Sikh Dharma International (“SDI”) establishes this code of ethics for ordained Sikh Dharma International Ministers (“Ministers”) as guidelines for behavior that is both ethical and authentic,
allowing Ministers to give full expression to the mission of the Sikh Dharma Ministry (“Ministry”) to selflessly serve, uplift humanity, and perpetuate Sikh Dharma in the spirit of Chardi Kala.
I. Dedication to the Principles of Sikh Dharma and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
A Minister of Sikh Dharma looks to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib as a living Guru for guidance, support, and inspiration. Ministers of Sikh Dharma shall adhere to the Sikh Dharma Minister Vows and Oath as posted on the Ministry website.
II. The Ministerial Relationship
A Ministerial relationship is formed when an individual interacts with a Minister in their capacity as a Minister or leader in their community with the expectation that the Minister will make available certain resources, talents, knowledge, and expertise embracing or specifically entailing their role as a Minister.
III. Roles and Responsibilities of the Ministerial Relationship
Ministers recognize the implicit trust placed in them because of the unique power of the Ministerial relationship. Ministers shall refrain from engaging in any relationship with anyone that is exploitative and never use the Ministerial relationship for the purpose of personal gain or benefit.
Ministers shall never engage in abusive or exploitative behavior of any kind, including
harassment, verbal or physical abuse, or any type of overt or subtle coercion.
Ministers shall show respect for the moral, social, and religious standards of all persons. Ministers shall show respect for the gender identity and sexual orientation of all persons.
If a Minister is unable to continue the ministerial relationship, the Minister will offer to connect the person, if they so wish, to other appropriate ministerial resources in the global SDI community.
Ministers shall treat all communications in the ministerial relationship with confidentiality both during and after the ministerial relationship.
IV. Personal and Ministerial Relationships
A Minister shall honor the divinity of all persons. All forms of sexual involvement with a person with whom a Minister has a ministerial relationship are unethical, even if the person invites or consents to such behavior. Sexual involvement includes, but is not limited to, all forms of sexually-directed speech, gestures, and actions.
Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a Minister to use their ministerial title, role,
relationships, or responsibilities to exploit any individual sexually or emotionally.
A Minister is responsible for understanding and adhering to the laws in their jurisdiction pertaining to ministerial relationships and responsibilities.
V. Financial Integrity
Ministers shall conduct all financial affairs with integrity. All Ministers are expected to be conscious in their role as a Minister of potential financial conflicts of interest when working in their ministerial capacity.
Under no circumstances shall a Minister take financial advantage of their ministerial relationship through inappropriate loans, gifts, or business involvement.
Ministers shall manage the finances of any Gurdwara, ashram, yoga center or ashram business for which they are responsible with integrity and accountability.
Ministers shall adhere to their fiduciary duties as board members and officers of any Dharmic entity.
VI. Teaching Sikh Dharma and Representing Sikh Dharma International
Ministers are responsible for maintaining the honor and sacredness of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and the integrity of the Gurdwara.
Ministers shall ensure that a vegetarian/alcohol-free diet is served at any SDI-affiliated Gurdwara service or SDI-affiliated event.
Ministers shall strive to accurately represent the teachings of Sikh Dharma.
When representing oneself in the role of a Minister, a Minister shall exemplify the practices of Bana, Bani, Simran and Seva.
VII. Public Communications
Ministers shall represent themselves truthfully and accurately in all public communications, including (but not limited to):
• sharing the teachings of Sikh Dharma, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and Sikh Dharma
• representing their professional qualifications and certifications;
• disclosing their relationships, affiliations, sponsorships, and status with all entities with which they are affiliated.
VIII. Ministers in Community
Ministers shall speak and act respectfully to and about other Ministers, as well as to and about ministers and adherents of other traditions.
Ministers shall serve the unity of the global sangat by embracing diversity, willingness to collaborate, and a commitment to act for the benefit of all.
A Minister’s service shall support the global mission of Sikh Dharma International.
Ministers have an ethical responsibility to report to the Secretary of Religion any breach of this Code that could result in physical, mental, or emotional harm.
IX. Disciplinary Action
The purpose of this Code is to support Ministers in serving in their purest consciousness and to protect individuals, our sangats, communities, and organizations. If a Minister is believed to be in breach of this Code, his or her behavior is subject to review. Violations of this Code may result in disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, prohibition from representing Sikh Dharma International as a Minister or in any official capacity.