Betrayal of Trust, 2nd Edition

Confronting and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct

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Clergy sexual misconduct has become a crisis of nearly epidemic proportions. Without exception, these incidents inflict terrible pain on victims and tarnish the credibility of the Church in society. A comprehensive look at the problem, Betrayal of Trust offers practical, Scripture-based ideas on how to prevent abuse, minister to victims, and respond appropriately to cases of misconduct.


"Having spent the last 30 years researching and writing about clergy sexual misconduct I was most pleased to see how right on target "Betrayal of Trust" was. It is a sensitive, non-judgmental examination of the risks facing clergy in this arena and offers practical and insightful guidance to both clergy who have succumbed and those injured by the misconduct. I encourage pastors and church leaders to read this book and put into practice the advice it contains." --Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., FPPR, professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Betrayal of Trust is good news for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse,
for churches harmed, and for professionals working to help heal the deep mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds resulting from the betrayal of the sacred trust of ministry. It is good news for all clergy, those who have offended and those who never would offend. Grenz and Bell offer a healing context for understanding power and its responsibility and give handles of hope for the prevention of abuse that could render intervention unnecessary. May it be so." --Christie Smith Stephens,
co-founder and former co-executive director, Women's Alternatives, Inc., Anderson, Indiana

"This book places square in the center of our radar screens one of the most significant challenges confronting the churches of our land--ministerial sexual misconduct. The damage done is wide and deep, harming ministers, "the other woman," their families, the churches, and the credibility of the Gospel in an already cynical world. The menace posed is so serious as to demand our best thinking and our best efforts. The authors of this book have done an enormous service to the whole Body of Christ by speaking candidly, yet constructively about the sources and solutions for the current crisis. They skillfully tackle the demands of compassion, justice, the restoration of integrity, and spiritual healing. This book should be read carefully, and its suggested prescriptions applied thoughtfully in churches and Christian agencies everywhere. I commend it to everyone serious about the health of the cause of Christ in the world." --Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer, Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention

"When Texas Baptists were charged to do a two-year comprehensive study of clergy sexual abuse, the text we turned to again and again was Betrayal of Trust. As a seminary teacher of Christian ethics specializing in ministerial ethics, I have utilized and recommended Grenz and Bell's classic work to students, pastors, and lay leaders. This is required reading for church and religious leaders--we must be prepared to deal openly and honestly with one of the most serious and wide-spread problems in ministry today." --Joe E. Trull, editor, Christian Ethics Today

The Authors

  1. Stanley J. Grenz

    Stanley J. Grenz

    Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) was the Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College. He earned the Doctor of Theology degree at the University of Munich. A leading voice on the North American theological scene, he wrote or...

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  2. Roy D. Bell

    Roy D. Bell

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