Ethics and Spiritual Care responds to three phenomena of increasing importance:
• Although spiritual care is at the heart of ordained ministry, there is no text in professional ethics for clergy that focuses specifically on spiritual care. What ethical guidelines are needed to ensure that spiritual care in ministry is appropriate?
• Many people in our world do not consider themselves “religious,” but use the term “spiritual.” The burgeoning interest in “spirituality” is an invitation to people with little training to set themselves up as “spiritual directors.” Guidelines are needed not simply for the ethical practice of parish ministry, but for specific practices of spiritual direction.
• Allegations of “spiritual abuse” have been made both in practice and in the literature; the term is being used with some frequency. The development of this term and its implications requires some scrutiny and response, as sexual abuse is not a good model for understanding spiritual abuse.