In order to prevent inappropriate relationships or conduct within the work of the Chaplaincy, the following policies are set forth to give guidance to the Chaplain, pastoral intern(s), and others formally associated with the ministry of the AU United Methodist Chaplaincy.
For the purpose of this document, the terms “clergy” or “clergy person” shall refer to the United Methodist Chaplain, any pastoral intern, and any other paid staff formally affiliated with the AU United Methodist Chaplaincy. “Conference” shall refer to the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church. “University” shall refer to The American University.
1. At all times care should be taken to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
2. Clergy shall not engage in amorous relationships with undergraduate students of the University, or with any other person who regularly participates in the worship and religious life of the community. This provision shall not apply to a situation in which the clergy person has had a relationship with an individual prior to the establishment of any pastor-parishioner relationship.
3. Clergy should not spend time alone with a student of the opposite sex (or of the same sex, if the sexual orientation of the student is an issue) with the exception of a counseling situation or some other necessary work of the Chaplaincy. “Time alone” shall be construed to mean situations when the two are in a closed-door space or are with no other people around.
4. In a counseling situation, the clergy person shall, if possible and allowed by the counselee, record for his or her own reference the counseling session. If recording is not possible or desirable, the clergy person shall make notes of the content of the counseling session and record the session in a log or record, including the name, date, and time of the counseling session.
5. When it becomes necessary for the work of the Chaplaincy for a clergy person to be alone with a student of the opposite sex (or of the same sex, if the sexual orientation of the student is an issue) — e.g., running errands, purchasing supplies, etc. — the clergy person shall notify a third party, such as the Kay Center operations administrator, or other such appropriate individual, of the activity, with whom he or she is going, and the approximate duration.
6. Where a clergy person is confronted by behavior of a student that is sexually provocative or otherwise inappropriate, the clergy person shall immediately make a record of the incident and notify a member of the ministry support team.
7. Where a student is confronted by behavior of a clergy person that is sexually provocative or otherwise inappropriate, the student shall be encouraged to immediately make a record of the incident and notify a member of the ministry support team, who shall direct that student to the appropriate University or Conference official.