2021 Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Training


The New York Annual Conference (NYAC) Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Training equips all NYAC clergy and laity with a robust, real-world understanding and awareness of employment laws and permissible behavior regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Gaining the understanding and awareness needed to maintain a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace is a crucial part of eradicating sexual harassment and misconduct in the United Methodist Church

This training is offered twice-a-year by the NYAC. All Conference clergy — whether Local Pastor, Elder, in parish or extension ministry, part or full time — are required to attend one of the training sessions each year. It is also highly recommended that all laity, particularly those who are in leadership positions,  attend annually as well. 

Attendance for the entire training is required to receive certification. 

Prior to taking part in this annual training, all attendees must complete a Training Pre-Survey. The answers to the Training Pre-Survey (March 2021)  will be reviewed and shared with our presenter, Becky Posey Williams. 

Following this training, each participant should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Do you know what your organization expects of you? 
  • Do you understand inherent power and the impact of it on how your behavior is perceived?
  • Do you know who to contact when have a concern or need additional guidance?
  • As a supervisor do you understand your legal responsibilities if you become aware of questionable behaviors of employees? 
  • How will you hold one another accountable in order to help prevent harassment and promote a culture and working atmosphere of integrity and respect? 

What to expect: During the first half of the NYAC Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Training will look at employment laws and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) best practices as an employer and employee. The second half of the program will address more specifically the challenges associated with:

  • Creating healthy boundaries
  • Inherent power and vulnerability; and 
  • Accountability in roles within the church.  

Our presenter and training leader for this day of training is Becky Posey Williams, Senior Director of Sexual Ethics and Advocacy for the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, UMC.  Prior to taking on her current role, Becky worked for 24` years as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in private practice. She served as a trainer/consultant with the Mississippi and Alabama/West Florida Conferences of the UMC in the areas of response to sexual misconduct and healthy boundaries.

Williams received a Bachelor of Social Work from Mississippi State University in 1979 and the Master of Social Work from University of Southern Mississippi in 1981. Prior to private practice, she worked for the Mississippi Chapter of the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse eventually becoming the Executive Director.


Go here to download a copy of the presentation for the Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Training

Go here to view results of the March 2021 Training Pre-Survey 

Click here to learn more about the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women's work in the area of sexual ethics and boundaries.