Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused

Most pastors have had little, if any, training on pastoral care for abuse. A lack of training can result in ministry leaders being tentative and passive when we need to be active in protecting. We want to equip ministry leaders to respond with excellence when they learn of abuse.

5 Hours 13 Lessons

Respond well in the initial stages of learning about abuse.

Know what, why, and how to do it.


  • Rachael Denhollander

  • Mika Edmondson

  • Samantha Kilpatrick

  • Diane Langberg

  • Chris Moles

  • Andrea Munford

  • Karla Siu

  • Darby Strickland

  • Leslie Vernick

  • Brad Hambrick

  • J.D. Greear


Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused is training curriculum that includes a handbook, an introductory video, and 12 lesson videos that bring together top experts from various fields to help leaders understand and implement the best practices for handling the variety of abuse scenarios at church, at school, or in a ministry.

The curriculum is covered in two sections Key Concepts for Pastors and Ministry Leaders and Key Responses from Pastors and Ministry Leaders and answers the following questions:

  • Why is it vital for pastors and ministry leaders to understand that caring for the abused and oppressed is a gospel issue?
  • Why is it unwise for the church to act as an investigative body in criminal matters?
  • What are good pastoral practices for receiving an initial disclosure of physical or sexual abuse?
  • What are the key qualities for identifying a counselor who works with sexual abuse victims?
  • How do you best cooperate with social workers, law enforcement, and legal counsel in cases of abuse?
  • What are the keys to developing a good safety plan with a victim of abuse?
  • How does a church respond ethically, legally, and with good shepherding practices when they discover abuse by a church staff member or volunteer?

You may view the lessons below or you may also assign Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused to others in your church or ministry, track user progress, and receive a certification of completion by accessing the training on Ministry Grid here.

The curriculum is not intended to be legal counsel or to provide holistic training for counseling or pastoral care on the issue of abuse but is an accessible tutorial on how to respond with pastoral and ethical excellence. The curriculum gives a theological foundation for the topic, brings understanding on the issues connected to abuse disclosure and reporting, and gives practical wisdom by which leaders can navigate complex situations.