Mennonite Church USA Updates Ministerial Misconduct File Sharing Protocols

April 20, 2021
by Mennonite Church USA Staff

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has updated its ministerial misconduct file sharing protocols to allow MC USA agencies and related entities to inquire about past misconduct of credentialed leaders, according to Michael Danner, Mennonite Church USA Associate Executive Director of Church Vitality.

The previous MC USA policy, introduced in 2017, allowed denominational staff to share ministerial misconduct files only with the complainant, the accused, law enforcement, search committees and area conference credentialing bodies. Now, denominational staff may also share this information with MC USA agencies and related entities, including MC USA-affiliated schools, that are vetting credentialed leaders for volunteer or paid positions.

The updated file sharing policy says:

The MC USA Leadership Discernment Committee and/or Agencies that are vetting credentialed leaders for employment or volunteer positions may inquire if said leader has past misconduct. If they have, the agency will be given a report naming the credentialed leader’s misconduct, including the date and nature of the charge, the resulting judgement, all sanctions and the compliance of the credentialed leader. These reports are for agency use only.

“The updated protocols are a part of MC USA’s commitment to improving policy, practices and accountability concerning pastoral misconduct…By creating clear lines of communication, we can better ensure that congregations, conferences, agencies and related entities have good information to make informed decisions regarding their engagement with credentialed leaders,” Danner said.

Read more about the policy on Mennonite Church USA’s website.