Beginning fall 2016, Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) will require all students in ministry degree programs to receive an entry-level certification in the Sexual Abuse Awareness Training offered by MinistrySafe.
The Need for Abuse Prevention Training
Husband and wife legal team Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris began MinistrySafe to help address the risk of child sexual abuse in church and ministry contexts.
DTS Academic Dean Dr. Mark Yarbrough said, “When I heard Greg and Kim speak in chapel about the terrible things that can happen to children—even in good churches—I immediately knew that all students at DTS needed to learn what they could do to prevent it from happening on their watch.” The Advocacy Center reports that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen.
To combat this risk, MinistrySafe and DTS have partnered to create and provide seminary content for ministry leaders, equipping current DTS students and graduates with state-of-the-art information and resources. Through this partnership, every DTS student in a ministry degree program will receive entry-level certificate training from MinistrySafe as a requirement for graduation.
Further Training for Students and Alumni
Beginning spring 2017, DTS and MinistrySafe will also offer a complete course (for credit) providing more than forty hours of content presenting preventative protocols in unique ministry settings. The shorter certification and the complete course are available to the general public through MinistrySafe.
“An exciting aspect of this partnership is getting these resources into the hands of DTS alumni who serve all over the world in ministry positions,” said Kimberlee Norris. “DTS has such broad influence among thriving ministries everywhere; equipping these ministries with effective resources is truly a privilege.” Once it is available, DTS alumni will be able to access the course online free of charge and use it in their ministries, churches, and other professional organizations. More information will be sent to alumni via email.
“There are some issues that a seminary just can’t prepare you for and that you have to learn on the job once you’re out in ministry,” wrote Dr. Mark
Bailey, president of DTS. “With this issue, if you’re learning ‘on the job,’ something terrible has most likely already happened. We don’t want our students and the children who are served by their ministries to experience that. That’s why we’re pleased to partner with MinistrySafe—to equip our students to protect those who are most vulnerable.”
Those interested in equipping their ministries with MinistrySafe's training can either signup on the MinistrySafe website or through Dallas Theological Seminary (by applying as a student) or use the special application for an individual course.