This purpose of this document is to establish general ethical standards for Cherags (ordained Ministers in the Universal Worship) and delineate boundaries for appropriate behavior. Responsibility for adherence to this Code of Ethical Standards rests with Cherags themselves. Cherags must keep in mind that their conduct has the potential to inspire and motivate people or to undermine and weaken their faith.
Cherags’ moral, ethical and legal standards of behavior as they pertain to their ministerial duties must serve to enhance the spiritual growth and development of those they serve and reflect positively on the Universal Worship.
Cherags must strive to create environments in which all are treated with dignity and respect. Cherags will not use their ministerial status, position or authority knowingly to abuse, misguide, negatively influence, manipulate, take advantage of anyone, especially children or violate the basic principles of the Universal Worship. Being found guilty in a court of law of misconduct may result in exclusion from ministry.
Physical contact that can be misconstrued by adults or minors must be avoided. Any kind of misconduct whatsoever but not limited to harassment, exploitation, and abuse is not acceptable and compromises a Cherag’s ability to serve in a ministerial role.
Cherags should establish clear, appropriate boundaries before entering into contracts or situations to further personal, religious or business interests. They should avoid any such relationship that diminishes their ability to maintain integrity and independence.
Cherags must respect and treat as confidential any information provided with the expectation of privacy in the course of pastoral counseling, spiritual direction or other encounters. Such information will only be disclosed for compelling professional reasons or as required by law.
In providing spiritual direction or guidance, Cherags must recognize the limits of their competence and practice and refer individuals to other professionals when appropriate.
Complaints against a Cherag should be sent in writing to the Ethics Committee who will issue a report within 30 days. Contact the Universal Worship Secretariat for information.
I have read and understand the Code of Ethical Standards for the Universal Worship and agree to abide by the guidelines. There is nothing in my background that would prevent me from whole heartedly serving as a Cherag. I also understand it is my responsibility to know and follow local laws. In order to remain in good standing as a Cherag I will strive to grow in my knowledge and participate in continuing education and experience. I will contact the Secretariat at least once a year and notify of any address changes.