AGO Code of Ethics

Approved by the AGO National Council January 27, 2017


Preamble: The American Guild of Organists encourages its members to embrace and practice the following values as core ideals that Guild members aspire to cultivate in their ethical and professional conduct.

VALUE 1. Responsible Conduct toward Those Whom We Serve (including but not limited to clergy, supervisors, congregants, choir members, students, children, et al.). Members shall:

Treat those whom they serve in a professional manner, with dignity, compassion, civility, and respect.

Show respect to those whom they serve, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, disability, or medical condition.

Avoid any sort of abusive behavior, whether verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or other.

Refrain from disclosing confidential or sensitive information about others obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.

VALUE 2. Respect for Our Professional Colleagues. Members shall: Maintain a professional attitude and act with integrity in relationships with colleagues, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, disability, or medical condition.

Respect the reputation and diversity of colleagues.

VALUE 3. Integrity in Our Professional Work. Members shall: Honor and abide by the conditions and requirements of the job descriptions and work agreements to which they have knowingly agreed, so long as those provisions are in accord with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

Follow, as applicable, the principles of professional conduct that are expressed in the AGO Code of Professional Standards.

For the benefit of future generations of musicians and to preserve the instruments of our profession, use care to ensure that when playing an instrument, the institution’s expected practices and requirements for the care of the instrument and its venue are met.

On January 27, 2017, the AGO National Council adopted revisions to this document to reflect its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Members of the American Guild of Organists are bound by the Code of Ethics and guided by the Code of Professional Standards. Members of the American Guild of Organists dedicate themselves to the highest standard of professionalism, integrity and competence. The following principles are guidelines for the conduct of members in fulfilling their obligations as professional musicians.

Approved by National Council 7/02/00, as amended 4/16/07


i. Members develop and maintain skills in performance, improvisation, service playing, conducting, arranging, and composing commensurate with their duties.

ii. Members stay abreast of current developments in liturgy, hymnody, performance practice, and musicology through continuing education.

iii. Members become knowledgeable in the liturgy and worship traditions of the institutions they serve.

iv. Members acquire business, administrative and interpersonal skills to perform their duties.

Employment Matters:

i. Members agree to employment only after reaching a clear understanding of the position, the employer’s expectations, and the lines of accountability.

ii. Members request written contracts that protect employee and employer.

iii. Members maintain courteous and respectful relationships with other staff members and members of their congregations, making an effort to resolve potential conflicts as soon as they become evident.

iv. Members address differences with employing institutions through appropriate channels, including, but not limited to, their contract, the institution’s personnel policies manual, and the Guild’s Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination

Respect for Colleagues:

i. Members supervise other musicians in a professional and courteous manner.

ii. Members respect the intellectual property rights of composers, authors and publishers by complying with the Copyright Law and licensing requirements regarding reproduction, recording, distribution, broadcasting and performing rights.

iii. Members address differences with other members of the American Guild of Organists by following the procedures outlined in the Discipline.

iv. Members do not discriminate against others on the basis of race, national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

v. Members do not use AGO affiliation or membership information publicly (except for biographical purposes) to endorse, for commercial advantage, the financial and business goals or the products and services of others or to further any political goals.

Updated Wednesday, August 2, 2017