Safe Gatherings

What is Safe Gatherings?

Living Word’s Safe Gatherings program is designed to help reduce the risk of abuse or injury to infants, children, youth, and vulnerable/older adults who participate in our programs. We strongly believe that we must strive to protect children, youth, and vulnerable/older adults from all forms of maltreatment, so this program tries to be as comprehensive as possible.

Who should complete the Safe Gatherings Program?

All persons age 15 and older desiring to volunteer in programs with children, youth, or vulnerable/older adults must be Safe Gatherings certified in order to participate.

Youth who have completed fifth grade through 14 years of age can be certified to help with younger children in a limited capacity through in-person training provided by the Living Word NextGen Ministries staff. Contact Amanda Alber, Assistant Director of NextGen Ministries at

How do I become Safe Gatherings certified?

  • Complete the Safe Gatherings Training

The Safe Gatherings certification begins by going to the Safe Gatherings website located at and clicking on the “Start Application” link.

               At the “Type of Organization” pull-down menu, choose “Church or Faith-Based Organization”.

               At the “Select Denomination” pull-down menu, choose “Methodist”

               At the “State/Province” pull-down menu, choose “Missouri,” and then enter “Living Word” in the prompt for the “Most UNIQUE part of your organization name,” and then choose “Living Word United Methodist Church, Wildwood” from the list that pops up.

               Continue to complete the application process, including completing the two-hour training and final quiz.

               All fees associated with running Safe Gatherings background checks are direct-billed to Living Word.

  • Review the Living Word Addendum to Safe Gatherings

When you have finished the Safe Gatherings course, you will also need to review the Living Word Addendum to the Safe Gatherings course. This addendum contains important additions to Living Word’s policy that you must understand, and that are site-specific. The link to the Addendum document is available within the form below, or HERE

If you indicated during the Safe Gatherings process that you would like to be certified as a driver, you will need to upload a copy of your driver’s license and insurance card on the following form. You should have these files available for download before going to the above link!

Complete the Living Word Safe Gatherings application form found HERE:

How do I know when I am Safe Gatherings certified and able to volunteer?

You will receive a notification from Safe Gatherings when your background check and certification are complete. You will also receive an email from a Living Word staff member when you are fully certified and able to volunteer with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Your certification will be valid for three years. You will be notified by the Safe Gatherings organization when it is time to renew your certification.