Jump directly to the Content


Few Pastors Say Adultery Should Permanently Ban Them from the Pulpit

1,000 church leaders weigh in on how to investigate allegations and when the congregation should be told.
Few Pastors Say Adultery Should Permanently Ban Them from the Pulpit
Image: albund / Shutterstock

Half of Protestant pastors say their colleagues should step down from the pulpit for a time if they are accused of misconduct.

Most say such accusations should be kept in confidence until proven.

And few think pastors who commit adultery should be permanently banned from ministry.

Those are among the findings of a new telephone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

“Pastors believe church leaders should be held to high standards,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. “They also want to protect themselves against allegations that could be false.”

Researchers asked pastors four questions about how to handle allegations of misconduct. They included whether a pastor should step down during a church investigation; when, how, and whether the congregation should be informed about allegations of misconduct; and whether a pastor who commits adultery can return to the pulpit.

No consensus on stepping down

Researchers ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.


Already a subscriber? to continue reading.