Board Member

Continuing education for ministry leaders
Board Member
Weekly Lessons, created and written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, give you a basic legal overview of essential topics based on staff or volunteer positions within a church.

Previous Lessons

Week of November 10

Bankruptcy Law

This Week's LessonWeek of November 17

Counseling - Part 1

Introduction

This week we turn our attention to Counseling. Start by completing the following quiz. Then review the Executive Summary for the key points on this topic, or read the Weekly Lesson for a complete discussion of this topic.

A church sponsors a weekend seminar for members who would like to become counselors. Following the seminar, the participants are "commissioned" by the church to provide counseling for members of the congregation and others. Some members express concerns to members of the church board concerning liability issues associated with this counseling. Should church leaders be concerned.

Weekly Quiz

Instructions Click on the correct answer for each of the following questions.

Executive Summary

Churches face a number of legal risks when they offer counseling services by ministers or laypersons. These include negligent selection, retention, or supervision of a counselor who engages in sexual misconduct or negligent counseling. A church also may be vicariously liable for a counselor's failure to report child abuse, breach of confidentiality, and breach of a fiduciary relationship. This week's lesson begins a series of lessons devoted to the issue of counseling ministries in the local church.

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