Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Tort Liability

Volume 2 . Chapter 6 . § 6-07.1
Key point 6-07.01. Church board members may be personally liable for their own torts (conduct causing personal injury to another). This is so whether or not the church is incorporated.

Perhaps the most common basis of legal liability relates to the commission of torts. A "tort" is a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy. Common examples include negligence (e.g., careless operation of a church-owned vehicle), defamation, fraud, copyright infringement, and wrongful termination of employees.

Generally, the directors and officers of a nonprofit corporation do not incur personal liability for the corporation's torts merely by reason of their official position. Rather, they will be liable only for those torts ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


Receive a customized salary report for up to 18 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.

Dealing with Dangerous People

Dealing with Dangerous People Subscriber access only

This resource goes through safety measures to ward off dangerous individuals from entering your church.
Essential Guide to Children's Ministry Safety

Essential Guide to Children's Ministry Safety Subscriber access only

Understand and implement best practices to protect kids in your ministry.