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ministry standards


Boundaries in Ministry

Understanding and respecting boundaries is absolutely critical to healthy ministry. We are committed to ensuring that boundaries training is available to all licence and office holders (lay and ordained) as well as PTO holders. The first two boundaries webinars described below are mandatory. Each session consists of 90 minutes input followed by a quiz. 

How does this affect me?

Ecclesiastical Office Holder

Anyone who hold the Bishop's licence as a deacon or priest must complete the first three Ministry Standards as well as the accompanying quizzes.

Licensed Lay Ministers

LLM’s must complete the first three Ministry Standards as well as the accompanying quizzes.

Permission to Officiate (PTO)

Anyone who has a PTO is required to complete the first two Ministry Standards as well as the accompanying quizzes. A PTO is not an ecclesiastical office and it is not a licence. 

Office Holders

All Vestry members, Synod Representatives, Treasurers, Wardens, Canons and anyone who holds a letter of authority, are required to complete the first two Ministry Standards as well as the accompanying quizzes. This is because all those who have signed the Declarations of Assent are subject to Canon D, Titles I-VI.

Why is there a quiz?

The new Title D legislation (concerning the behavioural standards of clergy and office bearers along with the process for any potential breach of such standards) states that the Ministry Standards Commission will "audit the approach of Episcopal Units of this Church to the training and monitoring of Ministers" (II.5.(d)). 

If you are required to complete a Ministry Standard training unit, you will also need to complete the accompanying quiz. In order to 'pass' you will need to achieve a grade of 80% or higher. This will help demonstrate to the Ministry Standards Commission our serious commitment to the care of vulnerable people and the promotion of healthy behaviours.


February 2 | 7-8:30pm Introduction to Boundaries: Royal Commission & New Canon

At General Synod in July 2020, Statute 753 (The Title D Amendment Statute, 2020) significantly altered Canon I, Title D (Of Standards). It is critical that all licence holders attend this session and understand the changes.

March 2 | 7-8:30pm Boundaries and Power

Navigating the difference between boundary crossing and boundary violation. Exploring power dynamics in ministry.

May 11 | 7-8:30pm Social Media and the Internet

Identifying internet boundaries and managing social media.


Disclosures (Date tba)

This session will be made up of a series of pre-recorded interviews with experts in different fields.

  • What is a 'disclosure'?
  • Does it mean different things in different contexts?
  • Is there such a thing as the 'seal of confession'?
  • When are you required to report?
  • Does the age of the person disclosing make a difference?

MINISTRY STANDARDS 1: Royal Commission and new Title D Canons


Ministry Standards 3: Power, Social Media and Internet - May 11, 7pm

Identifying internet boundaries and managing social media.

The quiz will be added as soon as possible.

"Walk the Line"

Navigating Healthy Boundaries in Ministry

In 2021 this course will be available on request, but priority is given to the webinars.

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.