{United Methodist Church of NJ Conference}

© 2015 Shari DeAngelo

What is Safe Sanctuaries? | Why Safe Sanctuaries?

Steps to Become a Safe Sanctuaries Compliant Church

  • Create a Safe Sanctuaries Task Force for your local church
    •  Start looking at the context of your local church and who your ministries serve (ie youth, children, young adults and vulnerable adults)
  • Create a Safe Sanctuaries Policy for you local church,
  • Set up a Ministry Safe account for your church and appoint a Ministry Safe Administrator (see below for details).
  • Have all adults (laity and clergy, paid and volunteer) working with children, youth and vulnerable adults complete a background check through Ministry Safe (see below for details), Safe Sanctuaries training for your church’s certified policy and Ministry Safe Training videos (see below for details).
  • Implement policy in your local church, review and celebrate annually with your congregation.
  • Once the policy has been approved by the Administrative Council of the local church, submit to the GNJ Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator for review and approval. 

How to Create a Safe Sanctuaries Policy

Steps for Creating a Safe Sanctuaries Policy for the Local Church

  • Develop a Safe Sanctuaries Task force or team in your local church.
  • Review Safe Sanctuaries Sample Policy
    • Reference the checklist for certification- in order for a policy to be approved by the Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator, it must meet these minimum requirements. 
  • Using the Sample Policy and the Checklist along with your review of your local church ministries, create a Safe Sanctuaries Policy for the local church to reduce harm and safeguard all that God has given the local church to steward. 
  • Have policy approved by local church Trustees and Administrative Council. Safe Sanctuaries policies are required by both the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and our insurance agent. 
  • Submit policy to Greater New Jersey Conference Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator, Gabrielle Corbett, to have your policy reviewed and certified. The GNJSSC will review for changes, clarifications or editorial needs. 
  • Submit certificate to annual church/charge conference. 
    •  Policies must be reviewed by each church’s Administrative Council every year, and re-submitted to the GNJ Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator (Gabrielle Corbett) for recertification every other year. 

Important to Note about Safe Sanctuaries Policy Process:

  • Please expect this process to take a minimum of four weeks once you submit the church’s policy to the Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator.
  • Due to the complex nature of these policies and procedures, all communication must go through safesanctuaries@gnjumc.org. Please note, any communications sent through social media, phone or other methods will not receive responses.

GNJ Safe Sanctuaries Resources:

Ministry Safe

Every church in GNJAC has been set up with a Ministry Safe Account. If you do not know how to access this account, please reach out to Gabrielle Corbett for assistance in getting up

MinistrySafe requires a local church administrator to manage your church’s MinistrySafe account. This is usually the church administrator, children/youth ministry leader, SPRC chair, or pastor. This person will have access to all staff and volunteer background records.

Getting Started

Clergy Background Check

Clergy background checks are handled through the Board of Ordained Ministry and Episcopal Office.

For questions about clergy background checks contact Joanne Sullivan.

Additional Resources

For more information, contact: