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Ministerial Ethics, 2nd Edition

Moral Formation for Church Leaders

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"Ministerial Ethics in its revised edition promises to be a usable seminary textbook and a useful reference tool for ministers."--Tarris D. Rosell, Christian Ethics Today

Ministerial Ethics seeks to teach students the unique moral role of ministers and the ethical responsibilities clergy should assume in their personal and professional lives. The authors deal with family life, confidentiality, truth-telling, political involvement, working with committees, and relating to other church staff members. This fully revised and updated edition has expanded sections on theological foundations, the role of character, confidentiality, and clergy sexual abuse.




"The church is in an ethical free fall because of the conduct of its leaders. It has become an embarrassment to all Christians. Ministerial Ethics addresses this issue and offers clear, candid, and comprehensive helps to both pastors and churches."--Paul Powell, dean, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

"Since its publication in 1993, Ministerial Ethics has served as the core textbook for my courses in pastoral ethics. I therefore greet warmly the appearance of this revised version. Like its predecessor, the second edition will set the standard for reflective engagement with this crucial topic."--Stanley J. Grenz, Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology, Carey Theological College

"Since the first edition of this book came out in 1993, I have used it as my core text in both undergraduate and seminary courses in ministerial ethics. The book's many strengths include strong grounding in pastoral experience, mature engagement with research in both ethics and ministry, and a clear and concrete articulation of moral norms, including an exceptionally strong treatment of ministerial codes of ethics. The authors exhibit a courageous and independent spirit in treating sensitive subjects; their expanded treatment of clergy sexual abuse is perhaps the best example of this spirit. I strongly recommend Ministerial Ethics for both classroom and church use."--David P. Gushee, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University

"Trull and Carter have given us a book that no ministry may ignore and every minister will be thankful for. It is required reading for every minister. I am thankful to God for its publication."--Lewis B. Smedes

The Authors

  1. Joe E. Trull

    Joe E. Trull

    Joe E. Trull (ThD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), now retired, previously served as professor of Christian ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a pastor for over twenty years, is the former editor of Christian Ethics...

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  2. James E. Carter

    James E. Carter

    James E. Carter (1935-2015; PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) was a pastor with over thirty years of experience. He served as director of Church-Minister Relations for the Louisiana Baptist Convention from 1988-2000.

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"For good reasons, I have adopted this revision as a required textbook for my new seminary course in pastoral ministry ethics. . . . This is a ministerial ethics grounded in biblical ethics, which I commend and other readers surely will also. . . . Ministerial Ethics in its revised edition promises to be a usable seminary textbook and a useful reference tool for ministers."--Tarris D. Rosell, Christian Ethics Today

"Joe Trull and James Carter have provided the ethical helps pastors need. . . . Ministerial Ethics provides an overview of the entire scope of ministerial ethics. This book would make an excellent textbook for ministerial students." --Enrichment Journal

"The latest edition of Ministerial Ethics is a welcome revision and expansion of the original 1993 edition. . . . The text is destined to continue as a popular classroom text for seminaries and divinity schools. . . . In an increasingly litigious society and a moral decaying culture, chapter 7 will be a most valuable addition for church leaders. I cannot express how important this chapter is for the times we live in. . . . The information on codes of ethics will be very helpful and should be considered by every judicatory. The writers are inclusive and ecumenical in their work. . . . This revised edition is a must for all clergy and those charged with guiding the ministerial formation of young clergy. I am grateful for the book and recommend it without reservation."--Jim Royston,

"The recently issued second edition of this book is especially welcome. This volume is not intended to be the final word on any of the many ethical issues it addresses that are routinely faced by today's ministers. Rather, it seeks to serve as an introductory survey of the entire field of ministerial ethics. At this it succeeds very well. . . . Perhaps the biggest difference between the book's first and second editions is the latter's expansive treatment of clergy sexual abuse, surely the most notorious locus of clergy misconduct in recent years. Here, one finds extensive information on the incidence of clergy sexual abuse, what constitutes it, its impact, how one should respond to it, and how it may be prevented. . . . This worthy book deserves a prominent place in the classrooms of our seminaries and on the reference shelves of our ministers."--Paul J. Lokken, Word & World

"In releasing this second edition, Trull and Carter have made available a tool that can be very helpful. . . . The applied discussions of the day-in and day-out realities a minister faces are realistic and right headed. The appendices continue to be a highlight and helpful resource for the reader. . . . [Ministerial Ethics] provide[s] a basic introduction to many important issues, and it serves as a helpful beginning point from which to launch deeper discussions."--Mark Liederbach, Faith and Mission