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Safe Church

Introducing Safe Church, Safe Communities!

The National Church has been working hard to create new training modules that are inclusive and modern. The new materials should be available in February 2022.

We will be requiring first-time certifications to be completed in-person once we are able to offer in-person gatherings.

Our regional trainers will be trained in the new material in February, and we are hoping to offer our first diocesan-sponsored, in-person training in February with more to follow. The scheduled dates for training will be shared on our website and in our News and Events email.

Interested in becoming a trainer? Please email Caroline Wood at




In-Person Training

Training dates will be posted in late January 2022.

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Online Certificate Renewal

You may complete your certificate online until we are offering in-person trainings.

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Have Questions?

Contact Caroline Wood at or 865-966-2110

Email Caroline


  • Q: Who is required to go through training?

    A: 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.

  • Q: How long does the training take?

    A: 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.

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

    A: 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.

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

    A: 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.

  • Q: How often do I need to go through the training?

    A: 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 an online renewal course every three years.

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

    A: 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.)
  • Q: How do I find out about available training workshops, or sign up for online renewal?

    A: Sign-Up for In-Person Trainings here.

    Sign-Up for Online Renewal here.

  • Which courses do I take online?

    The courses you are required to take for Safeguarding God’s Children are:
    1) Meet Sam
    2) It Happened to Me
    3) Abuse Prevention Refresher
    4) Policies of East Tennessee

    The courses you are required to take for Safeguarding God’s People are:
    1) Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Harassment for Workers
    2) Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith for Congregations
    3)Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith for Ministries


    **Please note: this will be changing in Spring 2022. The National Church is creating new materials.

Safe Church Policies

Please note: All parishes have been sent or have received in person a hard copy of the policies and forms.

Policies and Procedures for the Protection of Children, Youth and Adults
Key Information at a Glance
Chart – What is Required for Whom
Safe Church Notice
• Annual Adoption of Safeguarding Policy
Safeguarding Resolution for vestries
Guidelines for Use of Social Media and Other Forms of Digital Communication

Questions about the policies, training, or specific questions about Safeguarding God’s Children please contact Caroline Wood,, 865-966-2119.