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My Personal Code of Ethics

eHaving the opportunity to take a Professional Christian Ethics course from Andrews University Theological Seminary in the Spring of 2017, I was challenged with the task of writing my own personal code of ethics. Below is my prayerful attempt at defining my ethical responsibility as a servant of God, husband and pastor. [1]


Responsibilities to God

  1. I will seek to develop a close walk with Jesus in my daily life (Col 2:6-7) through
    1. a commitment to daily, early morning devotional time that is spent reading my Bible for personal development (Josh 1:8),
    2. keeping a daily journal of scripture passages I read, different thoughts I may encounter, and significant events that occur in my life (Deut 6:12),
    3. passionate, committed prayer that begins with my first breath in the morning, is strongly nurtured during my morning devotional, and runs the entire day as a dialogue with my Friend and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:17).
  2. I will remain faithful to my calling in ministry never seeking to accomplish a task for personal gain or prestige (Eph 4:1, Matt 16:26).
  3. I will always recognize that any leadership position I hold is subservient and in submission to Jesus Christ, who is the head and ruler over all (Col 2:10).
  4. I will faithfully return the full tithe of the income God has blessed me with and also give offering to further God’s work in His church (2 Cor 9:6-8; Mal 3:10).

Responsibilities to My Family

  1. I will understand my responsibilities as leader (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 5:22-24), lover (Eph 5:25-33; SoS 3:4; 8:6) and laborer (John 13; Phil 2:5-8) toward my wife, Melissa, and seek to execute them to the best of my ability under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  2. I resolve to keep my marriage pure by not allowing any sexual or emotional gratification to be found in anyone or anything but in my wife Melissa by establishing and maintaining boundaries of defense with my eyes, in my mind, and in my heart so that I make every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5).[2]
  3. I will understand the unique role of my wife, Melissa, recognizing that her primary responsibility is to be a servant of God, martial partner, and parent to our future children (2 Peter 3:1-9), and secondarily to be a church worker and my support as a pastor.[3]


Responsibilities to Self

  1. I will maintain and better my physical and emotional health through regular exercise, proper sleep, healthful eating habits and proper care of my body because my body is a temple of God (1 Cor 6:19).[4]
  2. I will challenge myself to grow intellectually through personal and professional study (Eph 1:17) of (1) the Bible, (2) denominationally published works, & (3) other-denominationally and pertinent secularly published works.
  3. I will manage my time well by committing my plans to the Lord (Ps 37:23; Prov 16:3) and properly balancing my personal time with God, responsibility to my family, my personal obligations, my pastoral and church duties, by taking regular time off once per week, and observing at least one non-business related vacation per year (Ps 37:3; Luke 16:10).

Responsibilities to the Congregation

  1. I will seek to be a servant-minister of the Church by following and modeling the example of Christ in faith, love, wisdom, courage, and integrity (1 Cor 11:1).[5]
  2. I will faithfully and unashamedly preach the word of God giving much effort and preparation in prayer and study so that I might present the convictions God has placed upon my heart in a biblically based, theologically balanced, and clearly communicated manner (2 Tim 4:1-4).
  3. I will hold the highest ethical standard of pastoral ministry by leading people without manipulation, never break strict confidentiality (whereby it is required by law), and by never placing myself in a position of complete control or disclosure of the financial resources of the church or persons (2 Cor 8:21; Prov 4:25-27).

     To the churched

  1. I will seek to empower to the members of the church to be effective communicators of the gospel, hospitable and compassionate welcomers of the unchurched, and diligent ministers to those around them by deeply investing in church members through evangelistic training, ride-a-long visitation, and ministry-oriented preaching (Acts 1:8; Num 11:16-23).

           To the unchurched

  1. I will mingle among those in my community who have not been churched, demonstrating that I am a friend who desires their good by showing sympathy and ministering to their needs. After winning their confidence, I will call them to follow Christ (MH 143).

Responsibilities to Fellow Ministers

  1. I will recognize the calling of other ministers and not view our relationships as competitive but as colleagues or teammates on the same team (1 Cor 3:9).
  2. I will seek to learn from colleagues as well as be willing to teach when necessary and appropriate (Prov 27:17).
  3. I will hold my ministerial colleagues to a high ethical standard of pastoral practice and seek to enter relationships of accountability. I will contact the appropriate entities if serious misconduct has occurred (Gal 6:1-5).

Responsibilities to the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church

  1. I will remain faithful to the spirit, the mission, and theological understanding of the SDA Church as long as they are congruent with my own convictions and understandings as revealed to me by God through prayer, Scripture, and the church (1 Peter 2:17).

I will recognize the leadership organization God has established in the conference, union, division and general conference levels and seek to submit myself to the established authority as long as it does not act against biblical authority (Rom 13:1-7; Heb 13:17).


Over time, as I encounter different circumstances and more life experience, I am sure I will modify these words to better encapsulate the calling God has placed upon my life. If you have not yet taken the time to consider your own personal code of ethics, I challenge you write your own. You will find blessings in the articulation of what you know is right from Scripture.




[1] Adapted from Ministerial Ethics, Appendix E, (Trull & Carter) & Christian Professional Ethics Class

[2] Adapted from Every Man’s Battle, Arteburn & Stoeker 104-105

[3] Adapted from Ministerial Ethics, Appendix E, Trull & Carter 260

[4] Ibid., 259

[5] Ibid., 260

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