Training and Events

Dove's Nest Training Opportunities

We offer training and resources to adults in faith communities on a variety of topics related to child and youth protection. Each of the presentations below can be uniquely tailored to your faith community to meet your needs for training and assistance as you work to keep kids safe. For more information, fill out the form at the bottom of the page. We will be in touch to find out how we can assist you!

COVID-19 and Safety Training: This training addresses the unique vulnerability of children and youth during COVID-19 and what your church can do to prevent harm and support families during this challenging time. It also includes best practices and safety tips for Zoom and virtual kids' programming for churches.

1. Preparing Churches to Protect Children and Youth: A comprehensive introduction to building awareness in faith communities about the importance of keeping children and youth safe in their homes, churches, and communities and the role of the church in accomplishing this. This presentation also includes basic information about developing and/or implementing a child and youth protection policy for your faith community.

2. Crafting and Implementing a Child and Youth Protection Policy: Step-by-step information about how to mobilize, educate, train, and empower your faith community to draft a child and youth protection policy. Includes sample policies and a checklist to guide your policy-making process. 

3. Circle of Grace Training and Implementation: Find out why Circle of Grace is an excellent addition to your faith community's efforts to keep children and youth safe. Learn about its background and development, its clinical and spiritual aspects, its structure, and its objectives and goals, along with helpful implementation tips for teachers, parents, and administrators.

4. Panel Presentations: These events provide an understanding of the faith community's role in keeping children and youth safe in the church and in the community. Participants will connect with a Dove's Nest speaker(s) as well as a panel of representatives from community agencies who help in child protection efforts. Panelists can include police officers, social workers, pastors, therapists, and others. 

5. Protection and Inclusion: Guide for Faith Communities on Safely Including Persons Who Have Committed Sexual OffensesUsing Dove's Nest's publication of the same name, learn how your faith community can navigate the difficult waters of allowing individuals with sexual offenses to be part of the worshipping community while keeping your children and youth safe.

6. Amish and Old Order Mennonites & Child Safety: A Cultural Competency Training for Social Service Systems and Workers to Better Relate to Amish and Old Order Mennonites: Equip social service systems and workers with the knowledge and skills to relate effectively with Plain communities, such as Amish and Old Order Mennonites, to keep children safe. Learn how to conduct investigations and prepare safety plans and how to recruit and support foster and adoptive homes in these conservative communities. Contact kathy [at] for fee information.

7. Consent and Faith Communities: This training includes definitions of consent, Bible examples of rape culture, and information about consent for all ages. The speaker will also lead discussions about appropriate touch and boundaries. A brief curriculum on consent for junior youth and youth is also available at a minimal cost.

8. Healthy Boundaries for All: This training addresses healthy touch, appropriate interactions, practicing consent, power dynamics, and more. It includes tips on how to model healthy boundaries as adults and teach children boundaries, using Circle of Grace concepts and other tools. Learn how to create safe and respectful spaces for people of all ages in our church and beyond.  

9. Live Online Video Trainings: Dove's Nest offers trainings through live Zoom video conferencing. A Dove's Nest speaker leads the video training, including discussion. Volunteers/teachers can participate as a group from the church or organization, or they may join the Zoom video call from their homes. The training can also be recorded so others can view it later. 

10. Other Speaking Opportunities: Dove's Nest also offers a variety of presentations for Sunday school classes, sermons, and other church settings. When requested, we also offer training to camp counselors and staff, school administrators and teachers, and others who work with children and youth. We are also able to offer trainings for children and youth on safety and Circle of Grace concepts.

Dove's Nest's Speaker's Bureau consists of highly qualified members who are available for your training needs: 

  • Marlene Bogard, MA; Salem, OR
  • Linda Gehman Peachey, MDiv, freelance writer and teacher; cofounder of Dove's Nest; member, East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church; Lancaster, PA
  • Jeanette Harder, PhD, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Grace Abbott School of Social Work; Dove's Nest's board president; member, First Mennonite Church; Omaha, NE
  • Jan Slabaugh, BS, MEd, early childhood education specialist and teacher; Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Brenda Yoder, LMHC, counselor, writer, speaker, educator; Shipshewana, IN 
  • Amy Lynn Smith, LMSW, MATSJ, licensed social worker and minister, Nazarene Church; Rochester, NY
  • Anna Groff, MPA, executive director, Dove's Nest; Tucson, AZ
  • Melissa Rorabaugh Heise, MEd, MTS, teacher, licensed foster care provider; Pottstown, PA
  • Carol Grace Hurst, PhD, MSW, LCSW, associate professor & program director of Social Work at Eastern Mennonite University; Crozet, VA
  • Katherine Burkey Wiens, MEd, MS, author, speaker, educator; Newton, KS
  • Glen Guyton, BS, MEd, speaker, writer, advocate for intercultural competency, member of National Speaker Association; executive director of Mennonite Church USA, San Antonio, TX

Financial Considerations/Guidelines

As a nonprofit ministry, Dove's Nest relies solely on charitable gifts, grants, and honoraria to fund our work. When extensive travel is required, we request travel reimbursement and also seek to open the event to all faith communities within proximity of the hosting site in an effort to maximize our reach in that geographic area. Click here for our suggested honorarium and travel reimbursement guidelines. 

Are you interested in finding out more about scheduling a Dove's Nest event or training session?

Please fill out this form!