You are hereCode of Ethics (2007)
Code of Ethics (2007)
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Code of Ethics
The Association of Professional Chaplains (Association) is an association of providers of pastoral
care endorsed by faith groups to serve persons in physical, mental, spiritual, or social need in diverse
settings. The mission of the Association is to provide excellence in pastoral care and counseling through
the Association's various programs and activities and to promote public support for skilled spiritual care.
The vision of the Association is to integrate professional pastoral and skilled spiritual care into the total
care provided to persons in diverse settings. We seek to fulfill our vision in partnership with other
organizations that share our mission.
In promoting the Mission of the Association, certain principles and values undergird all organizational
efforts. The Association sets forth this Code to inform its members and those with whom they work of
those principles and values and the expectations for ethical behavior they engender. This Code does not
undertake to define standards of professional conduct of members for purposes of civil liability. In
becoming a member of the Association, one affirms this Code and holds oneself accountable to it.
Membership implies agreement to participate with integrity in any process of the Association to hold
oneself or other members accountable to this Code, and to accept the Standards and judgments of the
110 General Principles and Values
110.1 The Association and its Members shall demonstrate commitment to these values in relationships
with members, those served, colleagues and through conduct in their professional roles. 110.11 The individual person possesses dignity and worth.
110.12 The spiritual dimension of a person is an essential part of an individual's striving for
health, wholeness and meaning in life.
110.13 The spiritual care of persons is a critical aspect of the total care offered in the delivery
of care for public and private institutions and organizations.
110.14 Inclusivity and diversity are foundational values in pastoral services offered to persons
and are valued throughout the structures of the Association.
110.15 Public advocacy related to spiritual values and social justice concerns is promoted on
behalf of persons in need.
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Revised - 2 - September 24, 2000
120 Ethical Standards for the Association
120.1 The Association shall promote integrity, competence, respect for the dignity of all persons, and
collegiality among its members.
120.11 The Association shall admit to membership, employ and serve all qualified persons
without discrimination regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age,
disability, religion, or faith group.
120.12 The Association shall work for the improvement and growth of pastoral care according
to its mission.
120.13 The Association shall, in conformity to its by-laws, provide structures and resources to
maintain its Standards and promote its educational programs.
120.14 The Association shall follow its by-laws, policies, and processes in holding itself and
its members accountable to its standards for competency and ethical behavior.
130 Ethical Standards for Members
130.1 Members shall treat all persons with dignity and respect.
130.11 Members shall serve all persons without discrimination regardless of religion, faith
group, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, or disability.
130.12 Members shall demonstrate respect for the opinions, beliefs and professional
endeavors of other members, their colleagues and those with whom they have contact
in their professional role as chaplain.
130.13 Members shall affirm the religious and spiritual freedom of all persons and refrain from
imposing doctrinal positions or spiritual practices on persons whom they encounter in
their professional role as chaplain.
130.14 Members shall not condone or support unlawful discrimination against colleagues or
others with whom they have contact in their professional role as chaplain.
130.15 Members shall be accountable for maintaining the integrity of the pastoral relationship.
They will not use their professional position with, or knowledge of, another for personal
gain. They shall refrain from emotional, financial, sexual or any other form of
130.16 Members shall not engage in sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes sexual
abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct includes, but is
not limited to: sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; verbal, physical or visual
conduct of a sexual nature; any pattern of behavior that would be perceived as sexual
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Revised - 3 - September 24, 2000
130.2 Members shall respect the privacy of all persons.
130.21 Members shall follow the policies of their employing institution regarding patient
confidentiality sharing private information about those whom they serve only
according to those policies, the member's religious tradition, or as required by law.
130.22 Members shall refrain from relating experiences that expose the vulnerabilities of
those served or their families to derision or ridicule.
130.23 Members shall seek to guard the identities of those served in any consultations,
presentations or publications unless the person served, or their family if the person
cannot give consent, has given the member written permission for disclosure of the
130.24 Members shall respect the private communications of colleagues unless to do so
would violate the safety and well-being of another or be in conflict with the laws or
policies of the state, an institution or the Association.
130.3 Members shall conduct themselves with integrity in all their professional relationships including
those whom they serve, their colleagues and the Association.
130.31 Members shall accurately represent their professional qualifications and affiliations.
130.32 Members shall maintain accurately and currently any patient records, financial
accounts or other documents required in the course of their work.
130.33 Members shall respond with honesty and timeliness to any commission or
representative of the Association duly authorized to make inquiry into their work.
130.34 Members shall provide the Association immediate notice of any complaint of unethical
conduct made against them in a civil, criminal, ecclesiastical, employment or another
professional organization's forum. Members will provide the APC Ethics Commission,
or designee, in a timely fashion the information they request regarding the
investigation, adjudication, dismissal or settlement of such complaint. Failure to report
or provide accurate, full and truthful information constitutes a violation of this Code. A
finding of unethical conduct in one of these forums may lead to discipline within APC
even if the event did not occur within the scope of the member's professional role as a
chaplain or a situation over which APC would have jurisdiction.
130.4 Members shall conform to the Association's expectations of competency.
130.41 Members shall maintain an active relationship and good standing within the faith
communities in which they are ordained, or commissioned or endorsed.
130.42 Members shall pursue ongoing personal growth and professional development in
theology, spirituality, pastoral skills, and other areas which enhance their professional
130.43 Members shall make referrals or obtain consultations when in the best interests of
those served and maintain interdisciplinary and interprofessional relationships to foster
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Revised - 4 - September 24, 2000
130.44 Members shall take responsible action when they become aware that they themselves
or another member is impaired or otherwise unable to maintain the Association's Code
of Ethics or Standards of professional competency.
130.5 Members shall conform to the Association's expectations of professional behavior.
130.51 Members shall endeavor to enrich the mission and presence of the religious
communities with which they work and are affiliated.
130.52 Members shall seek to represent the best interests of those whom they serve giving
voice to the vulnerable whenever possible.
130.53 Members shall not knowingly use or permit others to use the member's services to
secure unfair personal or professional advantage.
130.54 Members shall establish and maintain interprofessional relationships to foster
partnerships and interdisciplinary cooperation.