CHICAGO, IL (February 18, 2011) – A new AVA online tutorial on domestic violence and childhood sexual assault is now available on the Evangelical Covenant Church website, developed by the Department of Women Ministries.
The project, four years in the making, includes 10 lessons, each followed by a quiz. It is oriented toward the faith communities and includes a lesson on overcoming the spiritual roadblocks Christian believers have when dealing with their own abuse. It provides an alternative to the traditional seminar approach, allowing individuals to access the information at their convenience. Click here to visit the tutorial.
AVA – Advocacy for Victims of Abuse – began in 2004, designed to provide basic training on the problems of abuse for all Covenant leaders. The ministry continues today under the leadership of director Yvonne DeVaughn, who directed the development of the tutorial. Content came from material created by AVA’s first project manager, Aleese Moore Orbih, DeVaughn, and executive minister Ruth Hill. David Ross of Hope Covenant Church in Chandler, Arizona, designed the website.
In addition to the general public, the tutorial also was designed with Covenant clergy in mind – they can record successful completion of the tutorial through a link to the Department of the Ordered Ministry and have it added to their individual ministry profile. The training qualifies as continuing education. Those volunteering in the AVA ministry also have a link to the Department of Women Ministries to record their completion. It is anticipated that seminarians will soon have a specific link as well.
“In an effort to encourage vocational excellence for all those called and credentialed within the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), the Department of the Ordered Ministry recommends this thorough and foundational resource,” states the department’s web page. “It is our hope and expectation that everyone holding a Covenant ministry credential will, in short order, complete this basic tutorial. For some this may be a review, while for others it will contain new information. It should become a goal that our entire community has common working knowledge and language for responding to this pervasive problem.
“No resource can provide all the skill and information needed,” the website continues. “Therefore, we would expect any Covenant leader responding to this issue would not do so in a vacuum, but avail himself or herself of the wise counsel of knowledgeable peers. The Department of the Ordered Ministry is indebted to Women Ministries and to all of those serving in the AVA movement within the Covenant for the work put into creating this resource.”
The material was made available to the broader Christian community and not just the Covenant at the urging of President Gary Walter. The tutorial acknowledges its Covenant origin, but the language has been edited to welcome all interested in becoming more knowledgeable on this issue.
“It is my prayer that this tutorial enables the community of faith to advocate for and encourage victims of abuse to break silence, and support them on their healing journey,” says DeVaughn, a sentiment echoed by Hill who adds, “I believe this resource will greatly further our vision of all Covenant churches being safe sanctuaries and healing communities for victims of abuse.”
Click here to visit the tutorial.