2022 Boundary Training

Boundary training will be done online this year through Safe Gatherings. Click below for details on the training, registration, and certificate needed for your synod file.

All Active Rostered (including Active Retired), SAMs, and Vicars are required to go through boundary training by the end of March 2022.

March 1st  Announcement:
"It was recently brought to the attention of the synod office that there are several parts of the Safe Gatherings boundaries training for Rostered Ministers and SAMs which do not align with the values of our synod and that, while likely well-intended, can impact particularly those who are from historically marginalized populations in a negative way. Recognizing this disparity in ideology and conviction, we will be writing a letter to Safe Gatherings to express our concern and will be selecting a new boundaries training.  If you have yet to complete your boundaries training, are currently due for it, and are comfortable continuing with Safe Gatherings, please complete it with Safe Gatherings for the time being. If you are due for boundaries training and are uncomfortable with continuing with Safe Gatherings, please contact Deacon Darcy Mittelstaedt, Bishop's Associate for Leadership and Lifelong Faith Formation: dmittelstaedt@swtsynod.org"


Click for Details & to Register
Boundary Training

Boundaries are the understandings that help to provide safe spaces for ministry. Of particular importance are boundaries related to professional ethics, finances, and the prevention of sexual misconduct. The Southwestern Texas Synod is committed to helping rostered ministers set and maintain appropriate boundaries for ministry, and for responding promptly and appropriately to complaints of boundary violations.

Contact Bishop about sexual misconduct and professional ethics. All rostered ministers are required to take a Basic Boundary Workshop and to participate in additional training every three years. Annual boundary training, information, and resources will be shared via eNews and on this webpage.


Background Checks & Training

The Southwestern Texas Synod 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 current price per applicant for the individual church program available through the Safe Gatherings website is $37. 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 1.5-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training.  There is also an option to complete a driving record if the individual will be driving as part of their ministry. The cost for the driving record will vary depending upon the state the license was issued.

Start the process:

Click to access the Safe Gatherings system and complete the online application. Individuals can log in to their account at any time to check the status of their application.

All churches in the synod are already set up in Safe Gatherings. Applicants must correctly choose the denomination, state, and city where your church is located, and the church will display in a drop-down menu as you begin the application process.


CongregationU provides more than 40 online courses on practical topics relevant to your church or faith-based organization. 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. This option 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.

Click here to set up an account and purchase training courses.

Contact the CongregationU team at contact@congregationu.com or (866)862-5855 for additional information or with questions.

Pastors or Safe Gathering Administratiors for your congregation,  email Donna Massey for verification, or call 1-888-241-8258 for verification, then click here to start the Safe Gatherings process.

Click for a quick tutorial
Background Check Flyer
Safe Gatherings FAQ

Contact Deacon Darcy Mittelstaedt for additional information or with questions about the program.