2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 5212:1-5
From Wesleyan Discipline
- (1) Indiscreet Conduct. Whenever a minister, ministerial student, or special worker has been charged with an offense alleging sexual immorality and is not found guilty of such actions but rather of imprudence or indiscreet conduct, the offender shall be subject to admonition, rebuke, suspension or removal, according to the seriousness of the offense. (See 1 Tim. 5:19–20.)
- (2) Suspension. Whenever a minister shall be suspended from the ministry, or a ministerial student or special worker shall be suspended from such office, all credentials shall be surrendered to the custody of the district superintendent (cf. Disc. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:32). Whenever such a person shall furnish the district superintendent a written apology acknowledging guilt and pledging to correct the matter, and gives evidence that the offense has ceased and that the person is repentant, the district board of administration may end the suspension, reinstate the person, and authorize the return of all credentials. If the written apology and assurance are not forthcoming, and the accused does not exercise the right of appeal, the district board of administration shall declare that the said person has withdrawn from the district, and said person’s credentials shall be forwarded to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration (cf. Disc. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1233:40; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:32; GBP-2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5230).
- (3) Sexual immorality. Whenever a minister, ministerial student or special worker shall have been convicted by a judicatory of such immoral acts as fornication, adultery or homosexual behavior, or has confessed to such acts to the official body having jurisdiction, the individual shall be removed from the ministry or from the office of a ministerial student or special worker, as the case may be (see 1 Cor. 5:1–13; 6:9–11). This shall not prohibit membership in a Wesleyan church when the guilty person repents and demonstrates a Christian life according to the standards of The Wesleyan Church. Anyone who has been removed for such an offense may be considered for restoration as provided for in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5230–5245.
- (4) Removal (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5023:4). A minister who has been removed from the ministry, or a ministerial student or special worker who has been removed from such office, shall immediately surrender all credentials to the district superintendent (cf. Disc. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:31; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3085:4; GBP-2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5230), shall cease to exercise any of the functions of the ministry, or of a commission or license, as the case may be, and shall not occupy any pulpit in The Wesleyan Church. Such a person’s compensation and benefits, or a comparable family living allowance, shall be determined by a plan mutually agreed upon by the local board of administration and the district superintendent. Whenever anyone who has been expelled from the ministry or a commission or license shall appeal, the discipline may be deferred with the exception that such a person shall be suspended from the exercise of any office or of any particular service while the appeal is pending (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5066).
- (5) Dismissal (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5023:5). In matters where the actions or the attitude of the removed person is especially grievous, the district board of administration has full power to dismiss the person from membership in The Wesleyan Church, and the involved local church, when officially informed of this action, shall so indicate in its membership records. If the district board of administration removes the person but does not choose to dismiss from membership, the district secretary shall notify the local board of administration of the accusations, findings, and discipline and leave the matter of membership to the local church.