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Safe Church

Safe Church is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being.

What is Safe Church?

Creating safe spaces in our worship communities is a ministry that we all share. Safe church policy and training is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being. Our shared efforts to be aware, educate others, and respond effectively provides opportunities to increase and enhance our ability to live out our Baptismal Covenant within our communities of faith and in the world beyond. One needs to look no further than the current newsfeed to understand the prevalence of sexual misconduct and the need to educate and respond to incidents. The safe church policy is the core foundation that informs our efforts to create safe spaces in our worship communities.

Diocesan Safe Church Policy

Each church/congregation will need to identify an individual who will be the Safe Church Contact: responsible for safe church record keeping and tracking. The diocese will correspond with this individual and will send training completion reports to this individual as well as any updates regarding safe church issues/materials. Please provide Shauna Daley, sdaley@diosova.org with the name, email, and phone contact numbers for this designated individual. 

Safe Church Training

Two levels of safe church training are offered – Universal and Specialized. The online training option is still available; however, we continue to encourage completion of in-person workshop training. Training recertification is required every three years. 

Universal Training

1.5-hour Session - for non-supervisory program participants and for those with key or code access to buildings who have limited direct interaction with those who might be vulnerable. The training is designed to cover a broad range of topics regarding vulnerability, boundaries, inclusion, power, and basic best practices to enable all to live out their Baptismal Covenant. 

Specialized Training

Daylong Session - for those who work directly with those who might be vulnerable, and those who are in supervisory, staff, or key leadership roles. This training dives deep into specifics related to sexual misconduct, boundaries, inclusion, power, pastoral relationships, and sexual harassment, and addresses basic best practices for program supervision.  

Click here  to find out which level of training you should take. 


If your church would like to request to host a Specialized or Universal Training workshop,  click here. 

Specialized Training Workshops

This training is required for vestry members, clergy, church staff.  Click here  to find out if this is the training you should take. 


Upcoming workshops (Space is limited so please register early.):

Please note that Specialized training covers difficult topics that may be especially challenging for individuals who were themselves victimized. Therefore, we urge you to practice good self-care during the training and assess if a trusted support system is available to you should you experience a strong reaction to the content. 

Universal Training Workshops

This training is suitable for Sunday school teachers and VBS volunteers (it does NOT meet requirements for vestry members, clergy, or church staff).Click here to find out if this is the training you should take. 


Upcoming workshops: (Space is limited so please register early.)

Praesidium Academy Online Training

Click here  to register for Praesidium Academy online safe church training. Praesidium Academy requires a valid, unique email address for each registrant in order to participate.

After registering you will receive an email from donotreply@praesidiuminc.com within three business days with the subject line “You’re Invited to Praesidium Academy.” This email will contain instructions for completing the training. Be sure to add this email address to your safe senders list and/or check your spam and junk mail folders. 

You must be age 16 or older to take Safe Church training. 


Completing Specialized Training online will require completion of a significant number of modules to equate to the material covered in the workshop format. When you are registered for Praesidium Academy you are given access to ALL of the training modules therefore it is important that you carefully read the instructions which will highlight the modules that are required for all as well as those that are ministry setting specific. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Shauna Daley or Lynn Farlin at 757-423-8287. 


Once you have your login credentials  click here  to access Praesidium Academy online safe church training. Click here to find out which Praesidium Academy online courses you need to complete. 

Safe Church Policies and Forms

Background Checks

Episcopal churches have the option to set up an account to run their own background checks with Praesidium  (www.praesidiuminc.com) under a negotiated plan between Church Pension Group and Praesidium. There is no monthly fee or setup cost, the church only pays for the actual background check, and most results are available within 3 business days.  For more information, or to set up an account, contact Praesidium at 800-743-6354 or praesidium@praesidiuminc.com


Churches can also use the Virginia State Police Criminal History Records Check found here. Results are typically received in 15-20 business days. 

Other Useful Links

Safeguarding Grants

Grants are available for small churches to assist in meeting compliance standards (i.e., background checks, credit checks, etc.) for the Policy for the Protection of Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Adults. Small churches who have submitted their Congregational/Organizational Safe Church Annual Audit and have provided the Diocese with the preceding two calendar years’ financial audit reports are eligible to apply to apply for a Safeguarding Grant. Click the link below for the application.


If you have questions or need guidance in implementing our Diocesan Safe Church Policy please contact Canon for Formation Lynn Farlin,lfarlin@diosova.org or 757-213-3377.