Diocesan "Safe Church Training" is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. This training provides an opportunity to increase and enhance our ability to live out our Baptismal Covenant within our communities of faith and in the world beyond.
The Episcopal Church in Vermont offers a 6-hour basic training program for all who serve the church. Topics include: power and boundaries in adult ministerial relationships; prevention, identification and response to elder abuse; prevention, identification and response to sexual abuse of children and youth; Diocesan Policies and response to misconduct within a community of faith. Diocesan policy regarding training requirements is included below.
2013 Basic Training (for ordained and lay)
Each training begins promptly at 9:00 am (please arrive by 8:45 to settle in) and ends at 3:00 pm.
September 14: St. Stephen's, Middlebury (childcare will be available for a fee, make arrangements directly with St. Stephen's)
November 16: Trinity, Rutland
Register in advance by emailing
, in order that materials for all attendees is available.
Morning beverages and snacks will be provided; please bring your own lunch.
2013 Clergy Training (for ordained only)
Training opportunities for the ordained have been created, recognizing there are conversations that may take place best or only among clergy. These trainings are scheduled for 9 am to 12:30 pm (bring a lunch and stay to spend time with colleagues) and will meet the requirement for an ordained person who has not completed the basic 6-hour training in Vermont since January 1, 2009. The focus of these trainings will be on boundaries, power, and self-care. There will likely be an additional training opportunity for the ordained scheduled later in the year.
April 23, 2013 Trinity Church, Shelburne
April 24, 2013 St. James Church, Woodstock
Diocesan Policy on Training
The Diocese of Vermont strictly prohibits sexual misconduct of any type by any ordained person (deacon, transitional deacon, priest or bishop) canonically resident or functioning in the Diocese of Vermont, or any employee or volunteer authorized to perform work or provide services within the church.
All clergy and lay employees of the church, and all volunteers authorized by the Vestry and clergy person in charge to work on behalf of the congregation in situations that are considered high risk for sexual misconduct (such as church school, individual counseling, youth programs, etc.) will be required to complete and sign an application form which specifically includes a request for personal references, information concerning any prior adjudication in regard to sexual misconduct, and acknowledgment of the church's right to conduct a confidential background check.
Within the first thirty days of employment or assignment, newly elected vestry members and all persons engaged in high risk areas of service will be required to sign a statement indicating that they have read and understand, and intend to comply with, the Diocese of Vermont Policy and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct.
Within the first six months of employment or assignment, all clergy and employees must receive a minimum of six hours of training on issues of sexual harassment and exploitation and the prevention and detection of child sexual abuse in church settings. All persons engaged in high risk areas of service must additionally participate in this training. All such training must be provided or approved by the Province of New England.
For complete PDF versions of Vermont Safe Church Policies use the following links:
Diocese of Vermont Policies and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct
Diocese of Vermont Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth/Standards and Practical Applications for Anyone Working with Children or Youth
Download the safer church training manual, Honoring Our Relationships.
For information on training, contact Canon Lynn Bates at 802-863-3431 or