In our Baptismal Covenant, we promise to respect the dignity of every human being. One way that we live out that value in ECMN is through the implementation of our Safe Church Policies.
Following the way of Jesus means committing all we are and all we have to joining God’s project to heal the world with love, and bearing witness to that love in all we do. Our Safe Church policies, written to comply with the model policies and guidelines put forth by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, are intended to help every faith community live into the commitment we are bound to in our baptism, to honor the dignity of every human being.
Ensuring that each person who is entrusted with leadership has regular and appropriate training in how to protect children and vulnerable adults, as well as how to appropriately attend to the power dynamics that mark different relationships in our church, is a critical part of our life together.
Safe Church Trainings
Safe Church Training is conducted digitally through Praesdium Academy, the Episcopal Church's learning platform that hosts Safe Church courses, and is also the national church's database to store information on who has been Safe Church trained and when. Please see here for an index of who needs which trainings.
If you or a member of your faith community needs Safe Church training, please contact Dan Miglets-Nelson.
Safe Church Managers
Each faith community is required to appoint a Safe Church Manager who maintains accurate training records for their faith community. Dan Miglets-Nelson is hosting monthly Praesidium Academy trainings for Safe Church Managers. Find out more and register here.
Personal History Checks
Everyone who is in ministry with children, youth, or vulnerable adults is required to submit to a personal history check every three years, in compliance with General Convention standards. ECMN can provide support in completing these checks for staff and volunteers. Find the Informed Consent for Background Check form and relevant information here.
Our personal history check vendor, Verified First, does not share the results of personal history checks with the government or with any third party. Only data relevant to the user's role is checked, e.g. a Department of Motor Vehicle check when driving young people, vulnerable adults, or faith community vehicles, or a Credit Check for those with authority to write or sign checks. For more information, please see this Screening Guidelines document from the Episcopal Church.
Requirements of Faith Communities
Step 1: Formally adopt Safe Church Policies at a Vestry, Bishop’s Committee, or Board of Directors meeting and record the text of the policies in the minutes. Review and reaffirm your adoption of these policies annually and record it in the meeting minutes.
Step 2: Ensure adequate documentation for previously Safe Church-trained individuals (who have been trained in the last three years). Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Step 3: Establish a practice for determining who needs renewal and has past the three-year training window. One way to do this is to go into the online safeguarding database, download a spreadsheet of the entire faith community organization, and sort by training date.
Step 4: Identify those in your faith community who need to be Safe Church trained, using this form.
Step 5: Contact Dan Miglets-Nelson to set up access to Praesidium Academy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Praesidium Academy?
A. Praesidium Academy is the Episcopal Church's learning platform that hosts Safe Church courses, and is also the national church's database to store information on who has been Safe Church trained and when. ECMN follows the model policies and guidance set by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which has chosen Praesidium Academy as our church-wide tool for conducting and tracking Safe Church training.
Q: Who needs to be Safe Church trained?
A: A list of who needs to be trained can be found here. This includes keyholders who are not members of a faith community, as well as minors who are serving as staff or volunteers in nursery or faith formation roles.
Q: If I was trained within the last three years, do I need to re-certify using the new system?
A: You do not need to re-certify your training until three years after your training was completed.
Q: Is online training the only option?
A: For many users, completing training remotely, on their own time, will be the easiest option. However, faith communities can still offer in-person training, using the new Praesidium Academy modules. As long as a Safe Church manager is present to maintain the records of who is being trained, in-person trainings are acceptable.
Q: How do I get access to Praesidium Academy?
A: Talk to your Faith Community's Safe Church Manager to gain access to the platform and for help with who needs which courses. If you don't know who that person is, ask Dan Miglets-Nelson. He'd be happy to introduce you!
Q: What if I have further questions about what was covered in my training, or additional concerns?
A: Because of the nature of the training, some of the material might be difficult for some learners. If you have any concerns or questions, please let your Safe Church Manager or your spiritual care provider know.