Clergy Sexual Misconduct

Christian Network Forum for Sexual Health Presents:


Clergy Sexual Misconduct: A Systems Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Oversight

Presenters: John Thoburn, M.Div., Ph.D. and Rob Baker, M.A.
Date: Friday November 18th 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue 1717 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA  98004
Complimentary Session - RSVP online

Presentation Overview:

Clergy sexual misconduct is a real problem often with dire consequences for the life of clergy marriages and for the life of the local church as well. As overwhelming as this problem seems, there is real hope for healing, forgiveness and prevention. After years of research into the dynamics of faith communities and the devastation created by sexual misconduct, the authors have written and compiled a seminal work intended not only to treat devastated communities, but more importantly, prevent the occurrence of sexual misconduct.

Research reveals that nearly ten percent of pastors have adulterous affairs and fifteen percent are addicted to internet pornography. Clergy Sexual Misconduct addresses how prevention, education, and treatment interventions can positively impact all levels of the clergy system. This presentation will share guidance on how individuals, families, congregants, and denominations can achieve recovery and reconciliation through a systemic approach.


About the Book:


This book examines the interplay between the intrapersonal life of the pastor, his or her interpersonal relationships with spouse, family and the environment of the church - including staff, congregation and denominational leadership. This systems perspective is founded in the idea that God is the God of Relationship – He is in relationship with Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and He created us for the purpose of relationship with Himself and with each other. Human beings are conceived out of, born into and develop from relationships. Health is measured by strong attachments to loved ones resulting in a self that is defined by individuation and differentiation, oriented cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally to reality. Ill health is related to damaged or broken relationship, resulting in a life defined by futile attempts to alter one’s mood or control one’s environment, rather than attend meaningfully to one’s core self.

Existing books on Protestant clergy sexual misconduct tend to focus on specific areas, such as rehabilitation for the pastor, denominational policies, or the traumatic effects on the pastor, his family, or the congregation. Clergy Sexual Misconduct: A Systems Approach to Prevention, Intervention and Oversight widens this perspective by exploring how each of these elements influences one another and why a systemic model is the best approach to shed new light on and address this stubborn, growing, and significant problem. In addition, the book gives practical, research-based guidelines that map out step-by-step prevention and restoration approaches for clergy, their families, congregations, and denominations.

For more information:
To purchase via Amazon, click here

About the Presenters:

John Thoburn, Ph.D. ABPP

Dr. John Thoburn is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Washington. He is an associate professor at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA. He is also Board Certified in couple and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.  Dr. Thoburn received a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. Dr. Thoburn has published numerous scholarly articles on clergy sexual misconduct over the years and made numerous presentations at regional and national conferences.

Rob Baker, M.A. LMFT, LMHC, CSAT-S

Rob Baker has a Master’s Degree in Counseling – Emphasis in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, received from the University of San Francisco in 1979. He is a Washington State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over twenty-three years of experience working with individuals, couples, groups, and as a workshop presenter. Workshop and Presentation topics have included Understanding Sexual Addiction and Recovery for Couples and Individuals (including continuing education workshops for therapists); Co-Creating Intimacy in Marriage; Parenting; Grief Recovery; Codependency; as well as Business/Executive Coaching. Rob has had experience as a Washington State Certified Affiliate Sex Offender Treatment Provider as part of a sexual deviancy treatment team from 1993-1998 and is currently a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Supervisor/Consultant through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.  He has been a certified instructor for the national award-winning Couple Communication Skills Training Program since 1993. Rob is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Professional Member of The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, a charter member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and a Professional Member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. He is also a Master Personal and Executive Coach through the College of Executive Coaching.

About the Christian Network Forum for Sexual Health:

The Vision for the Christian Network Forum for Sexual Health is to unite the resources and efforts of Christian leaders and therapists in a collaboration to address Sexual Addiction and Recovery for individuals, couples and families in the Christian and broader communities. The Mission is three-fold:

  • A Common Grounding in Christ
  • Equipping through education and consultation
  • Strategic networking and resourcing

Founded in 2006, the Christian Network Forum is committed to the role of being a “clearinghouse” for networking existing Churches, Christian organizations and therapy providers, as well as relevant resources, in the common purpose of addressing sexual addiction and recovery.

If you would like more information about the forum, or would like to be added to the resource list, visit our website at