Job Number: 21-30
Opening/Closing Date: June 3, 2021 to June 25, 2021

The Office of The Moderator and General Secretary of The United Church of Canada is seeking an individual to fill the role of Legal Counsel on a full-time permanent basis (35 hours/week).

The Legal Counsel provides legal and judicial resources to the Office of The Moderator and General Secretary and supports all legal and judicial activities – both internal and external – of The United Church of Canada (UCC). In this role, the Legal Counsel provides: advice and support to the General Secretary as well as staff and committees within the national office (General Council Office) and regional offices (Regional Councils) of the church; oversight of internal judicial processes;  training and development of resources for the denomination with regard to church polity and legal matters; administration of formal hearings and appeal processes for the General Council; assists in preparing formal rulings for issue by the General Secretary; and, oversight of the legal aspects of litigation, property, estate and corporation matters for the United Church.

Please note this position will involve a one-year transition with exiting Legal Counsel  as part of succession planning program. Given the complexity of the ministry personnel (officer) relationship with the church, and the multi-employer context of employment within The United Church of Canada, in the first year the position, for the purposes of deep orientation to the church, will engage half time in providing legal counsel in the areas of:

  1. Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Violence Prevention and Response Policy (WDHV)  
  2. Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (SMPR)  
  3. Police Records Check Policy

Ministry Personnel Legal Counsel

During the one year-year transition, as part of deep orientation, they will provide guidance to the Response Committee of the Office of Vocation on the policies related to complaints/concerns about ministry personnel. They will respond to concerns and questions raised by regional council staff about conflictual employment or pastoral relationships. Provide advice around employment practices related to ministry personnel compensation human rights and employment equity.  The main areas of focus for this area of work are:

  • Review, oversight and implementation of above policies
  • Recruit, train and assign consultants/investigators for complaints that fall under WDHV and SMR policies
  • Support and guidance to staff, committees, and ministry personnel

United Church Legal Counsel

During the one-year transition they will work with UCC’s Legal Counsel and provide advice and support on all legal and judicial activities. They will support the General Secretary, the General Council Office and Regional Councils of the church. The main areas of focus for this area of work are:

  • Legal advice to the General Council, committees, and Regional Councils
  • Oversight of judicial processes
  • Oversight of litigation
  • Legal and Technical Support to The Manual (primary governance document) and its Committee
  • Resource development and training


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, education, experience and ability required. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • University education and professional degree in law, plus membership in the Ontario Law Society
  • At least 3 years’ experience as a practicing lawyer
  • General knowledge in all aspects of the law; particularly administrative law, employment law, human rights and the law relating to charitable organizations
  • Understanding of The United Church of Canada’s governance structures and judicial systems
  • Skilled listener and negotiator able to speak the language of the church and the secular legal system
  • Demonstrated experience in the development and/or review of policies, procedures, practices and processes to limit legal exposure and manage risk
  • Demonstrated superior written and verbal communication abilities
  • Skillful in managing high tension situations comfortably with diplomacy, tact and patience
  • Agility to exercise sound judgment and deal with high-level issues in a balanced and fair manner
  • Excellent communicator able to gain the trust and confidence of those both inside and outside the organization
  • Preference given to candidates with experience in the non-for-profit sector

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, The United Church of Canada will provide assistance to employees who request accommodation throughout their employment with us, unless the position is deemed to be a bona fide occupational requirement and/or to the point of undue hardship considering issues of health, safety and cost.  

This position works from the General Council Office located in Toronto, Ontario in an open area concept office under normal working conditions.  They interact with lay staff, ministers, volunteers, executive officers. Manual dexterity required to use desktop computer and peripherals. Intermittent physical activity including sitting, standing, and lifting. Occasional overtime may be required. 

To request a copy of the full position description, please email:


Salary will be based on skills and experience, within the category 11 position annual salary range of   $95,140.05 - $126,852.98 (Lay Equivalent rate) / $84,148.81 - $112,198.17 (Order of Ministry rate). Pension and group benefit plans coverage and three weeks annual vacation round out this compensation package.

To Apply

Interested applicants are invited to submit their resume, quoting the job number to