Enneagram professionals bear responsibilities similar to those mentioned in the Hippocratic Oath and the Oath of Maimonides. Their opportunities to misuse their power parallel those of physicians. This presentation will address such ethical issues facing Enneagram professionals as confidentiality, accuracy, respect for persons, and fiduciary responsibility.

We shall work interactively, asking how our own ideals and our sense of responsibility show up in our work, because professional ethics involves our own sense of good and not so good, right and not so right, and so on. Because a profession also identifies purposes and constraints that its members agree to adhere to, we shall inquire into its ideals, obligations, and prohibitions. And we shall look at the tension between our personal ethics and the ethics of our profession. An important feature of the Enneagram is that it is used in a number of contexts. We shall ask about specific ways that the details of each context shape the Enneagram professional’s work in that context. The ethics of the Enneagram, however, far transcend professional ethics. At the most basic level, the Enneagram system describes nine significantly different ways that people define responsible living. It links individuals’self-interest with the formation of their personality, and can aid in exploring the intricate voluntary ethics associated with self-observation and the tension between noticing and containing one’s own dysfunctional responses to stressful situations and examining these responses. This presentation will explore these aspects of Enneagram ethics, drawing on works from major Enneagram schools including Palmer-Daniels, Riso-Hudson, A.H. Almaas’Diamond Approach, and authors such as Michael Goldberg, Mary Bast, Clarence Thomson, and Jerry Wagner. The presentation will involve individual tasks, group work, and lecture.

The Rev. J. Russell Burck, Ph.D., a Presbyterian minister, is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values at Rush University Medical Center. After consulting and teaching in ethics at Rush since 1980, he recently retired as Director of the Program in Ethics and the Ethics Consultation Service. He continues to consult, teach, and write part-time at Rush. He studied at Princeton University, the Biblical Seminary in New York, and Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded him the Ph.D. in Pastoral Theology. He also taught at Tuebingen University in Germany. Honors include being the University Marshal for commencement, 2004.

His articles on ethics and the Enneagram have been published in TALK Journal. In addition to numerous publications, he co-edited and contributed to Clergy Ethics in a Changing Society: Mapping the Terrain, published by Westminster/John Knox Press, cited as one of the ten best books for ministry in 1991 (The Academy of Parish Clergy). He reviews articles for Critical Care Medicine.

He is certified in Jerry Wagner’s Ennneagram Spectrum program and is seeking certification in David Daniels and Helen Palmer’s Enneagram Professional Training Program. He participates regularly in the Upper Midwest Diamond approach group that began in May, 2004.

He is past president of the Chicago Clinical Ethics Programs, which fosters collaboration among the ethics programs of Chicago area medical schools. He served on the Ethics and Peer Review Committee of the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

J. Russell Burck


2005 IEA Global Conference

San Francisco, California, USA

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