Safe Gatherings


The Minnesota Annual Conference contracts with Safe Gatherings to provide access to an online program that enables churches to meet their screening and training responsibilities for those who work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Safe Gatherings is an abuse prevention and boundary awareness program developed to certify applicants to work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Individuals who complete an application, background check, and training may be authorized to work with those groups in any church-related setting.

Training may be completed anytime, anywhere using the online system. Applicants may complete the training modules at their own pace. The training typically takes about 1.5 hours to complete.

Click here to downlaod a sample local church policy for the protection of children in the Minnesota Conference

Click here for best practices in Safe Gatherings

Start the process

Start the process or log in to your Safe Gatherings application


Application: Access the Safe Gatherings system and complete the online application. Individuals can log into their account at any time to check the status of their application.

Payment: The conference application process fee is $34.25 per lay person, staff person, or volunteer; it covers the cost of background checks and training necessary to be Safe Gatherings-certified. The cost for candidates for ministry will vary due to the more extensive background checks required for that group. Applicants are responsible for making a secure online payment at the time of application. Some local churches have opted to cover this expense for people associated with their congregation. If your local church is covering this cost, that will be indicated as you complete the online application process.

References: The approval process requires one professional and one clergy reference to assist in qualifying all applicants. Reference requests are submitted and received electronically. It may be helpful to notify the individuals from whom lay references are requested so that they can anticipate receiving the request.

Approval: Upon satisfactory completion of all components of the Safe Gatherings process, the Minnesota Conference will provide each applicant and affiliated church or organization with certification documentation, valid for three years.


Contact the Safe Gatherings team at or (888) 241-8258 for more information or with questions about the program.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058