Fortress Press

Ministry and the American Legal System: A Guide for Clergy, Lay Workers, and Congregations

Ministry and the American Legal System

A Guide for Clergy, Lay Workers, and Congregations

Richard B. Couser (Author)

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Written for persons who are not lawyers, accountants, or quasi-legal specialists, this book offers congregations and religious professionals practical insight, while avoiding mere listings of rules and lengthy discussions of cases.
  • Part One provides an overview of the history, structure, and functioning of American law and its legal system, as these pertain to congregations, religious organizations, and professionals.
  • Part Two details various areas of law, such as torts, contracts, real estate transactions, employment, copyrights, and taxations, that have direct bearing on congregational life and ministerial practice.
  • Part Three focuses on "risk management": ways that congregations and religious organizations and professionals can improve their functioning and minimize their exposure to legal difficulties.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9780800626037
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 360
  • Publication Date July 1, 1993

Table of Contents

    Preface

    Introduction: Religion and Its Legal Context

    PART 1: THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND RELIGION

  1. Pre-Constitutional History
  2. The U.S. Constitutional System
  3. The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment

    PART 2: U.S. LAW AND RELIGIOUS BODIES

  4. Ecclesiastical Organization and the Courts
  5. Legal Privileges and Obligations of Clergy
  6. Liability for Contracts and Torts
  7. The Church as Regulated Employer
  8. The Church as Property Owner
  9. Copyright Law and the Church
  10. Other Government Regulation

    PART 3: RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES

  11. Organization and Governance
  12. Hiring, Supervising, and Firing Employees
  13. The Church as Wagepayer
  14. Compensation and Taxes
  15. Purchasing, Maintaining, or Altering Property
  16. Accounting for Funds and Trusts
  17. Supervision of Children: Social Events, Child Care, and Trips
  18. The Counseling Relationship and Church Discipline
  19. Litigation
  20. Liability Insurance

    Conclusion: Weaving Law and Church Together

    Appendix A: Constitution of the United States of America
    Appendix B: Legal Citations
    Appendix C: Conciliation Provisions for Contracts and Wills

    Bibliography
    Notes
    Index
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