A Conference on Responding to Professional Sexual Misconduct
Columbia Bible College is pleased to invite pastors, church leaders, and members of the Christian community to #ChurchToo: Responding to Professional Sexual Misconduct, an equipping conference to be held on campus May 25-26, 2018.
When a Christian leader engages in professional sexual misconduct, complex questions confront the church. How do sin, forgiveness, and accountability fit together in these situations? What are ways we can promote healing for victims? How do we confront the offender? Is it possible to prevent such situations from happening? How do we talk about sexual misconduct and abuse within our congregations?
#ChurchToo will tackle these difficult and often-avoided questions, providing theological insights, practical guidelines, and personal stories. Participants will come away from the event with a deeper understanding of the central dynamics of professional sexual misconduct within the church, and better equipped to prevent and respond to these painful situations within their own communities.
Twenty-five years ago, Columbia Bible College walked through its own painful experience with professional sexual misconduct, as students and alumni came forward to disclose the sexually abusive and exploitative behaviour of then-faculty member Murray Phillips.
“A major impetus for #ChurchToo is to do everything possible to ensure that sexual misconduct never happens on our campus again, and I believe this should be a fundamental value for every Christian organization” explains Bryan Born, Columbia Bible College president, and head of the conference planning team. “Our hope is that Christian leaders will be willing to join us at #ChurchToo for a time of learning around this crucial – though uncomfortable – topic.”
Conference speakers include ministry leaders, faculty members, and professional counsellors, all with extensive experience working with both victims and perpetrators of sexual misconduct. Columbia is delighted that Carol Penner (assistant professor of theological studies at Conrad Grebel), David Martin (executive minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada), Magi Cooper (counsellor), and Elsie Goerzen (End Abuse Program Coordinator with MCC-BC) have agreed to share their expertise in plenary sessions and workshops.
Full details about these speakers, plenary sessions, workshops, panel discussions, and registration for #ChurchToo are available at www.columbiabc.edu/ChurchToo.