Training Modules

Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines

Dr. Andy Root
Rev. Skip Masback
Rev. Keith King
Photo by Dylan Gillis

Theologians, philosophers, and pastors discuss the importance of maintaining boundaries, creating church safety guidelines, and instituting a system of regular and ongoing training of volunteers and workers.


Dr. Andy Root Andrew Root

Dr. Andrew Root is the Carrie Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary, USA. He writes and researches in areas of theology and youth ministry. His most recent books are The Grace of Dogs (Convergent, 2017), Faith Formation in a Secular Age (Baker, 2017), and Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science (Fortress Press, 2018).

Greg Ellison Gregory C. Ellison II

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II joined the Candler School of Theology faculty in 2009. His teaching draws primarily from his work with the organization he founded called Fearless Dialogues, a non-profit organization that creates unique spaces for unlikely partners to have hard, heartfelt conversations on taboo subjects like racism, classism, and community violence. Ellison’s research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism. He is the author of Cut Dead but Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men, and has two books in progress with Westminster John Knox Press – Fearless Dialogues: The Civil Rights Movement of the 21st Century and Anchored in the Current: The Eternal Wisdom of Howard Thurman in a Changing World.

Rev. Skip Masback Skip Masback

Skip Masback is the Founding Director of the Yale Youth Ministry Institute and the former Associate Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He came to Yale after serving for 19 years at The Congregational Church of New Canaan. Skip retired from Yale in December 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School.

In addition to the customary responsibilities of preaching, teaching and pastoral care, Skip’s ministry has always included substantial emphasis on deepening and broadening youth ministries both in the church and beyond. He has lectured and consulted on youth ministry issues in denominational settings and at Yale Divinity School, where he serves on the school’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the school’s Ministerial Studies Committee Working with Dean Harry Attridge, Skip developed the Yale Divinity School Bible Study program for local churches. He has contributed essays on preaching texts from Paul’s Letter to the Romans for publication in Feasting on the Word, Volume XI.

Skip came to the ministry after practicing law for fourteen years. He graduated from Williams College and Columbia Law School before joining the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson in 1976. His national litigation practice included representing major corporate clients and public interest clients such as the National Wildlife Federation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Democratic National Committee. Skip helped start the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 and was the founding general counsel for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Skip founded the Legal Services Board for the Whitman Walker Clinic and started a legal services clinic there for people living with HIV/AIDS. After resigning from Hogan & Hartson in 1983, Skip and colleagues founded the firm of Ross, Dixon & Masback, a firm which grew to include 115 lawyers in four cities across the country.

Skip left the practice of law in 1991 to enter Yale Divinity School, graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1994. While at Yale, he was the founding chair and president of “I Have a Dream,” New Haven, Inc., an after school enrichment program. Skip and his wife, Amy, have three children, Owen, Katrina and Elisabeth.

Rev. Keith King Keith King

Reverend Keith A. King was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan and is the youngest of seven children. He graduated from Howard University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in international business; he received a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a Masters in Theology from Andover Newton Theological School. Upon completion of law school, he immediately entered the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate General (“JAG”). While serving as a JAG officer, he was awarded a Naval Achievement Medal by the Secretary of the Navy for his professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties. He ended his active duty service with an honorable discharge at the rank of Captain. As an attorney he is admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. He is also admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Reverend King has been blessed by a dual path of accomplishment both vocationally and professionally. Vocationally, Reverend King accepted his calling to ministry in 1992 and was ordained in 1996 at Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Saginaw, MI. After accepting the call into the ministry, while stationed at the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, CA, Reverend King and a small group of ministers were led by God to start a chapel service on the military base. They were given unprecedented authority to preach, teach and structure the Sunday and Friday night worship services. The result was astounding, as the services grew to one of the largest in the community. Reverend King’s desert experience prepared him for his next steps in ministry centered on God’s Word and true Christian fellowship in the church.

In 2004, Reverend King assumed his current role as the third pastor of Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church (“CTBC”) in Hamden, CT. Under Pastor King’s leadership, in cooperation with church leadership, associate ministers and the membership, CTBC continues to steadily grow. During Pastor King’s tenure the ministry has been centered on the church becoming unified through the “We Are One Ministry”, which establishes a system of care designed to keep members connected. Through this ministry the entire church membership is divided among twelve groups, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the groups strive to efficiently and consistently bear one another’s burdens and celebrate one another’s joys through activities and fellowship. Under Pastor King’s guidance, by the power of the Holy Spirit there has been substantial growth in membership and development at CTBC. Rev. King and his wife have been married for over 25 years, and are the proud parents of three children.

Yale Youth Ministry Institute