Code of Ethics

M.E.C. Code of Ethics

The Muslim Endorsement Council, Inc. (MEC)

The Muslim Endorsement Council, Inc. (MEC) hereby affirms that all persons who wish to be endorsed by this body should follow a code of ethics that is firmly rooted in the Qur’anic-based principles and ideas as reflected in the life example of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). As Allah says in the Qur’an, the English meaning of which is:

“Let there arise out of you a band of people, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; They are the successful ones (Qur’an, Ali-Imran, 3:104 – Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

Further, in an authenticated report attributed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) it says on the authority of Abu Ruqayyah Tameen Ibn Anas ad-Daaree (May Allah be pleased with him):

“The Deen (religion) is Naseeha (advice/sincerity). We said ‘to whom?’ He, (Peace be upon him) said “To Allah and his Book and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the common folk.” (Reported by Muslim).
Further, the Muslim Endorsement Council, Inc. publishes this code of ethics for the express purpose of making explicit to persons whom it endorses as Muslim chaplains that they must conduct themselves in a way that is firmly rooted in ideals that reflect deep Islamic principles. In addition, MEC also abides by the “Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students” as published by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). The common code is on this website and can also be found at the APC website.

Personal Integrity, Development, and Trust

• My lifestyle and work ethic will reflect my Islamic faith.
• I will actively pursue my Islamic faith development and enrichment.
• I will maintain self-discipline as a Muslim in such ways as establishing regular prayers and practicing required acts of worship, endeavoring to maintain wholesome family relationships, and engaging in educational and recreational activities that promote professional and personal development. I will seek to maintain good health habits.
• I will hold in trust Islamic traditions and practices, and pledge not to exploit my authority and position to advance my own interest at the expense of others.
• I will show love for and fear for Allah (God) in my life and work as I strive together with my colleagues to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline, and promote the integrity of the chaplaincy profession.
• I recognize the special authority granted to me as an endorsed chaplain. I will never use that authority granted to me in ways that violate the personhood of another human being, religiously, emotionally or sexually. I will only use my office to promote the best interest of those under my care.
• I will accurately report my professional qualifications and affiliations.

Professional Relationships

• I will work collegially with chaplains of other faiths, as well as with Muslims with views of Islam that are different from mine and respect their beliefs and traditions along with the beliefs of those of whom I counsel and serve.
• As a supervisor, I will respect the practices and beliefs of each chaplain under my supervision. In recognition of their right to believe and practice their religion, I will exercise care not to require of them any service or practice in violation of their faith tradition.
• I will seek to support all colleagues in ministry by building constructive relationships wherever I serve, both with the staff where I work and with colleagues throughout the institution where I work.
• I will defend my colleagues against unfair discrimination on the basis of age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, marital or socio-economic status.

The Duty to maintain Endorsement Relationship with MEC

• I am responsible to communicate any change in my address, telephone number, email address and all other contact information to MEC.
• I am also responsible to communicate any change in my personal, marital, professional, legal and immigration status to MEC.
• I will communicate any professional and academic achievements such as certificates, degrees, continuing education, promotions, civic and community involvement to MEC

Confidentiality and Privileged Information

• I will adhere to the federal and state mandated policies in place at the institutions where I serve.
• I will follow the policies of my employing institution regarding confidentiality and sharing private information about those whom I serve.

MEC also hereby adopts this revised version of a pledge and code of ethics from the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA)’s “The Covenant and Code of Ethics” as part of its operational practice:

The MEC Pledge and Code of Ethics
I, as a Muslim chaplain, pledge to serve Allah (God) in accordance with sound Islamic principles: service to humanity, sincere advice, equity, respect for human dignity, and justice; I will obey the Islamic teachings, love the Compassionate God with all my heart and soul, and serve the people who seek my help, counsel, and advice with compassion, sincerity, and integrity.
To affirm this commitment, I will abide by the “MEC Pledge and Code of Ethics” for chaplains by faithfully supporting its principles and purposes. As further affirmation of my commitment, I pledge to hold myself and my fellow Muslim chaplains accountable for all public actions set forth in this Code of Ethics.

Competency and Learning

• I look to the Qur’an, the Prophetic model, authentic traditions, and established scholarly opinions to promote spirituality, goodness, compassion and justice. I will do my best to relate Islamic values and teaching to my daily activities.
• I recognize my responsibility to read, understand, and follow the MEC Pledge and Code of Ethics established by the MEC Board.
• I am committed to continue my Islamic and professional education to be better equipped to serve people and perform my duties. I will maintain high standards of educational and professional competence, and will actively strive to develop my knowledge and skills as a Muslim chaplain.
• I recognize the boundaries of my competence, and will refer questions and matters that fall outside my religious and professional competency to others. I will seek the advice of the MEC Board in matters that have implications for the larger Muslim American community.

