In June 2015, the Presbytery adopted www.SafeGatherings.com as our tool for training about Sexual misconduct and boundary training.
It is now the policy of our Commission on Ministry that all persons serving congregations in a pastoral relationship, or serving as staff of the presbytery, be required to pass the training and certification process provided by Safe Gatherings at least once every two years.
As detailed in the Presbytery Sexual Misconduct Policy pastors failing the background check or the examination on the course would have their pastoral relationship dissolved.
Safe Gatherings has a comprehensive nation-wide background check process including the checking of two references (including a clergy person) provided by the candidate for certification. The candidate must also watch a video that goes over boundary issues and which gives advice for avoiding potential pitfalls while underlining the serious consequences to children and others of those abused by church-related persons.
At the end of the presentation there is a written exam that must be passed with an 80% accuracy score before the person is certified. Additional attempts of the exam are allowed after reviewing the course material again.
The cost of $35 is normally paid by the church or reimbursed to the pastor from church funds. Here is how pastoral leaders should register on the site.
- Tutorial Guide for SafeGatherings
- Several users have found that the email sent to references have gone directly to SPAM folders. Please call your references to ask them if they received the email, if not, please have them check their junk mail folders for the email. (From the Dashboard in SafeGatherings the email can be resent, if needed.)
The background check, training and examination process is to be repeated once every 2 years.
The General Presbyter/Stated Clerk receives the confirmation of completion and the background check report.