Online training will result in timelier certification of applicants and increase efficiency of data management. Applicants will register and train online at their convenience. Reference requests will be generated and references will be submitted electronically with automatic reminders if response is not received in a timely manner.
This program will allow churches to offer training to volunteers at any time and to verify those who are certified from their church. Clergy will receive and can return completed references online and the process time will be shortened.
We are asking local churches to work with us to ensure that those without computers can be accommodated. An email address is required for participants in the program for delivery of certification confirmation and other communications related to the completion of the program.
No, the face-to-face trainings will no longer be available after June 30, 2012.
Administration of the Safe Gatherings online training will be done by the coordinator in the Kansas West Conference office. Specific questions or concerns may be referred to the review team and/or the conference chancellor.
Questions about taking the online training program may be sent to email@example.com.
Yes. There are pre-requisites.
A person who has been convicted as a sex offender will not be certified.
Affirmative responses to the following questions relating to crimes will prompt a personal review of an application:
Yes. Background checks are confidential and organizations are not able to share them with others, even with permission.
When everyone commits to the same process, there is a greater amount of trust. People feel safer when they know they can trust you.
The cost for each application is $30. This includes applicable background checks and an online processing fee. Unless the local church or ministry is willing to pay for the costs, each applicant is responsible for paying this non-refundable fee.
Some local churches have opted to cover this expense for people associated with their congregation. If your local church is covering these expenses, that will be indicated as you complete the online application process.
Our intent is to help everyone be safe, including those being trained. The Safe Gatherings website is secure and no information will ever be available or seen by other people online.
You must provide a reference from a pastor who has known you for two years. If your pastor hasn’t known you that long, you may ask another pastor to provide the reference. The United Methodist pastor where the ministry takes place will still be notified and asked to indicate if there is any reason why you should not serve within the local church or conference.
As an alternative, you may ask a ministry director in the church where you will serve who has known you for two years. If that is not possible, ask a non-profit director, an employer, a teacher or a coach where you have previously served to complete the form. Please note that the pastor in the church where the ministry takes place will be notified.
The pastor of the church you are attending can complete the reference. If you do not have a pastor, list an employer, or professional, who has known you a minimum of two years. A non-profit agency where you have served can provide a reference. He/she will be contacted to confirm their relationship with you. The United Methodist pastor where the ministry takes place will still be notified and asked to indicate if there is any reason why you should not serve within the local church or conference.
All who work with children, youth and/or developmentally disabled adults are required to become certified through the Safe Gathering program. This includes paid or unpaid staff, lay or clergy, who have direct contact with children, youth and/or developmentally disabled adults.
Yes. All clergy are required to be Conference-certified in Safe Gatherings.
No. When volunteers are asked to do tasks on a periodic basis, they are not required to be certified as long as they are never alone with a child or youth and are serving with a certified adult present. It is recommended that the church provides a means of recognition whether or not a person is certified (lanyard, colored name tag, etc).
Yes. Boy Scouts meeting in a United Methodist Church have been chartered by the church. They are considered a ministry within the church and must comply with the same certification policies as any other ministry. A pastor leader must sign a document annually approving the list of leaders for the program by name. With this relationship, participation in the program becomes mandatory.
No. The conferences will not accept Boy Scout Youth Protection certification. Conference certification requires background checks. Background checks are not required by the Boy Scouts.