Safe Church Training

(Sexual Misconduct Awareness and Prevention)



The Episcopal Diocese of New York is committed to keeping our churches
and ministries safe.   Sexual misconduct on the part of any clergyperson, employee, or volunteer of any congregation, institution, organization, school or agency within the diocese violates the mission of the Church, is prohibited by law, and will not be tolerated.

Using the Safeguarding Training Series published by the Church Pension Fund, the diocese offers Safe Church Training concerning both children and adults, in both in-person and web-based training formats.  These trainings teach participants to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and the behavior of sexual perpetrators, how to respond to those signs and behaviors when they are observed, and provides screening information to help stop abuse before
it happens.

Requirements & Expectations

  • The Bishop requires the following people to complete
    Safe Church Training in person:
       -  All clergy
       -  All persons in the ordination process
       -  All persons serving in field education assignments
       -  All persons seeking a Lay Eucharistic Visitor license

    In-person training is mandatory the first time.  Subsequent trainings can be completed in-person or online (see below for Training Options).

  • The Bishop requires:
    -  All clergy to update their training every five years, either in-person
       or online.
    -  Lay Eucharistic Visitors to update their training every five years,
       either in-person or online.

  • The Bishop expects the following people to complete Safe Church Training, either in-person or online (see below for Training Options):
       -  All employees
       -  Wardens
       -  Vestry members
       -  Pastoral visitors
       -  Youth leaders
       -  Confirmation sponsors
       -  Acolyte leaders
       -  Choir directors
       -  Sunday/Church school teachers
       -  Volunteers working on a regular basis

  • The Bishop expects:
    -  All employees and volunteers (as listed above) to update their training
       every five years, either in-person or online.

Establishing a requirement to attend these trainings as a condition of volunteering or employment is the responsibility of each parish or organization.  It is highly recommended that a statement about attendance requirements be added to the written policies of each parish or organization, and then communicated to every volunteer or employee before they begin work or service.

Training Options

In-person Safe Church Training

Is led by an experienced facilitator and covers:

  • The Diocese of New York's policies and procedures.

  • Safeguarding God's Children
    Awareness & Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
    Boundary issues, ethical and theological considerations, strategies for prevention in church settings, and response & reporting.

  • Safeguarding God's People
    Awareness & Prevention of Adult Sexual Harassment & Exploitation
    Trust and safety in ministry, power and boundary issues, ethical and theological considerations, strategies for prevention in church settings, and response & reporting.

When are In-Person Safe Church Trainings offered?
Twice a year the diocese provides in-person Safe Church Training.  Trainings are offered at the diocesan offices in Manhattan during the fall on a weekday, and  during the spring on a Saturday a location in the Mid-Hudson Region in the spring on a Saturday.  Training dates and registration information will be listed here and advertised, on the calendar, and communicated directly to the Wardens and Clergy in charge of all parishes.

Web-based Safe Church Training

PLEASE NOTE Safeguarding Online is not currently available,
but will be soon.

Safeguarding Online is a free web-based comprehensive training program (multi-module). Each congregation's participation is managed by a Safeguarding Online Administrator.

The first step in rolling out Safeguarding Online is to identify a Safeguarding Online Administrator for each parish in the diocese.  This process has begun, and we are sending a call for administrators to congregations by regional clericus according to the schedule below:


  • Phase 1 - Late April 2015
    -  Dutchess East
    -  Dutchess North
    -  Dutchess South
    -  God's Outpost
    -  Richmond
    -  Ulster

  • Phase 2 - Early May 2015
    -  Bronx East
    -  Bronx Northwest
    -  Bronx South
    -  Westchester Central
    -  Westchester Hudson North
    -  Westchester Hudson South
    -  Westchester Sawmill
    -  Westchester Shore

  • Phase 3 - Late May 2015
    -  Episcopal Community of Central Orange
    -  Hudson Valley
    -  Manhattan Central
    -  Manhattan Lower
    -  Manhattan Midtown
    -  Manhattan North
    -  Rockland

In the coming weeks more information and resources about Safeguarding Online will be made available here.

Questions about Safeguarding Online can be directed to Mr. Andrew Gary, Diocesan Safeguarding Online Manager, by phone: 212-932-7322, or
by E-mail.


General questions about the Safe Church Training can be directed to Alito Orsini in the Transition Ministry Office.  Phone: (212) 316-7414 E-mail

See Also: