Home Equipping Leaders Safer Sanctuaries Register for the Safer Sanctuaries: Train the Trainer Event

Register for the Safer Sanctuaries: Train the Trainer Event

By Kevin Johnson

Safer Sanctuaries

Event Details

  • November 28 – December 1, 2023
  • The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Registration fees: $149.00 | $199.00 (If CEUS are requested). Registration includes continental breakfast, snacks, and training sessions. Registration does not include lodging, transportation to/from the hotel, parking, lunches, or dinners.

Since the release of Safe Sanctuaries in 1998, churches have changed the way they attempt to prevent abuse of the vulnerable and protect staff and volunteers. Discipleship Ministries is offering a Safer Sanctuaries Train the Trainer gathering, November 28 – December 1, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri. The event is designed to train and update leaders who have training responsibilities for district, conference, or episcopal areas of The United Methodist Church. By attending this training, attendees will leave prepared to train others in the use of the Safer Sanctuaries material.

Register Today!

This in-person training, which features Discipleship Ministries staff and authors of Safer Sanctuaries, is designed for leaders who oversee multiple churches, serve a connectional role over a geographic region, or have responsibilities for their episcopal area related to abuse prevention, risk reduction, clergy ethics, age-level ministries, camping ministries, district-level or conference-level leadership, and insurance management. We embrace ecumenism and invite leaders from other denominations who are seeking training around church abuse prevention to join us.

We recommend that at least one person with responsibilities for creating training opportunities for Safer Sanctuaries, risk reduction, or abuse prevention for their episcopal area attend this training. This training will be more effective with a team or small group, so discuss and share this opportunity with your annual conference staff and determine if a group of two to five people might attend together. There will be opportunities to contextualize and localize the updated information.

Long gone are the days of ministry that is done without the due diligence of screening volunteers, documenting events, and knowing how to report when abuse does occur. It’s not if it happens, but when it happens; when it does, churches need to respond appropriately and compassionately.

The Safer Sanctuary Train the Trainer Gathering will provide essential elements highlighted in the print resource, including:

  • Building a customized policy
  • Defining abuse
  • Screening ministry volunteers
  • Determining trustees/operational procedures
  • Modifying physical structures
  • Training (orientation and annual refreshers) for church volunteers
  • Developing standard protocols for reporting and responding to abuse.

The following are some areas for discussion during our time together:


Does your screening of new candidates include reference checks, interviews, and a police background check?


How do you maintain documentation securely to demonstrate your duty of care?

Social Media and Photography Policies

Leaders will discuss how Safer Sanctuary policies identify parameters for interaction beyond program hours, in virtual spaces, social media, and photography.


There will be information about accommodating individuals who do not identify with their gender of birth and their access to programs, restrooms, shower facilities, and overnight activities. How do you protect their privacy within your policies?

Child Registration

Attendees will discuss challenges that guardians might encounter when registering a child. Does your policy demonstrate safe/secure “sign-in and out” methods?


Is there a secure level of screening of all adult volunteers in every aspect of your ministry? There should be supervision during large in-person gatherings and at every church event that provides childcare.

Trips and Activities

Activities and trips pose an elevated risk of potential injury and/or harm.

Many churches have been using waivers for years, but is there a safer approach that protects both children and volunteers that will hold up in today’s court system?

Participants will learn how to create/write/update their local church’s policy, review their reporting responsibilities, and discuss how to appropriately respond to abuse allegations.

Each state and province has its own legislation; however, everyone is a mandated reporter.

The Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust Within Faith Communities print resource and corresponding online course are available. Both may be purchased from the Upper Room bookstore. This updated and comprehensive resource sets the standard for leaders of faith communities to proactively engage in conversations, create processes and procedures, and effectively respond to allegations of abuse in their ministry contexts. The resource recognizes that by the nature of serving, leaders can find themselves in vulnerable positions as well, and it provides guidance to prevent and limit vulnerability in a leadership position.

Safer Sanctuaries expands the definition of vulnerability and provides guidance for a wide variety of ministry settings. Keeping up to date with the latest information about abuse prevention requires commitment and diligence.

Together, we will create places of safety where everyone can encounter a God who loves them.


Registrants may book a room at The Westin, Kansas City at Crown Center for a reduced rate of $179 per night. Click here to book your room.

The Crown Center is located across from Union Station in Downtown Kansas City. With areas such as the Power and Light District and Riverwalk Market connected by the no-cost Kansas City Streetcar, there are ample opportunities to eat well and fellowship outside of meeting times.

CEUs are available and may be selected for an additional $50 during registration. Please select the "Register Trainer + CEUs" option when registering for this event.

Register Today!

Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.

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