Three new courses related to safe church policies within The Episcopal Church will be released July 14, with webinars planned soon to help dioceses transition to a new learning platform. All new courses will be launched to create a new program called Safe Church, Safe Communities.
Developed by the Task Force to Develop Model Sexual Harassment Policies and Safe Church Training in partnership with risk management vendor Praesidium, the new courses are “Introduction and Theological Background,” “Organizational Rules and Model Policies,” and “Abuse and Neglect.”
“Abuse and Neglect” replaces the following courses: “Meet Sam,” “It Happened to Me,” “Keeping Your Church Safe,” and “Abuse Risk Management for Volunteers.”
A train-the-trainer course will also be available live over Zoom and in person in November, according to Judith Andrews, chair of the task force. In addition, the following courses will be added to Praesidium Academy by the end of 2021:
- Healthy Boundaries
- Power & Relationships
- Pastoral Relationships
- Reporting Abuse
The new learning modules reflect policies approved by The Episcopal Church in 2017 for the protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Learn more at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/safe-church/.
As the new course materials are being released, Praesidium is transitioning from the Armatus platform to Praesidium Academy. Learn more about the upgrade at https://praesidium.lpages.co/academy2021/.
All diocesan administrators have been sent instructions about the switch, with Christy Schiller of Praesidium working closely with them and task force members to support the migration of data and access to new course materials.
Many dioceses and Episcopal Church members have already established new accounts for Praesidium Academy. When the new courses are released on July 14, access to the modules hosted on Armatus will no longer be available. All Armatus users will receive an email invitation that day to create a Praesidium Academy account if they have not already.
“The task force is excited about this move as we believe the new experience will be far more user-friendly and will enhance personal learning,” Andrews said. “Praesidium continues to demonstrate creative leadership, adaptability, and expertise as we expand into online learning platforms and data management systems.”
Many dioceses will need to update policies and consider new training opportunities. The task force will announce dates soon for support webinars in July, August, and September.
For full information, including a schedule for the platform transition, visit https://www.episcopalchurch.org/safe-church/