Pastors and church leaders are called to the sacred trust of serving and nurturing others, but it can be a challenge to fulfill this calling in a culture that celebrates the absence of limits and boundaries. Without boundaries, trust can be destroyed.

To deal with this serious issue, Ohio Conference is providing healthy boundaries training for all credentialed persons in the Conference. Laypersons from each congregation are also encouraged to attend.

Healthy boundaries training has several goals:

  • To increase awareness of the need for healthy boundaries in the clergy-congregant relationship
  • To provide clergy and lay leaders with guidelines for appropriate boundaries and self-care
  • To illustrate strategies to sustain a safe, healthy church
  • To define boundaries and why they are important

The training is being offered three times during 2017-18. The first training session took place Dec. 9 at SpringHaven Counseling Center in Dundee. Two training events will be held in 2018:

  • Feb. 24, 2018 — First Mennonite Church in Bluffton
  • April 21, 2018 — Shalom Counseling and Mediation Center in Archbold

The training will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at each location.

Attendance at this training is mandatory for continued credentialing in the Ohio Conference. 

The Ohio Conference Credentialing Ministry is encouraging each congregation to send a layperson to the training along with their pastors to share the experience. Congregations generally want healthy pastors and want to find ways to help that happen, and this training will provide guidelines for achieving that goal. In addition, training a second person will raise the awareness of the congregation’s leadership about ways that everyone, and particularly pastors, can practice healthy boundary maintenance. Congregations are encouraged to send someone who is part of the group to whom the pastor is accountable.

Presenters will be Jon Bohley and Laurel Neufeld Weaver. Jon Bohley, the clinical director at SpringHaven Counseling Center, is a licensed professional clinical counselor. Laurel Neufeld Weaver is a licensed independent social worker and director of Creating Hope Counseling in Bluffton, Ohio. The curriculum they will be presenting has been developed by the FaithTrust Institute.

Ohio Conference is presenting these training events in conjunction with the Central District Conference.

The registration cost for this training is $25 per person.

To register for the Feb. 24 training, go to

To register for the April 21 training, go to