on ethical issues and the pastor

Brian LePort put up a post about being in a philosophy class with a presentation by a local bioethicist and how the presentation made him feel like he was sitting in on an episode of House (where lots of ethical issues come up).  Brian shares with future pastors that it is classes like this one he was in on ethical issues that he will appreciate when he enters the pastoral ministry (which he hopes to avoid) not more preaching classes – he can’t barely remember most sermons he’s heard but can remember instances of pastors having to deal with ethical issues and the outcome of those.

I completely agree – and my reply was

I think you are right on with the need for good training in ethical issues for the pastoral ministry (and maybe more than one class?) – what do you do if someone has to pull the plug or gets in a massive accident and whose life is hanging by a thread? What about that couple that lets you know the doc said the baby in the womb has down syndrome? and on and on. They happen and none of us ever know what to do.

When I did the introductory unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE – professional chaplaincy training) in a local Phoenix hospital, trust me, plenty of ethical issues came up and none of them were easy (whether I myself had to face it, or one of my peers), and we were being trained for hospital ministry.  What about all those pastors and ministers with no training in these things?