Ministry And The American Legal System

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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 listing 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 taxation, 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.

Designed for those who are not lawyers, accountants, or quasi-legal specialists, this book outlines the elements of risk management for congregations and church professionals. Divided into three parts, the guide provides an overview and history of the American legal system, details various areas of the law, and focuses on ways religious organizations can minimize their exposure to legal difficulties.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800626037
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Religion and Its Legal Context 1
1 Pre-Constitutional History 9
2 The U.S. Constitutional System 14
3 The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment 30
4 Ecclesiastical Organization and the Courts 63
5 Legal Privileges and Obligations of Clergy 73
6 Liability for Contracts and Torts 81
7 The Church as Regulated Employer 96
8 The Church as Property Owner 115
9 Copyright Law and the Church 134
10 Other Government Regulation 144
11 Organization and Governance 179
12 Hiring, Supervising, and Firing Employees 195
13 The Church as Wagepayer 214
14 Compensation and Taxes 222
15 Purchasing, Maintaining, or Altering Property 237
16 Accounting for Funds and Trusts 251
17 Supervision of Children: Social Events, Child Care, and Trips 262
18 The Counseling Relationship and Church Discipline 265
19 Litigation 279
20 Liability Insurance 301
Conclusion: Weaving Law and Church Together 307
Appendix A: Constitution of the United States of America 309
Appendix B: Legal Citations 322
Appendix C: Conciliation Provisions for Contracts and Wills 325
Bibliography 326
Notes 328
Index 350
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