Contact Us

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101
Newport News, VA 23606-3071
757-423-8287 Main
800-582-8292 Toll Free
757-595-0783 Fax

Click here to contact us.

Click here for staff.

The diocesan offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for directions to the diocesan office.

Creating Safe Churches for Congregations
Safe Church training is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being.


Safe Church training is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. This training provides an opportunity to increase and enhance our ability to live out our Baptismal Covenant within our communities of faith and in the world beyond.

We offer both live classroom training and online training. Based on the positive training evaluations received from participants, we strongly recommend that all first-time users complete a live classroom training. The collaborative learning, and question and answer period are invaluable in evaluating individual parish needs. All recommended courses may be taken online by enrolling via email through the link under Online Training below. A certificate is issued to each individual upon completion of each live or online course module. Current diocesan policy requires re-certification every three years for online training and every five years for classroom training. Please note: Eucharistic Visitors are required to complete both the Child & Adult Safe Church trainings prior to being licensed. You must be age 16 or older to take Safe Church training.

The Office of the Canon for Formation is available to assist you in implementation of these practices in your parishes and schools. However, it is up to the rector, priest-in-charge, or vicar to assess what is best for the safety of the parish. The requirements are a baseline for misconduct prevention. Churches should not feel limited by this guide in what they require. If you feel that the baseline is too stringent or have any other concerns, please contact the Canon’s office to discuss.

Policy Manuals

Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse

Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Adults

Policies for the Prevention of Harassment of Church Workers

Safe Church Social Media policies

Diosova Youth Ministry Safety Standards

Safe church training for 2018 VBS staff

Due to the unique nature of Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs, the Diocese is offering an alternative safe church training option for VBS directors to use with their VBS staff.  Given that the training focuses exclusively on the VBS setting, the safe church certification will expire immediately after the VBS program concludes. The training consists of one online course that is camp/VBS focused and a PowerPoint highlighting key safe church issues to be aware of and discussed with VBS staff.  If you are interested in utilizing this VBS safe church training option for 2018 VBS programs, please have your VBS director contact Susan Allen at sallen@diosova.org.

Classroom Training

Note: A minimum of 10 registrants is required in order to hold a classroom training. If you register for a class and it fails to achieve the minimum class size, you will be notified of its cancellation.

January 20, 2018 – St. Mark's, Hampton

February 3, 2018 – St. Barnabas, North Chesterfield

February 10, 2018 – Epiphany, Norfolk

February 24, 2018 – Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

March 10, 2018 – Merchants Hope, Hopewell

April 14, 2018 – St. Paul's, Suffolk

April 21, 2018 – Holy Trinity, Onancock

April 28, 2018 – St. Paul’s & St. Andrew’s, Kenbridge. Re-scheduled for June 16, 2018

May 12, 2018 – Galilee, Virginia Beach

June 2, 2018 – Trinity, South Boston

June 16, 2018 - St. Pauls & St. Andrew's, Kenbridge

September 8, 2018 – Ascension, Norfolk

September 15, 2018 - Trinity, South Boston Cancelled due to lack of registration

September 22, 2018 – St. Andrew’s, Newport News.

October 13, 2018 – St. Aidan’s, Virginia Beach

October 27, 2018 – St. Matthias’, Midlothian

Resources for Classroom Trainings

Guidelines for host parish

Training Manual

Online training

To enroll send an email to Susan Allen, Safeguarding Online Administrator, at sallen@diosova.org with “Safeguarding Online Registration” as the subject. Include your full name, church or organization, whether you are staff or volunteer, and your title or role (clergy, church staff, vestry, volunteer working with children, etc.) in the email. You will receive a reply email with your user login and password. Print this email or write down your user login and password for future reference. You must be age 16 or older to take Safe Church training.

Click here for the Safeguarding Online Quick Start Guide. It will provide you with easy instructions for logging in to take Safe Church training online.

Your user login and password will be good for three weeks, after which they will become inactive. If you wish to reactivate your user login, email your request to sallen@diosova.org.

Not sure which online Safe Church courses you should take? Click here


For additional information please contact Canon for Formation Lynn Farlin, lfarlin@diosova.org or 757-213-3377.

Background Checks

Episcopal churches have the option for background check services under a negotiated plan between Church Pension Group and Praesidium (www.praesidiuminc.com), the creators of Safeguarding Online Safe Church Training. There is no monthly fee or setup cost, the church only pays for the actual background check, and most results are available within 3 business days.  For more information, or to set up an account, contact Praesidium at 800-743-6354 or praesidium@praesidiuminc.com.

Churches can also use the Virginia State Police Criminal History Records Check found here. Results are typically received in 15-20 business days.

Other useful links

Online Resources on Child Sexual Abuse

National Sex Offender Public Website

Virginia State Police - Registered Offenders

Last Published: October 24, 2018 11:01 AM