Columbia Bible College (CBC) in Abbotsford presents a conference this week titled #ChurchToo: Responding to Professional Sexual Misconduct.
The event – open to pastors, church leaders and members of the Christian community – takes place Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26.
#ChurchToo will tackle difficult and often-avoided questions related to what happens when a Christian leader engages in professional sexual misconduct.
These questions include: How do sin, forgiveness, and accountability fit together in these situations? What are ways to promote healing for victims? How do we confront the offender? Is it possible to prevent such situations from happening?
The conference will provide theological insights, practical guidelines, and personal stories.
Twenty-five years ago, Columbia Bible College walked through its own painful experience with professional sexual misconduct, as students and alumni came forward to disclose the sexually abusive and exploitative behaviour of then-faculty member Murray Phillips.
“A major impetus for #ChurchToo is to do everything possible to ensure that sexual misconduct never happens on our campus again, and I believe this should be a fundamental value for every Christian organization,” said Bryan Born, CBC president and head of the conference planning team.
“Our hope is that Christian leaders will be willing to join us at #ChurchToo for a time of learning around this crucial – though uncomfortable – topic.”
Conference speakers include ministry leaders, faculty members, and professional counsellors, all with extensive experience working with both victims and perpetrators of sexual misconduct.
Sharing their expertise in plenary workshops and sessions will be Carol Penner, assistant professor of theological studies at Conrad Grebel University College; David Martin, executive minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada; counsellor Magi Cooper; and Elsie Goerzen, End Abuse program coordinator with MCC-BC.
Visit columbiabc.edu/ChurchToo to register or for more information.