General Attitude and Relationships

• I understand as a Muslim chaplain in a multi-religious society that I must work alongside chaplains of other faith traditions as well as with Muslims with views of Islam that are different from mine. In promoting a fair and pluralistic environment, I will seek to insure equity of treatment and the well-being of those entrusted to my care.
• I will promote dialogue rather than monologue in my teaching and counsel, understanding that the nature of counsel and advice is interactive, done with people rather than to people. I will invite engagement with others in my care, rather than passive receptivity, by asking for and listening to feedback.
• I will strive to understand and recognize the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people soliciting or receiving my counsel and advice. I will not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, marital, or socio-economic status.
• I recognize my Islamic obligation to refrain from any sexual relationship outside the institution of marriage, and will not engage in sexual intimacies with persons or their family members seeking my counsel and assistance. I will avoid situations that might lead to a sexual relationship or result in sexual harassment.

Handling of Complaints

• I will report any corrupt or unethical behaviors that I personally witness to both MEC, and to the appropriate institutional authorities.
• I further understand that by following the Qur’anic injunctions, MEC will not entertain an accusation or complaint against me on the basis of hearsay. All formal complaints must be supported by testimony or written evidence.
• I understand that in the event a formal complaint supported by written or verbal evidence is filed against me with MEC, a task force will be appointed to verify the information, interview me, and report its finding to the MEC Board.
• I will maintain professional integrity with my colleagues, MEC and the agency I work for in handling formal complaints through the established due processes of MEC and the agency.
• I realize and agree that MEC has the right to withhold and revoke endorsement from a person who has violated this code of ethics.
• I understand that should MEC find that I have violated this code of ethics and revoke my endorsement the institution or agency where I work shall be informed of such action by MEC.

Our vision is to maintain, reinforce and improve quality standards of spiritual care for people in public and private institutions.


Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students, Hereinafter referred to as: Spiritual Care Professionals

This document is one of four foundational documents affirmed by the constituent boards of the Council on Collaboration on November 7, 2004 in Portland, Maine. Collectively, these documents establish a unified voice for the six organizations that have affirmed them and describe what it means to these organizations to be a professional pastoral care provider, pastoral counselor or educator. The four documents are:

• Common Standards for Professional Chaplaincy
• Common Standards for Pastoral Educators/Supervisors
• Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students
• Principles for Processing Ethical Complaints

The membership of the participating groups represents over 10,000 members who currently serve as chaplains, pastoral counselors, and clinical pastoral educators in specialized settings as varied as healthcare, counseling centers, prisons or the military. The complete documents and information about each of the collaborating groups can be found on the following websites:


For more information on the foundations of professional pastoral care see “Professional Chaplaincy: Its Role and Importance in Healthcare” available at

The Code of Ethics for Spiritual Care Professionals:

• gives expression to the basic values and standards of the profession;
• guides decision making and professional behavior;
• provides a mechanism for professional accountability; and
• informs the public as to what they should expect from Spiritual Care Professionals.


Spiritual Care Professionals are grounded in communities of faith and informed
by professional education and training. They are called to nurture their personal health of mind, body and spirit and be responsible for their personal and professional conduct as they grow in their respect for all living beings and the natural environment. When Spiritual Care Professionals behave in a manner congruent with the values of this code of ethics, they bring greater justice, compassion and healing to our world. Spiritual Care Professionals:

• affirm the dignity and value of each individual;
• respect the right of each faith group to hold to its values and traditions;
• advocate for professional accountability that protects the public and advances the profession;
• respect the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, sexual-orientation, and religious diversity of other professionals and those served and strive to eliminate discrimination.

2.0 Ethical Principles in Relationships between Supervisors/Educators and Students

Spiritual Care Professionals respect the integrity of students using the power they have as supervisors/educators in responsible ways. Spiritual Care Professionals:

2.1 Maintain a healthy educational environment free of coercion or intimidation.

2.2 Maintain clear boundaries in the areas of self-disclosure, intimacy and sexuality.

2.3 Provide clear expectations regarding responsibilities, work schedules, fees and payments.

2.4 Provide adequate, timely and constructive feedback to students.

2.5 Maintain a healthy respect for the personal growth of students and provide appropriate professional referrals.

2.6 Maintain appropriate confidentiality regarding all information and knowledge gained in the course of supervision.

3.0 Ethical Principles in Relationships with Faith Community

Spiritual Care Professionals are accountable to their faith communities, one another and other organizations.
Spiritual Care Professionals:

3.1 Maintain good standing in their faith group.

3.2 Abide by the professional practice and/or teaching standards of the state/province, the community and the institution in which they are employed. If for any reason a Spiritual Care Professional is not free to practice or teach according to conscience, the Spiritual Care Professional shall notify the employer, his or her professional organization and faith
group as appropriate.

3.3 Do not directly or by implication claim professional qualifications that exceed actual qualifications or misrepresent an affiliation with any institution.

5.0 Ethical Principles in Relationships with Colleagues

Spiritual Care Professionals engage in collegial relationships with peers, other chaplains, local clergy and counselors, recognizing that perspective and judgment are maintained through consultative interactions rather than through isolation.
Spiritual Care Professionals:

5.1 Honor all consultations, whether personal or client–related, with the highest professional regard and confidentiality.

