Background Checks for AME Clergy & Laity

The Doctrine and Discipline of the A.M.E. Church requires training in Sexual Misconduct and Background Checks.

All Fifth Episcopal District clergy and licentiates should use the following link to complete their background checks:

All lay persons must retrieve their local church link from their pastor in order to complete their background checks.

For information about the Disciplinary requirements for training and background checks, please review the information below.  For additional questions, you can also contact Rev. Francine Brookins, Pastor of Bethel AME Church, Fontana, CA, (1-909-561-7949),

All clergy and candidates for ministerial orders, employees, appointed or elected officials, and volunteers of the AME Church shall be required to attend a seminar by experts on the issue of sexual misconduct.  The training content and trainer shall be selected and approved by the bishop of the episcopal district.  Each participant will be required to sign a statement certifying that he or she has read, understood and been trained in the policy, or sign a statement of refusal to comply with this requirement.  All candidates for itinerant or local orders shall be furnished with a copy of the Policy by the Board of Examiners prior to admission on trial to the Annual Conference…

  • The District is in the process of preparing an online training course that people will be able to download on the 5th District website and complete in the privacy of our own homes.  It will include a question and answer section to ensure that people have understood the material. You will be able to print out your training certification once completed.
  • We will also conduct a ‘train the trainer’ course for persons who will be conducting in-person trainings throughout the District.
  • There are also free training videos online now at

Background checks are required for:

  • All candidates applying to the Board of Examiners for itinerant or local orders
  • All people receiving their first Pastoral assignments
  • All people moving from one charge to a new charge
  • All persons (clergy and lay) assigned, appointed and/or employed to positions within the AME Church involving the care and supervision of children
  • All persons seeking transfer from one Episcopal District to another.

By Discipline, the background checks must include a National Criminal History search and a clearance check through the local child protective service agency.

All background checks for the Fifth (5th) Episcopal District will be done through, which will include:

  • National Criminal & Sex Offender Database Search
  • County & Statewide Criminal Records [A record search at the county level will reveal previous arrests and convictions. In general records of an arrest more than seven years old are not reported (the seven-year limit may not apply to criminal convictions, depending on your state).]
  • Motor Vehicle Records [Churches check motor vehicle records when positions involve the operation of church vehicles and equipment.]
  • Employment Verification
  • Education Verification [This is done to verify degrees and certifications listed on resumes or applications to include name, address, dates of attendance and degrees earned]

*** Now that we are set up we can also state that the cost is $25.00 per person and that while Clergy and licentiates will have all the above checked, lay volunteers will only have to undergo the National Criminal & Sex Offender Database search and county records search.