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. 

Safe Church Training teaches 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:
                     NOTE in-person training is mandatory the first time.
                     Subsequent trainings can be completed in-person or online.

       -  All clergy
       -  All persons in the ordination process
       -  All persons serving in field education assignments
       -  All Lay Chaplains

  • The Bishop requires all persons seeking a Lay Eucharistic Visitor license to attend Safe Church Training in-person or online
    before licensure. (see below for Training Options) 

  • The Bishop requires the following people to update their training every five years, either in-person or online  (see below for Training Options):
     -  All clergy
     -  Lay Eucharistic Visitors
     -  Lay Chaplains

  • 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 offers in-person Safe Church Training.  Trainings are offered at the diocesan offices in Manhattan in the fall on a weekday, and in the spring on a Saturday at a church in the Mid-Hudson Region.  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.  Next scheduled training:

  • NOTE the next training will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016,
    at a church in the Mid-Hudson Region (location TBD).


     Safeguarding God's Children (Child) 
          9:30 am - 12:00 pm
     Lunch Provided
          12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
     Safeguarding God's People (Adult) 
          12:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Parish Sponsored In-Person Trainings
Facilitators are available to lead in-person trainings at churches/institutions covering both Safeguarding God's Children and Safeguarding God's People. 

Things to keep in mind when considering offering an in-person Safe Church training:

  • Training includes both Safeguarding God's Children and Safeguarding God's People.
  • Training runs approximately 6 hours (including lunch break).
  • Training site responsible for: scheduling facilitator, paying facilitator, printing participant materials, overall organization, and someone must be designated for this role (training coordinator).
  • Facilitator fee is $500, plus travel/mileage reimbursement. Facilitator will submit invoice by email to training coordinator about a week before training.
  • Required supplies: television/screen, DVD player, podium/music stand, whiteboard/chalkboard/easel, with appropriate writing instrument, and of course a comfortable space with seating for attendees.
  • Printed participant materials must be provided to all attendees.
  • Participant materials will be sent by email to training coordinator for printing about two weeks before training.
  • Certificates of attendance are provided to attendees at end of training by facilitator.
  • Training is for attendees 16 years or older.
  • Maximum attendance of 40 participants per training.

For questions about offering in-person Safe Church trainings, or for the list of facilitators, contact Alito Orsini by E-mail.


Safeguarding Online: Web-based Safe Church Training

Safeguarding Online is a free, web-based, comprehensive sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training program which became available for congregational employees and volunteers in September 2015. In the Diocese of New York, Safeguarding Online augments in-person Safe Church Training.  To see when Safeguarding Online may and should be used, review the Requirements and Expectations section above. 

Each congregation's participation is managed by a Safeguarding Online Administrator.  The first step in making Safeguarding Online available for your congregation is to identify and register a Safeguarding Online Administrator.  So far, over 70 congregations have signed up to use Safeguarding Online.

If your congregation has not identified and registered a Safeguarding Online Administrator, or if you have questions about Safeguarding Online, contact:

Andrew Gary
Safeguarding Online Manager
E-mail or 212-932-7322


Safeguarding Online Resources:

For Users:

Click here for "Tips and Instructions for Safeguarding Online Users" - a one-page guide for using Safeguarding Online.

Click here to view a list of available course modules.

Click here for "Who Should Take What" - a spreadsheet showing which courses should be taken for various employee and volunteer roles.  Courses optional when "Yes" or "No" is not noted.

For Administrators (in addition to above):

Click here for Safeguarding Online Administrator registration - to sign up a new administrator for your congregation.

Click here for "Tips and Instructions for Safeguarding Online Administrators - a one-page guide to administering Safeguarding Online for your congregation.


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



See Also: