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What is Safe Church Ministry? 

Why does the CRC have Safe Church Ministry? How did it come to be? What does the denomination say about it? The resources below will help answer these questions.

General Resources

Safe Church Ministry equips churches in abuse awareness prevention and response.


  Safe Church brochure


Safe Church brochure (Spanish)



   Safe Church poster


Safe Church Ministry: A Church Leader's Role (English)  (Spanish)
A user-friendly guide to what you need to know about Safe Church Ministry, including information about the dynamics of abuse, the harm done, the needs of those who have been affected, and helpful ways to respond.

The Advisory Panel Process: A Guide for Church Councils
This resource will help guide church councils through an Advisory Panel Process, which is the recommended procedure for handling allegations of misconduct against a church leader.

Emotional Abuse
This booklet answers your questions about emotional abuse, including what the Bible says about it and how a church can respond (available for $1.00 US or 1.25 CDN).

The What, Why and How of Safe Church Ministry Webinar presented 2/29/2012
No longer live, but still informative. This webinar gives an overview of Safe Church Ministry in less than an hour.

Documents from CRC Synod and Board of Trustees

Safe Church Report to Synod 2016: This report was written by a committee mandated to review and recommend changes to Church Order Articles 82-84. It speaks to the issue of reinstatement after sexual misconduct by a church leader.

July 2016, Letter from Executive Director, Steve Timmermans, to congregations and classes of the CRCNA regarding changes to Church Order Articles 82-84 and Their Supplements.

Guidelines for Handling Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against a CRCNA Employee: This protocol was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2012 and applies to non-CRC employees who have a complaint against a CRCNA employee.

Approved Guidelines for Handling Abuse Allegations Against a Church Leader

Abuse Victims Task Force Report – Synod 2010

Survey on Abuse in the CRC - 1989 Synodical Study

Webinar, Video, and Power Point

The What Why and How of Safe Church Ministry: This webinar will provide an overview of CRC Safe Church Ministry and discuss the reasons why abuse prevention and response is critical to the life of our congregations.

2013 Synod Video - Safe Church: An introduction to how Safe Church enhances ministry in one congregation, supporting those who have experienced abuse, and incorporating prevention policies including the Circle of Grace program.

Synod 2010 - Beth Swagman: An introduction to Safe Church Ministry’s origins and purpose by Beth Swagman, former director of Safe Church Ministry in the CRC.

What’s That? Abuse Prevention: An introduction to the various roles Safe Church Ministry can play in assisting churches to become safer places for children and for those who have experienced abuse.

PowerPoint: Safe Church Overview

Resources for Abuse Awareness

See our resources page for a range of helpful resources.

Report Suspected Child Abuse

If you suspect child abuse the best thing to do is report it to the authorities - tell them what you saw or heard that makes you suspect abuse - you can do it anonymously. Your call may prevent future harm.

In the USA - 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Child Welfare Information Gateway

In Canada - 1-800-668-6868 (Kid’s Help)
Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal

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