Boundaries in Ministry

Every three years all Diocesan Clergy are required to complete a "Boundaries" Course as a condition of their licence. 

"Walk the Line"

Navigating Healthy Boundaries in Ministry

This is an introductory/refresher course using new material developed by Reverend Sarah Park (Auckland Diocesan Ministry Educator).
Learning will be done in community with reference to powerpoints and multimedia. A workbook is provided and the training runs from 10am to 3pm.

This course is driven by our commitment to the professional pastoral standards expressed in Canon 1 Title D, cl 9:

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
MATTHEW 28:18-20 (NLT)

Ministers of God's grace can themselves become vulnerable. Ministers must guard against the possibility of misunderstanding and over-dependence. Ministers must preserve appropriate inter-personal disciplines and boundaries. Aware of the power of the Minister’s position Ministers must avoid abuse of that power, and any manipulation of a person in the guise of giving counsel. It is a serious abuse of power to use a calling or a pastoral position to further a personal relationship of an emotional or sexual nature, and it is a breach of duty. 

Time is given to understanding what boundaries are, how we experience them, and how we put them into practice to preserve the safety of all parties in a pastoral relationship. We explore the distinction between "boundary crossing" and "boundary violation" and make reference to the Karpman Drama Triangle to appreciate the roles available to carers in a pastoral scenario. This helps us to understand the kinds of power dynamics that inevitably influence our encounters with others. Reference is also made to:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Boundary erosion
  • Self-assessment
  • Supervision
  • Use of social media

Introduction to boundaries course

In conjunction with the Bishopdale Theological College and the Diocese of Nelson, the Reverend Dr Sarah Park (former Ministry Educator for the Diocese of Auckland) has recorded an excellent Introduction to Boundaries Course. 

Access to this video is limited and requires a password. If you wish to watch the video please be in contact.


At this year's General Synod the Title D framework will be reviewed. See the video below for an overview of proposed changes.