No More

It is often a matter of when, not if, abuse of power or sexual harassment will happen in a Christian context. In the United States, the recent abuse cover-ups by the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the revelations of abuse by famous leaders like Ravi Zacharias, Bill Hybels, and others, offer a sobering insight into the reality many in church face as victims and survivors of abuse. This is no less the case in the Majority World, where many of the same dynamics of power apply in churches and seminaries. 

In 2023, a group of theologians, activists, pastors, and psychologists began meeting to discuss how to equip global seminaries to implement decisive anti-abuse training in a holistic way, cascading from the accreditation associations that oversee seminary curriculum, to the classroom where pastors are trained, to the local church. Recognizing that when Christian leaders abuse those in their care, it causes both scandal and deep spiritual damage, Scholar Leaders devised a multi-year project to develop resources that will change the conversation on power in the church in various global contexts.

The No More Project seeks to confront abuse (sexual harassment, abuse of power, and assault) in churches, denominations, and institutions of higher theological education. By harnessing Scholar Leaders’ unique understanding of global theological education, this project aims to equip and encourage theological leaders at various levels of society to confront abusive practices and support survivors. 

Now, if you are thinking that this is a massive undertaking, you are exactly right. This is not a project one person, or even 10, could do alone. Thankfully, in no small part because of the relationships Scholar Leaders has fostered over the years, we’ve been able to assemble a global working group of over 30 theologians, psychologists, and pastors, to form five teams. Each of these five teams focuses on a specific area—biblical theology, policies and practices, pastoral formation, contextualization, and curriculum development–and in preparation for synthesizing what each group produces and deploying it into diverse global contexts. 

In 2024, we will gather in person twice so that each team can collaborate and learn from what the others are producing. This past January, we held our first global working group meeting in Dallas, Texas, where for two intense days, we did creative brainstorming, listened to experts and survivors, and structured each group’s activities for the coming months. The second meeting will be in late summer, when we will reunite and push the work into its next stage.

We pray that through this project, theological leaders will be better equipped to proactively address abuse in their contexts, seek justice for survivors, and form healthier and Christ-like pastors for the kingdom of God. Please join us in asking God that this project will bear much fruit.

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