S.a.f.e. Ministry Team

We support and care for the safety of all God’s children.



The Northeastern Iowa 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 “Safe Gatherings” as the resource for your church in this important area.

Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention program that screens and trains clergy, 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 price per applicant for the program customized for the Northeastern Iowa Synod is $45 for Rostered Leaders and staff, and $37 for volunteers due to different levels of background checks. The price includes processing of two electronic references, a national background check, county background checks (for all US counties of residence on record for the past 7 years for Rostered Leaders and staff, and current county of residence for volunteers), sex offender registry check, and the 2-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training.  

Congregations in the Northeastern Iowa Synod are already set up within the Safe Gatherings system, and your applicants will be able to follow the links below to begin their Safe Gatherings approval process. Contact the Safe Gatherings team at contact@SafeGatherings.com or call 888-241-8258 to verify the contact information for your church or group or for additional information.  

When applicants begin the application process, they will need to select:

  • Language Preference (English or Spanish)
  • Type of Organization (Church or Faith Based Organization)
  • Denomination (Lutheran)
  • State where their church is located

In the next field, they will begin typing any part of your organization name, (ex: Good Shepherd), and a list will appear in a dropdown menu from which they will select the organization name where they are seeking approval to serve.

Individuals can login to their account at any time to check the status of their application.

Each church will have access to an administrative dashboard within Safe Gatherings that allows you to monitor who from the church is currently approved for service.


After you complete your registration,



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. Because the Northeastern Iowa Synod is a Safe Gatherings enterprise account, you will also receive a 20 percent discount on the purchase of the rooftop package.

Set Up Account and Purchase Courses

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.





S.A.F.E. Ministry Team

Synodical Advocates Focused on Education, Prevention and Healing of Sexual Abuse



  • Safety for all God’s people in congregations
  • Dignity of all who come to our congregations as God’s children
  • Education for all God’s children in raising awareness of the need for written policies and procedures
  • Promotion of healthy congregations
  • Focus on communication, prevention, response, advocacy, healing, reconciliation and being proactive



  • Support and educate congregations and leaders, and help them implement SAFE Ministry Team projects and programs.



  • Work with Synod staff, congregations and conferences to provide SAFE workshops.
  • Provide other educational opportunities as requested, e.g. Synod Assembly workshops.
  • Continue to address the problem of bullying.
  • Receive additional training as a team as needed and pass on that knowledge.
  • Continue to address the problem of pornography.


Statement of Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct by a Rostered Minister (2019)


S.A.F.E. Brochure โ€” How to Report Sexual Misconduct (2016)
by Pastors or Other Rostered Persons 

Committee Members

Rev. Jennifer J. Bohls
St. James, Mason City


Rev. Cindy S. Krause
Our Savior’s, Osage


Rev. G. Kim Wills
Zion St. John, Sheffield


Rev. Steve Brackett 
Synod Staff