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

General Scope of a Minister's Authority

§ 3.01
Key point 3-01. In general, clergy have the legal authority to do those things specifically authorized in their employment contract, in their church's constitution or bylaws, or by specific delegation of authority from the church board or congregation.

What authority do clergy possess by virtue of their office? In general, they have the authority to do those things specifically authorized in their employment contract, in the church's constitution or bylaws, or by specific delegation of authority from the church board or congregation. In addition, state law confers authority upon clergy to perform certain functions.

Actions by clergy that are not authorized may be void. For example, one court invalidated a minister's attempted unilateral expulsion ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Table of contents

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.