The Southeastern Synod is committed to ensuring that we provide safe places of worship and fellowship to everyone we serve.
Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention and boundary awareness program that screens and educates staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in group settings. When employees and volunteers are trained to identify potential abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, and know how to handle reporting, they are better equipped to prevent abuse.
The Synod and our congregations utilize Safe Gatherings to enable our churches, camps, and affiliated groups to meet their screening and training responsibilities for those who work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
Staff and volunteers who serve in ministry to these groups must complete the approval process every 3 years to maintain their approval status. Individuals who complete an application, background check, and training may be approved and authorized to work with those groups in any church related setting.
Screening includes obtaining background checks and professional references. The training is comprehensive and customized for our organization. Applicants may complete the online training modules at their own pace. The training typically takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
Application: Click here to access the Safe Gathering system and complete the online application. http://www.safegatherings.com Individuals can log into their account at any time to check the status of their application.
Payment: The application process fee is $47 per applicant. This fee includes the reference checks, background checks, and training required to be Safe Gatherings-approved. Applicants are responsible for payment by credit card at the time of the application unless your church has decided to pay the application fee for those serving your congregation. If your church is covering this cost, it will be indicated when you complete your online application.
All churches in the Southeastern Synod-ELCA are currently set up in Safe Gatherings. Applicants must correctly enter the denomination, state and city where your church is located and the church will display in a drop-down menu as you begin the application process.
References: The approval process requires one professional and one clergy reference to assist in qualifying all applicants. Reference requests are submitted and received electronically. It may be helpful to notify the individuals from whom references are requested so that they can anticipate receiving the request.
Training: Training may be completed online at your convenience once your application has been completely filled out and payment has been made. If you prefer not to complete the training all at the same time, you may log out and complete it later. Safe Gatherings allows you to either restart the training where your left off, or begin again from the beginning. Even after you have completed the training and successfully passed the quiz, you will have access to the training course for one year from your date of application so that you may use the training as a reference as you serve.
Approval: Upon satisfactory completion of all components of the Safe Gathering process, applicants and their church administrator will be notified by email. Approval is valid for three years.
Contact: Safe Gatherings team may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 241-8258 for additional information or with questions about the program