Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. L. Henry Whelchel

Third Advisor

Dr. Rosetta Ross


This study describes and analyzes the institutional response of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to clergy sexual misconduct between 1991 to 2005. Through the analysis of organizational proceedings, interviews, archival documents and historical references, qualitative case study methodology is used to investigate two research questions: 1. What has been the response of the UUA to clergy sexual misconduct?; 2. What theology/ideology guide(s) the UUA's institutional response to clergy sexual misconduct? The research findings indicate that increased inclusion of female clergy, influenced by the women's movement, Unitarian Universalist women's advocacy, and the sexual revolution were some of the factors that influenced the UUAs institutional response to clergy sexual misconduct. The research identifies obstacles that have impeded more aggressive support of victim/survivors' leadership and opens a space for the emergent identities of victim/survivors. Data gathered suggests there is a critical need for more rigorous theological reflections to foster transformational dialogues. By providing examples of how the UUA is working to eradicate clergy sexual misconduct, this dissertation demonstrates how faith communities can achieve safe congregations, and empower victim/survivors, while moving toward a new restorative justice paradigm. New arid fresh voices, perspectives and analyses are introduced to develop a richer understanding of clergy sexual misconduct and one faith community's response to this growing problem.

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