The Presbytery has 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, listed on the Supply Preaching list, 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. Pastors whose certification has expired are given a limited amount of time to complete the course or their pastoral relationship will be dissolved or their name removed from the supply preaching list.
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 training 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 multiple choice 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 course takes about 3 hours to complete and you can stop, leave and return as needed. Your progress is saved.
The cost of $37 is normally paid by the church or reimbursed to the pastor from church funds. The course requires payment with a credit card.
Here is how pastoral leaders should register on the site.
- Go to https://safegatherings.com/
- Tutorial Guide for SafeGatherings
- IF this is your first time choose “Start New Application” (This is NOT the “Clergy Ethics Course”)
- On the next screen enter this information:
The important part of that image is
“Coastal Carolina Presbytery” and “Elizabethtown”
- Click next and complete the required information and pay for the course.
- Enter the requested 2 references
- The begin the course.
- Once your references ahve replied AND you have pass the course test, you will receive an email confirming that the course is completed.
- One the background check is completed by SafeGatherings a second email will arrive indicating the results and an email is sent to the Presbytery Office showing the course completion and the results of the background check.
If you are returning to renew your certification, use your login Username and Password from your previous time.
Note About REFERENCES:
Many people have found that the email sent to references by SafeGatherings has 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.
If you have questions about this process, please call your COM Liaison or the Presbytery Office 910-862-8300 x 2.