• "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
  • Policy and procedure development: Safe Haven will help you create policies specifically tailored to the needs of your church
  • Ongoing support: Safe Haven will always be available to help you through a crisis should you encounter one
  • Recertification: From staff transitions to changes in the field, recertification is encouraged every two years

Training Overview

One of the largest components of certification is an 8-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

Annual Trainings

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

Fall 2017 date TBD

Winter 2018 & Spring 2018 dates TBD

  • Private trainings also available upon request
  • $175-$2000 depending on church size
  • Payment plans available
  • Discounts for fees paid in full
  • Churches are required to re-certify every 2 years

Register for Upcoming Certification

Request a Training