Guidelines for Internet Use

The Internet has the potential to do great good… and great harm. To help direct the outcome, many communities have begun to develop Guidelines for Internet Use. Here are some helpful sites:


August 31, 2010 – How Are You Solving the Puzzle? Church Law Group posted on YouTube


January 3, 2011 – When a Pstor’s Study Moves to Cyberspace: An Examination of Ecclessial Social Media Policies, Alan J Copeland (Presbytery pastor, freelance author/Christian Century, grad student pursuing MA in Communications at University of North Dakota)

ReligionLink describes itself as “the only religion story idea and source list resource by journalists, for journalists. We’re a non-partisan service of Religion Newswriters.” It is designed as a repository of information about various topics of interest to those writing about religion.  On Jan 15, 2011, it posted an excellent set of essays and resources on “God and Facebook.” There are two factoids that I found interesting. The first is from a May 2010Pew Research Center survey the  shows that Americans over 50 are increasingly members of online social networks. The second is from LifeWay Research, a congregational research organization affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. ReligionLink reported from their Jan. 21 study that nearly half of Protestant churches use Facebook while 40 percent do not use any social networking tools. The trend is toward greater adoption of social networking tools, however.


Christian Century Blog

November 9, 2010 – Where are the Church Social Media Policies?, Adam Copeland
October 5, 2010 – Facebook Rules for Pastors, Adam Copeland
October 5, 2010 – Episcopal Cafe Response – Clergy: Facebook or Not, Ann Fontaine

Other Popular references

November 23, 2010 – Does the Church of England Need a Social Media/Blogging Policy? This is a blog post commenting on “Bishop Pete Broadnet’s throwaway comments on Twitter about Prince Charles and Lady Diana that exploded after hitting Facebook and going viral” It is found on Exigency in Specie, a blog authored by “Richard and Beth, A Canadian and A Brit living in Southern England.”

November 15, 2010 – Social Media Policies for Church Groups, Catholic Web Solutions, Susan Wolf, SND (19 yrs, Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Associaiton prior to launching Catholic Web SOlutions)

March 6, 2010, Resources for Church Social Media Policies, Faith and Web: A Church Web Diva’s Musings on Excellence in Religious Websites, Anna Belle Leierson (web coordinator Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, member First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville)

June 18, 2009 – 12 Tips for Developing a Social Networking Policy and Usage Guidelines for Your Church, Church Crunch, John Saddington (curator of 8BIT)

May 26, 2008 – Barna Technology Study: Social Networking, Online Entertainment and Church Podcasts

2000, Church Internet Issues – Part III – Policies, Nick Nicholaou


* Episcopal Diocese of CT, Office of Pastoral Response – Suggested Practices and Guidelines for use of Social Networking Websites and other forms of Digital Communications (Used by many Episcopal dioceses as the starting point for developing their own)
* Episcopal Diocese of California – Sean McConnell, Canon for Communications – “To Tweet or not to Tweet” – guidelines for parishes
* Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco – Using Technology with Discernment: Guidelines for Electronic Communications
* Kentucky Baptist Convention, Safe Church Initiative – Sample Church Internet Policy
* Metropolitan Community Church Northern Virginia – Identity Policy
* Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Communicaitons Development Committee – Internet Use Guidelines
* United Church of Christ (UCC) – CT Conference
* United Methodist Church – Wisconsin Conference – Internet Guidelines
* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – Social Media Guidelines and  Your Family and Cyberspace

* Central Presbyterian Church – CPC Information Privacy Policy
* St Jude Catholic Church (USCCB source) – Parish Website and Internet Use Guidelines and Privacy Statement
* St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church – Video and Webcasting Guidelines and Policies
* Guides and Guidelines for a Church Website – Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg


Church Talk Lite – Youtube – 10 Commandments of Social Media

Social Media Governance Website – collection of industry policies on Social Media – over 164 company policies included in database

NACADA/National Academic Advising Association – Technology in Academic Advising, Jeff Carter is a Lilly Endowment funded site designed as  a “gateway gor religious leaders and the public to find congregational resources and insights into religious practices.”  Their Technology Resources page offers many useful elements. Of particular note is the September 3, 2009 feature: Treading Online An Act of Faith.

Microsoft – Parents Guide to Child Safety


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s