Leading the World by Supporting Christian Coaching

Ethics 101: Reviewing the CCNI Code of Ethics

How many people do you know who read ethics codes for fun? I’m steeped in the ethics community for coaches and I don’t know anyone who does that. For many Christians it’s like reading the Book of Leviticus; it might be good and useful to know, but it is not necessarily entertaining or exciting.

The CCNI Code of Ethics:


It is actually a relatively good code. It covers all of the necessary bases for a coaching relationship. There are several points that are missing, like sponsored relationship, mentoring, discrimination, cultural awareness, record keeping, and so on. Yet all in all, it is a code we can live and work by. When was the last time you read it?

In essence, the CCNI Code of Ethics asks the coach to make four promises:

  • I will honor God in the way I do coaching.
  • I will be clear about what my coaching is and what it is not.
  • I will respect privacy.
  • I will accept my client’s right to be redeemed under Grace.

As Christians, we are called to a higher moral ground. We are obliged to take the high road and submit ourselves to the authorities and to the biblical code. We pledge that we will do our very best by the client and be held accountable for that. It is not so much a question of doing the right thing, but doing things right. We also recognize that this is ultimately only doable through the power of the Holy Spirit (Col. 3:17).

CCNI Pixs 5 e1499645093456Often I am asked whether it is appropriate to share the plan of salvation with a client. The answer is YES. Yet, the CCNI coach obliges himself to honor the client’s right to come to God in his own way. Coaching is not a platform for evangelism. Yet it is an opportunity for the client to experience God in a deeper and more meaningful way. I think one of the most powerful statements is the declaration in Code point 5: “Coaching is offered with the assumption that each person in the relationship is guided by their values and beliefs. As a Christian coach, my values and beliefs are based in the Judeo-Christian worldview. While I am transparent about my personal beliefs, I do not seek to purposefully impose my values, standards, nor use the coaching relationship to evangelize.”  

I like the axiom: Coaching is a no judgment zone. Coaching is the place where the client can go to explore; to seek and to find; to be vulnerable and to be transparent. While preaching, mentoring, and counseling are all good ways to help people understand God’s plan better, coaching is not that place.

Join me on January 15, 2019, at 1 pm Eastern Time for a deeper look into the CCNI Code of Ethics. Come prepared to talk through ethical scenarios that at first seem obvious. Yet, as we dig deeper into the layers, you will find that you are only safe when you completely depend on the Holy Spirit.

In Him,

Dr. Michael J. Marx

Michael J. Marx, MBA, EdD, PCC, CPCC – Michael is a Certified Professional Christian Coach with CCNI specializing in business coaching and corporate consultation. Dr. Marx currently serves as the leader of the ICF ‘Global Community of Practice on Ethics.’ He also serves on its Independent Review Board and on the Ethics Code Review Team. Additionally, he is a past-president of Christian Coaches Network International and the author of Ethics and Risk Management for Christian Coaches (2016).

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