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Safe Church, Safe Communities

1 Corinthians 12:12, 26-27
Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many.  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. (Common English Bible)


The obligation to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being is binding for every baptized member of the Episcopal Church. The authority with which church leaders — including clergy, adults who minister to children and youth, youth in leadership roles, and adults who minister to vulnerable people — are entrusted, creates an inherent power imbalance in the pastoral relationship. This power imbalance derives from the leadership role and, in the case of clergy, the symbolic authority of an ordained person. Christian leadership is intended to provide occasions for guidance and grace; its abuse is always and unequivocally wrong.

The Diocese of Olympia takes its responsibility for the safety of our people seriously. The Safe Church, Safe Communities program teaches how to identify and prevent abuse within the church community.

Who Should Take the Training?

  • Safe Church, Safe Communities is required for all canonically resident and licensed clergy.
  • Safe Church, Safe Communities is required for non-clergy who have a key to the church facility, vestry and bishop committee members, church staff, Eucharistic ministers/visitors, and anyone who works with minors in any capacity.
  • Any other interested parishioners are encouraged to take the training.

Certificates are valid for three years and then a renewal is required.

What’s Offered?

The Safe Church, Safe Communities training is on-line and organized into “modules.”  To be certified in the Diocese of Olympia, you must take a total of nine modules:

  1. Universal Training: Introduction and Theological Background
  2. Universal Training: Organizational Rules & Policies
  3. Universal Training: Inclusion
  4. Universal Training: Healthy Boundaries
  5. Specialty Training: Power & Relationships
  6. Specialty Training: Pastoral Relationships
  7. Specialty Training: Abuse and Neglect
  8. Specialty Training: Bullying
  9. Duty to Report: Mandated Reporter

Each module takes about 20 – 30 minutes.

Other Modules Available

Please note that additional modules, that might also be relevant for your particular context, are available for viewing.  We invite you to explore these options and adopt them as part of your local Safe Church, Safe Communities requirements where appropriate.

These include the following:

Universal Application

  • Preventing Abuse and Exploitation in Pastoral Ministry
  • Abuse Prevention Refresher
  • Abuse Risk Management for Volunteers

Children & Youth

  • Social Media Safety
  • Keeping Your Day Camp Safe
  • Keeping Your Overnight Camp Safe
  • Keeping Your Church Safe
  • Keeping Your School Safe
  • Preventing Sexual Activity Between Young Children


  • Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Harassment for Managers & Supervisors
  • Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Harassment for Workers


  • Recognize Abuse and Exploitation in Elder Serving Programs

Getting Started with the Online Training

For any questions or concerns, please contact To get started, click the button:

Online Training