The Institute for Discipleship to Host a Five-Day Intensive Online Safe Sanctuary Workshop will host a five-day online workshop for United Methodist congregations who need to write a Safe Sanctuary policy. Your opportunity to take this intensive five-day course is Nov. 14-18. A similar course will be offered next spring and is spread over four weeks, March 4-31, 2012. Participants will learn: why congregations should have a Safe Sanctuary policy, what the policy includes generally and specifically, how to get a policy written and approved, and how to implement it.

What's the benefit for participation? A main benefit is simply compliance with denominational and Annual Conference requirements and Continuing Education Units. (It has been the official policy of the Central Texas Conference since May 1, 2006 that each of its churches must have a Safe Sanctuary Abuse Prevention Policy in place.) But more importantly, Safe Sanctuary policies protect our children and youth, our teachers and leaders and our congregation’s reputation and resources.
Participants will have access to the website 24 hours a day and be able to work at a time most convenient for them. There will be two daily readings and one daily discussion question. Participants will be required to post a response to the question and to at least two other participants every day. Participants will not be expected to write the policy during these five days but may send it to the workshop leader for feedback later when it is written.
For the many of you who already have your Safe Sanctuary policy in place, it is important to remember that the local churches should be intentional to train all persons who have contact and leadership with children and youth about their policy and safe sanctuary guidelines and procedures. It is recommended that this training be offered every year to ensure that new persons receive the training and to remind experienced teachers about all the issues and reporting protocol. is also offering training for those who volunteer with children and youth Jan. 6-22, 2012.
Those interested in learning more or enrolling in the five-day online workshop or one of the others mentioned above should visit  (and scroll down all the way to the last four or five entries on the page) or contact Lisa Buffum at If you have questions about your Safe Sanctuary policy or questions regarding training in your local congregations, please contact Dawne Phillips at or 817-877-5222 ext 11.