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Safe Church, Safe Communities

We’re Working to Build a Safer Future

The Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee is committed to protecting each child of God. Sexual misconduct on the part of any clergy person, employee or volunteer of any congregation, school, or diocesan affiliated organization violates the mission of the Church, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. The Safe Church, Safe Community courses teach how exploitation and harassment occur, the awareness we need to prevent such occurrences, and how to respond, should an incident of exploitation or harassment occur. We strongly encourage each person in the church take Safe Church, Safe Communities.

As of September 1, 2022, Safe Church, Safe Communities is available to everyone online regardless of certification status. Please use the buttons below to register for an online account.

We are looking for Safe Church trainers! Trainers will travel in their designated region for trainings, will offer Zoom trainings, and offer trainings at their home parish. Interested in becoming a trainer? Please email Caroline Wood at

Safe Church, Safe Communities Course Requirements   |  Please click here if you work or volunteer at an Episcopal School.


How to Complete Your Training


Please note: If you already have taken online training, please visit to log into your account.


Who is required to go through training?

Anyone who serves in our churches, schools, or camps as a volunteer or paid worker. This includes but is not limited to clergy, youth and children’s ministers, vestry members, key holders, lay leaders, all paid church staff, and summer/day camp workers/volunteers.

How long does the training take?

Safeguarding God’s Children will take about two hours online and three hours in person. Our new material, Safe Church, Safe Communities In-Person training will take about two hours. The online courses will take about an hour and half, depending on which courses you are required to take.

Do I have to take all two and a half hours?

Depending on your role in the church, you will be required to take a certain number of courses. For example, clergy will take all ten courses while key holders will take five courses.

I took the training in 1998. Haven’t I already been trained?

The Diocese of East Tennessee adopted the Safeguarding God’s Children curriculum in 2003. Those who attended any prevention of child sexual abuse training prior to that time have not completed the training workshop that is currently required. Further, if it has been more than three years since going through the in-person training, you will need to take the in-person training again.

How often do I need to go through the training?

Initially, one must complete the full, in-person training before beginning employment or volunteer work with the parish. After the initial training, one must complete online renewal courses every three years.

I’ve heard there’s online training available. Can’t I just take that instead?

Online training is available only in these situations:

  1. An individual has been hired as parish/camp/school staff, or has signed on as a volunteer, and begins work in a time frame that makes it impossible to get through an in-person training before the start date. That individual may take an online version of the training only as a stopgap, but must still attend the next available in-person training.
  2. It has been no more than three years since the last training, and the individual needs to renew training certification.
  3. An individual has been through the in-person training but has been asked to take one or more of the ministry-specific online modules pertaining to her/his area of ministry (summer camp, day school, etc.)

How do I find out about available training workshops, or sign up for online renewal?

Sign-Up for In-Person Trainings here.

Sign-Up for Online Renewal here.

What do I do after I’ve finished my online courses?

Please share your transcript with your parish’s Safe Church coordinator.

You can print your transcript by:

  1. Click the grey circle with your initials in it on the top right-hand corner in your Praesidium account.
  2. Click “Transcript”
  3. Click “Print Transcript”

Which courses do I take online?

The courses you are required to take depend on your role in the church. Please view this chart to see which courses you should take.

I just took both of the Safeguarding courses. Do I need to retake Safe Church, Safe Communities?

No, your Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People certification is valid for three years. When your certificate expires, you will take Safe Church, Safe Communities. However, if you want to take these new courses anyway, please go ahead!




Safe Church Coordinator Resources