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Handling Allegations in a Ministry: Responses and Investigations Webinar

August 14 @ 3:00 pm 4:30 pm EDT

Receiving an allegation of some kind of misconduct is always a shock and may trigger a crisis situation. The end goal will be to bring peace and healing, but it may be a long journey. This talk will provide principles on how to respond initially, what plans to put in place, and how to evaluate if an investigation is needed. Then it walks through how to plan and execute a good investigation, addressing some practical and legal concerns. This may include “red flags,” who should conduct an investigation, and to what extent legal counsel and other experts may be needed. A correct approach will help avoid serious mistakes, minimize damage, and prepare the organization to provide healing to people harmed. An investigation is designed to uncover truth, but the goal should be for the truth to be used for repentance and healing.

This event will be free for ECAP Members and $20 for non-members. All attendees will receive a copy of Theresa Sidebotham’s book Handling Allegations in a Ministry: Responses and Investigations.

Thank you to our sponsors for this event!

About our Presenter:

Theresa Sidebotham assists organizations in the U.S. and internationally, with a special focus on employment law, religious and nonprofit law, and child safety. She advises on numerous misconduct investigations. She is also the founder of Telios Law PLLC. Theresa was mentored by judges at the Colorado Court of Appeals and worked at a large law firm serving religious institutions and doing general litigation before opening Telios Law. She has since gone on to represent a variety of businesses, ministries, churches, and individual clients in matters ranging from child protection to employment to civil rights and more. Her cross-cultural experience helps her serve ministries and businesses well, particularly in negotiating employment problems and conducting internal investigations into misconduct allegations.

About Handling Allegations In Ministry: Responses and Investigations

A church office worker complains about romantic advances made by a married pastor. What do you do? Parents in your congregation accuse a teenage boy of touching their daughter inappropriately. How should you handle it? A woman in your ministry files a sexual harassment complaint about a male coworker, which turns into a confusing he said/she said clash. How can you determine the truth?

Allegations of harm must be taken seriously. The health and reputation of the organization, the potential victim, and the accused are at stake. How do you go about investigating in a proper and godly way?

This handbook helps pastors, ministry leaders, board members, and HR professionals navigate the process of response and investigation, which may require outside expertise. With clear and practical guidance, this book will show you how to:

  • Respond to complaints and make appropriate reports
  • Listen to and protect those who may have been harmed
  • Create a fair process and communicate it appropriately
  • Take responsibility and restore those who have been harmed