The Process

The United Methodist Church wants to create a safe environment for all children, youth, and vulnerable adults. This is important for the physical and emotional well being of those we care for, their parents and family members, the integrity of the church, and the integrity of those who work on behalf of the church.

Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse has become a major topic of concern in all aspects of life, but especially in our ministries. Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that the church is a safe and inviting place for everyone.

The Safe Gatherings program is designed to help churches and their congregants achieve that responsibility through a process:

  • Apply – Complete the Safe Gatherings online application (click here to see a list application questions).
  • Payment – This process costs $30.00 per applicant and covers all the costs of training and background checks necessary to attain approval.*
  • Online Training – The Safe Gatherings course is a self-paced, e-learning course that addresses the responsibilities of lay persons and clergy to recognize and respond appropriately to abuse against children, youth, and vulnerable adults. The course typically takes about 90 minutes to complete.
  • References – Safe Gatherings requires two personal references who have known you for at least two (2) years to assist us in qualifying all applicants.
  • Background Checks – By applying for Safe Gatherings approval, you authorize the certifying United Methodist conference to conduct any background checks necessary in order to gain reasonable assurance that you should be allowed in a position to work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
  • Approval – Upon successfully and satisfactorily completing all aspects of the Safe Gatherings process, your applicable United Methodist conference will provide you and your church or organization with approval information. Approval is valid for four (4) years.


Become Safe Gatherings Approved

*If you are not approved because of information gathered during background checks, failing to complete training, failure to obtain references, or any other reason, there are no refunds, as all expenses are incurred to provide the background checks and training up front.