Safe Gatherings

As a way of providing assistance to churches needing guidance in conducting background checks for volunteers or employees, the Iowa United Methodist Conference has worked out an agreement SafeGatherings. 

Iowa United Methodist Conference is committed to ensuring that we provide safe places of worship and fellowship to everyone we serve. As part of that commitment, we are providing information on Safe Gatherings as a resource for you in this important area.

Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention program that screens and educates staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults in group settings. When employees and volunteers are trained to identify potential abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, and know how to handle reporting, they are better equipped to prevent abuse.

Upon successful completion of the Safe Gatherings application, background and reference checks, and online training program, each applicant will receive documentation of approval valid for three years, and will have continued access to the online training program for one year.

The price per applicant for the individual church program available through the Safe Gatherings website is $39 (additional cost for optional Motor Vehicle Checks). This includes processing of two electronic references, a national and county of residence 7-year background check, national and state of residence Sex Offender Registry check, and the 2-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training.

Contact the Safe Gatherings team at or 888.241.8258 to provide the contact information for your church or group. As soon as the church or group is set up within Safe Gatherings, applicants will be able to follow the links below to begin their Safe Gatherings approval.

Click here to start the Safe Gatherings process -
Click here to login to your Safe Gatherings application after you have completed your registration -

When applicants follow the link to get started, they will need to select:

  • Language Preference (English or Spanish),
  • In the next field, they will start typing the most unique part of the church/organization name, ex: “Asbury”, and a list will appear in a dropdown menu where they will select the organization name where they are seeking approval to serve.
  • Type of Organization (Church or Faith-Based Organization),
  • Denomination
  • State where their church is located

Individuals can log in to their account at any time to check the status of their application.


Contact the Safe Gatherings team at or 888.241.8258 for additional information or with questions about the program.

Clergy Ethics

Safe Gatherings also provides a 2-hour online course called “Clergy Ethics and Congregational Boundaries.” Learn more about the course here or contact Safe Gatherings for more details.

Policy Builder

Safe Gatherings has a new product introduced in 2022 called Policy Builder. The cost-effective online Policy Builder can help churches and organization create, store and manage their policies.  Learn more about Policy Builder here.

Safe Gatherings, provides more than 40 online courses on practical topics relevant to your church. Topics include human resources, security and safety, risk management, health and wellness, and more. Several courses are also available in Spanish.

Rooftop pricing enables your church or organization to cost-effectively train everyone in your congregation, including leaders, volunteers and members. Pricing is based on average weekly attendance and provides unlimited uses of each of the courses included in the rooftop package. You will also receive a 20% discount on the purchase of this package. Or, you can purchase courses for individual users. Most are around $12 per course.

Click here to set up an account and purchase training courses. Contact the CongregationU team at or 866.862.5855 for additional information or with questions.