5.2 Maintain sensitivity and professional protocol of the employing institution and/or the certifying organization when receiving or initiating referrals.

5.3 Exercise due caution when communicating through the internet or other electronic means.

5.4 Respect each other and support the integrity and well being of their colleagues.

5.5 Take collegial and responsible action when concerns about or direct knowledge of incompetence, impairment, misconduct or violations against this code arise.

5.6 Communicate sufficient information to other care team members while respecting the privacy of clients.

7.0 Ethical Principles in Research

Spiritual Care Professionals engaging in research follow guidelines and applicable laws that strive to protect the dignity, privacy and well-being of all participants. Spiritual Care Professionals:

7.1 Engage only in research within the boundaries of their competence.

7.2 In research activities involving human participants, are aware of and ensure that the research question, design and implementation are in full compliance with ethical principles.

7.3 Adhere to informed consent, including a clear and understandable explanation of the procedures, a description of the risks and benefits, and the duration of the desired participation.

7.4 Inform all participants of the right to withdraw consent and to discontinue involvement at any time.

7.5 Engage in research while being sensitive to the cultural characteristics of participants.

7.6 Maintain the confidentiality of all research participants and inform participants of any limits of that confidentiality.

7.7 Use any information obtained through research for professional purposes only.

7.8 Exercise conscientiousness in attributing sources in their research and writing thereby avoiding plagiarism.

7.9 Report research data and findings accurately.

1.0 Ethical Principles in Relationships with Clients

Spiritual Care Professionals understand clients to be any counselees, patients, family members, students or staff to whom they provide spiritual care. In relationships with clients, Spiritual Care Professionals uphold the following standards of professional ethics. Spiritual Care Professionals:

1.1.1 Speak and act in ways that honor the dignity and value of every individual.

1.2 Provide care that is intended to promote the best interest of the client and to foster strength, integrity and healing.

1.3 Demonstrate respect for the cultural and religious values of those they serve and refrain from imposing their own values and beliefs on those served.

1.4 Are mindful of the imbalance of power in the professional/client relationship and refrain from exploitation of that imbalance.

1.5 Maintain relationships with clients on a professional basis only.

1.6 Avoid or correct any conflicts of interest or appearance of conflicting interest(s).

1.7 Refrain from any form of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual assault in relationships with clients.

1.8 Refrain from any form of harassment, coercion, intimidation or otherwise abusive words or actions in relationships with clients.

1.9 Safeguard the confidentiality of clients when using materials for educational purposes or written publication.

1.10 Respect the confidentiality of information entrusted to them by clients when communicating with family members or significant others except when disclosure is required for necessary treatment, granted by client permission, for the safety of any person or when required by law.

1.11 Understand the limits of their individual expertise and make referrals to other professionals when appropriate.

4.0 Ethical Principles in Relationships with Other Professionals and the Community

Spiritual Care Professionals are accountable to the public, faith communities, employers and professionals in all professional relationships. Spiritual Care Professionals:

4.1 Promote justice in relationships with others, in their institutions and in society.

4.2 Represent accurately their professional qualifications and affiliations.

4.3 Exercise good stewardship of resources entrusted to their care and employ sound financial practices.

4.4 Respect the opinions, beliefs and professional endeavors of colleagues and other professionals.

4.5 Seek advice and counsel of other professionals whenever it is in the best interest of those being served and make referrals when appropriate.

4.6 Provide expertise and counsel to other health professionals in advocating for best practices in care.

4.7 Seek to establish collaborative relationships with other community and health professionals.

4.8 Advocate for changes in their institutions that would honor spiritual values and promote healing.

4.9 Provide other professionals with chart notes where they are used that further the treatment of the clients or patients, obtaining consent when required.

4.10 Communicate sufficient information to other care team members while respecting the privacy of clients.

4.11 Ensure that private conduct does not impair the ability to fulfill professional
responsibilities or bring dishonor to the profession.

4.12 Clearly distinguish between statements made or actions taken as a private individual and those made as a member or representative of one of the cognate organizations.

6.0 Ethical Principles in Advertising

Spiritual Care Professionals engage in appropriate informational activities that educate the public about their professional qualifications and individual scopes of practice. Spiritual Care Professionals:

6.1 Represent their competencies, education, training and experience relevant to their practice of pastoral care, education and counseling in an accurate manner.

6.2 Do not use any professional identification (business cards, letterhead, Internet or telephone directory, etc.) if it is false, misleading, fraudulent or deceptive.

6.3 List and claim as evidence only degrees and certifications that are earned from educational institutions and/or training programs recognized by the certifying organizations of Spiritual Care Professionals.

6.4 Ascertain that the qualifications of their employees, supervisees and students are represented in a manner that is not false, misleading, fraudulent or deceptive.

6.5.1 Represent themselves as providing specialized services only if they have the appropriate education, training or supervised experience.

The General Benefit of MEC's Endorsement are that

Its competency standards are both professionally and religiously acceptable
There is a diversity of perspectives in evaluating those standards
It ensures an independent assessment of individual chaplains and authoritative declaration and affirmation