Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Required Training + Church Safety

Online Safe Church Training for Church Leadership, Volunteers & Employees AND

Mandatory Annual NYS Sexual Harassment Prevention for Employees (Clergy & Lay)

How to Access Training

Clergy and lay parishioners in the Diocese may obtain Safe Church certification online at Praesidium AcademyPlease contact your parish for access to Praesidium Academy.  

Who Should Be Trained?

All clergy, licensed lay ministers, parish leaders, staff, and volunteers are required to maintain up-to-date Safe Church certification. For a complete list of roles for which Safe Church training is required, please review the Safe Church Course Requirements list. In addition, all members of our churches are encouraged to participate in Safe Church training. The more informed and aware we are, the safer our churches will be for all children and adults. Individuals who complete Safe Church training are awarded a certificate. Certification must be renewed every 3 years or annually depending on the course, please refer to the above-referenced Safe Church Course Requirements list for the renewal schedule.

Which courses should I take? 

Please view a list of required courses by position/role. Questions may be directed to Sarah Herzog.

If your parish needs to be registered to participate in online Safe Church training via Praesidium Academyplease contact Sarah Herzog.

Each parish will be asked to identify an individual who will serve as the parish’s Safe Church online administrator (this is often the parish administrator). The Safe Church online administrator will be responsible for setting up individuals in the online system. If your parish has not been set up, please email Sarah the name and email address of the parish’s designated Safe Church online administrator. Sarah will work with the administrator to set up your parish’s Praesidium Academy account.


NYS Required Training

All Churches and separate organizations with employees (Clergy and/or Lay) must have adopted the NYS Sexual Harassment Policy by Oct. 9, 2018.  If you have not done so, please have your vestry adopt it at your next meeting. Make sure the (4) documents below are accessible to all employees.

Parish Sexual Harassment NYS Prevention Policy.docx

Mission Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster.docx (Fill in the yellow highlighted and post in your church with other employment posters)

Sexual Harassment Complaint Form.docx (Make available to all employees)


Why do we need the training?

Watch Presiding Bishop Curry's Safe Church Video

Helpful Tips to Prepare You for Training

1. Right Place, Right Time

Set the right conditions for learning. Create an environment with no interruptions, no phone calls, and no distractions. Set aside 30-45 minutes for each course so you do not have to hurry.

2. Take Your Time

Have patience and take your time. Read carefully to make sure you fully understand the content. Rather than rushing through the training, plan to complete only one or two courses each time you log in so you can really absorb what you’ve learned. If you need to pause and continue training later, the course will start again from the section where you left off.

3. Follow the Arrows

When it’s time to move to the next page, an arrow will appear at the bottom right corner. When prompted, click the arrow to move forward.

4. Think About It

Finally, pause and think about what you are learning. roughout the course, think about how you can apply what you are learning to your own position. We know that with proper concentration you can understand and apply what you learn. When you pass the quiz at the end of the course, you will earn credit. 

Need help, contact Sarah Butler at 585-473-0903.

Diocesan Policies & Forms

Model Policy for Safeguarding All People & the Protection of Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Adults

Sexual Harassment Discussion Guide for Employees in NYS

Church Safety

With the many occasions of gun violence, here are various resources including those from the Department of Homeland Security for you to review for your parish.  Creating a plan in case of a threat or attack in your parish is most important!  Please reach out if you need any other assistance.
The Dept. of Homeland Security provides printable & video resources: an animated video that might be easier for some to watch.

Active Shooter Preparedness documents.

It's imperative to have an Emergency Action Plan.  Here are worksheets for you to create an Emergency Action Plan.

Please review the Active Shooter Recovery Guide.

In this dynamic threat environment, it is also important that organizations not only prepare their staff to respond to a potential incident but also collectively determine the processes through which the organization and its staff recover from an incident.