and encourage others to do likewise.

D. In the case of planned or forced resignation or significant change in role or responsibility, I will consult with an AUUA Good Officer or in its absence, the AUUA Board of Directors for counsel and assistance in executing a well-managed departure or change.

IV. Wider Association

A. As an AUUA member, I will understand my responsibility to educate lay people and religious professionals about the qualifications for and dimensions of professional administration, and to enlist their help in according appropriate status to professional administrators.

B. To promote professional integrity and leadership, I will advocate for AUUA’s Code of Professional Practices.

C. I will support and participate in activities and programs of the UUA and Canadian Unitarian Council as applicable, and encourage the participation of others in such events, knowing that wider participation will lead to deeper understanding of our goals as professional church administrators.

D. Recognizing the relationship between liberal religious goals and values and adequate financial resources needed to support their attainment, I will work to support fair and appropriate funding efforts advocated by the UUA, CUC, AUUA and associated interests and other organizations of professional church administrators.

V. The Larger Community

A. As a professional church administrator, I understand that whenever I participate in the wider community, I represent the faith group by which I am employed and will strive to be a model of ethical leadership.

B. I will honor our liberal religious imperative to work for social justice. In turn, I will encourage all people within my congregation to participate in community and world issues as the embodiment of living religiously in the liberal tradition.