The Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution & Canons of The Episcopal Church sought out a variety of bishops, priests, and deacons including the current and previous Presiding Bishops to contribute to this Title IV educational resource. Additionally, the Commission selected experts in theology, church law, church administration, communications and those who have studied and revised Title IV since the early 1990s.
Title IV training is canonically mandated for the 10,000 clerics in The Episcopal Church. The Commission is operating under General Convention resolution to provide Title IV materials such as this website. The Commission prays that clerics and the laity may be trained and educated to embrace the Title IV Canons to offer all a safe, respectful, and meaningful environment to worship the Lord.
The Rev. Gay Jennings served as the President of the House of Deputies during GC78, which passed Resolution Number 2015-A150 authorizing the creation of training materials for Title IV.
A major reason for training is to understand that Title IV has evolved, and continues to evolve with each General Convention. One of the original writers of the Title IV Canons is Sally Johnson, Esq. of the Diocese of Minnesota. She has spent decades assisting in revisions starting in the 1990s. It is important for all to understand the many facets of Title IV, especially the revisions that assist in alerting the church to behavioral issues long before they are Title IV offenses.
Bishop Michael Hunn sees Title IV as a ministry and the effort to understand Title IV as strengthening that ministry. He hopes that those who may utilize this website at difficult times, such as during a Title IV procedure, will discover healing.
The Rev. Dr. Molly James of the Diocese of Connecticut says the study of and compliance with the Title IV Canons will bring clarity to one’s ministry. Much of this website is designed to educate with best practices so that Title IV Offenses may be avoided.
The Rev. Dr. Molly James, Dean of Formation for the Diocese of Connecticut
There is no doubt the mandated training is done with prayerful thought that Title IV Offenses will be prevented. Educators such as Alexizendria Link offer considerable insight in this website.
Title IV brings the church together in a consistent disciplinary process. This website is reflective of a church-wide study and training, rather than one of local emphasis which may vary from diocese to diocese. One of the most profound reasons to adopt Title IV was to unify the expectations of discipline throughout the church.
That expectation is one of trust. The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, Esq. of the Diocese of San Diego understands that trust. She approaches Title IV as a lawyer, a priest, and a former diocesan official.
It is also imperative to note that the contributors to this website offer their best practices and knowledge in prayer for those who may be involved in a Title IV procedure. Most who may be indirectly or directly involved in a Title IV procedure are discussed as stakeholders, as participants, and most importantly as people. The spiritual need and canonical requirement for Pastoral Response is cited in numerous places. The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley says it is vital that those seeking education understand more than just the canonical process. They need to understand how people involved in a Title IV matter may be feeling at any given time.
The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development of the Presiding Bishop’s Office
The Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution & Canons of The Episcopal Church appreciates the opportunity to share in this ministry and prays for God’s blessings for all who use this website.