• "Pastors tend to ignore domestic violence if they can. Having been a pastor before I became a chaplain, I understand why, remembering my own discomfort. I felt unsure of what to do and fearful of making a bad situation worse. It was so each to do nothing."

    – Rev. Kathryn Willoughby Weed

  • "Women who have been abused must learn a way to forgive that sets them free yet keeps them safe from further abuse."

    – Mary, domestic violence survivor (Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know)

  • "I am now more sensitive in how I handle the scriptures that are oftentimes interpreted in ways that tend to sanction male dominance and female submission."

    – Rev. Dr. Robert O. Dulin Jr.

Creating a Safe Haven: Domestic Violence Church Certification Program

Why participate in the Creating a Safe Haven Church Certification Program?

At Safe Haven, we understand how difficult it can be to support a victim-survivor of domestic abuse, but we also understand the important role the church plays in supporting those affected by this type of violence.

Did you know that survivors of domestic violence are more likely to disclose their experience with abuse to pastors and ministry leaders than any other helping profession?

Safe Haven’s certification program creates a safe space for faith leaders to develop supportive skills, create concrete response plans, and feel supported in times of crisis.

This training is applicable for pastors and ministry leaders, but also lay individuals that are called to learn more and provide more support in times of crisis.

“Pastors tend to ignore domestic violence if they can. Having been a pastor before I became a chaplain, I understand why, remembering my own discomfort. I felt unsure of what to do and fearful of making a bad situation worse. It was so easy to do nothing.”

-Rev. Kathryn Willoughby Weed

Church Certification

Creating a Safe Haven is the first-of-its-kind curricula and training program designed to help faith communities develop a plan for how they would respond when supporting a victim-survivor of domestic violence. The certification process ensures that leadership and lay people of the church have the tools they need to work with an individual or family faced with this crisis.

Core Components

There are four primary components of the certification program:

  • In-person training: An opportunity for pastors and ministry leaders to develop tangible skills and knowledge. We know your time is valuable, we have perfected a one-day training that will leave you more confident and prepared in your response and prevention of domestic violence.
  • Domestic Violence Response Plan: Rooted in policy and procedures, Safe Haven will design and train you on your domestic violence response plan. This plan will ensure that should you encounter an issue involving domestic violence, you are equipped and confident in your response.
  • Ongoing support: Safe Haven will always be available to help you through a crisis should you encounter one. We are a 24/7 agency, and we are here to support you, should you need this help.
  • Refresher trainings: These customizable, Safe Haven-led trainings usually take place within already established structures, such as an all-staff meetings. These 60-90 minute trainings take place in between certification (every 6-12 months) and are a way to keep to abreast the current trends and issues within the field of domestic violence.

Training Overview

One of the largest components of certification is one day, 7-hour training. Participants can attend one of three annual trainings, or for larger churches, schedule a private training.

Training focus/sessions include:

  • Framework for understanding abuse
  • Supporting survivors
  • Issues of faith and domestic violence
  • Safety planning with victim-survivors
  • Post-referral, confidentiality, and self-care
  • Responding to and supporting batterers

Cost & Dates

Upcoming Trainings

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 (Pilot and invite only)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

May 2018, date TBD

Private trainings available by request

  • Private trainings also available upon request
  • Fee based on regular adult participants:
    • 1-49 (up to 3 attendees*): $200
    • 50-149 (up to 6 attendees*):$450
    • 150-399 (up to 10 attendees*): $600
    • 400-999 (up to 13 attendees*):$850
    • 1000+ (up to 18 attendees*): $1250
  • Payment plans available
  • Churches are required to recertify every 2-3 years

*Churches are welcome to bring additional attendees to the training at $30/person, which covers the costs of supplies and meals.

Register for Upcoming Certification

Request a Training