If I am having trouble with my MinistrySafe control panel, who should I contact?
To access your church's MinistrySafe control panel visit https://safetysystem.ministrysafe.com/auth/sign_in . If you have trouble logging in, contact MinistrySafe directly at 817-737-7233. Mention that you are part of the Central Texas Conference group. If you have trouble navigating or using your church's control panel, you can find lots of information at the MinistrySafe help center. For technical issues, please contact MinistrySafe directly at 817-737-7233.

Can I change the CTC MinistrySafe policies?
The CTC MinistrySafe policies were adopted by the CTC Annual Conference at the recommendation of the  CTC MinistrySafe Task Force and  Board of Trustees. They include the foundational pieces of  recommended policy from MinistrySafe, as well as the pre-existing Safe Sanctuary guidelines endorsed by the denomination.  They are designed so that they can be “personalized” to include the local church name and particular organizational structure, but the content of the policy is not to be changed. Local churches may create their own operational procedures used to implement the CTC MinistrySafe policy.

Where do I find the required screening documents for MinistrySafe?
The required screening steps include a written application, personal interview, and three references. The required screening documents can be found on our CTC website by clicking HERE. MinistrySafe also provides various sample documents for use in churches, schools, and camps. Your church's Safety System Administrator can find them on the MinistrySafe control panel under the “Documents” tab on the left side panel.

How do I get a background check for my volunteers/staff?
Every volunteer/staff person who works with children or youth must have a criminal background check. Churches may choose to use MinistrySafe for background checks in a “one-stop” process through the online control panel. Alternatively, a church may choose another background check vendor, which provides a comparable search to those provided through MinistrySafe. To see a description of the search options provided by MinistrySafe click here. Please note: Level 1 or Level 2 (drivers) are the most minimal searches; Levels  3-5 provide more comprehensive searches for staff positions or other volunteers with special circumstances (e.g., new residents) or higher risk (e.g., known records). Churches are responsible for the cost of background checks for their staff/volunteers. Special pricing is offered to CTC congregations by MinistrySafe. Click here for a pricing sheet. To set up a payment method call MinistrySafe directly at 817-737-7233 and let them know you are with “CTC Methodists.”  

Who pays for this resource?
The Central Texas Conference pays for an annual subscription for all CTC congregations. This subscription includes unlimited use of the Awareness Training video for all volunteers and technical support from MinistrySafe. Each local church is also allowed one free annual viewing of the in-depth Skillful Screening Training video for its key leaders. Each local church is required to cover the costs of individual volunteer/staff background checks. If you recieve a bill from MinistrySafe for anything else, please forward it to ministrysafe@ctcumc.org for review.  

How often does the training and screening have to be renewed?
The video training must be renewed every two years and the renewal date will appear on your MinistrySafe control panel. (Please use the “Awareness Training” tab on the left side panel to send video training before the two year mark.) The criminal background check is also set to renew every two years. Even if you use a different company for background checks, MinistrySafe and CTC requires renewal at least every two years.  The other screening steps—Application, Interview, References—should be reviewed and updated on an intermittent basis as determined by your local Safety Committee.  

How can my church safely utilize teens as volunteers with children?

The Central Texas Conference MinistrySafe policy recommends that the primary leader in ministry with children be at least 18 years old and any main helpers be 5 years older than the oldest child participant. A minimum of two unrelated adults are required at all times. If a church utilizes teens as volunteers with children in compliance with these guidelines, they should utilize an alternative screening process which includes:

  1. Reviewing the church’s MinistrySafe policy with the teen to ensure a thorough understanding of all the guidelines. The teen and reviewing adult should sign the acknowledgment at the end of the policy.
  2. The teen should complete a Teen Application (sample here) and provide references as indicated on the application. Please note that this form requires a parent signature. The church may desire to share this document with the parent before providing it to the youth in order to explain the process for application and interview to the parent.
  3. An approved adult should conduct the reference check in compliance with guidelines for adult reference checks.

Because the video training includes explicit information about sexual abuse, it may not be appropriate for youth under the age of 18 and should not be utilized in their volunteer training without the prior understanding and presence of a parent while viewing the video.

What is required for my church to participate in a Central Texas Conference events?
Churches with adults participating in a Central Texas Conference or district-sponsored event for children or youth (i.e. mission trips, Chrysalis, Project Transformation, etc.) are required to be MinistrySafe certified. In addition, anyone taking UMVIM Leader Training and ERT Training are required to be MinistrySafe certified before attending a class. Individual participants and/or church groups are required to submit documentation certifying that all participating adults have completed all Safety Steps.  Individuals who are not fully certified will not be allowed to participate.  Click HERE to download the MinistrySafe Compliance form.

How do you transfer MinistrySafe certification when someone changes churches?
The receiving church should contact MinistrySafe directly at 817-737-7233 to request that they transfer the individual's profile to the receiving church's MinistrySafe control panel. Then, the receiving church should request the confidential screening documents (application, interview, references) from the sending congregation. Finally, the receiving church will integrate the transferred individual into their existing MinistrySafe process for renewal.

We've had a change in leadership in our church and lost track of our access to MinistrySafe. How do we get back on track?

Start by reviewing these set-up steps. If you run into problems, email ministrysafe@ctcumc.org.

Why did we choose MinistrySafe? 
The Central Texas Conference evaluated several abuse prevention systems and believes MinistrySafe provides the most comprehensive set of tools to ensure that all children and youth are protected within the ministries of CTC churches. MinistrySafe provides all CTC churches, regardless of size, access to appropriate and necessary resources to implement an appropriate safety program.

Who are "vulnerable persons" and how do we include them in our safety system? 

The Central Texas Conference recognizes that a local church may be in ministry with specific populations who are not necessarily defined as youth or children, yet may need comparable protection and supervision. For instance, churches with ministry to young adults with profound mental or physical disabilities and their families. The approved 2014 "Resolution to Adopt MinistrySafe Safety System" states: "One definition of 'vulnerable persons' is one who because of physical or mental infirmity or emotional disability or other physical, mental, or emotional dysfunction may be vulnerable to maltreatment. Vulnerable persons are those who serve and can be in a position where accusations of abuse could mistakenly arise; or who have been abused either as a child or an adult."

There is not a separate or unique MinistrySafe policy for such vulnerable persons. However, a local church Safety Committee may use the CTC MinistrySafe policies as a starting point for best ministry practices and craft its own procedures for protecting and supervising such persons within its ministry and care.

If I have a question or suggestion regarding MinistrySafe in The Central Texas Conference, who can I contact?
Questions about the policy and best practices to implement the MinistrySafe system are managed through the CTC MinistrySafe Oversight Committee.  Please leave all questions, suggestions, or comments HERE.  You will be contacted by an Oversight Committee member.