The Diocese of Tyler is pleased to announce a partnership with VIRTUS® to help train and educate Church personnel in the diocese about safe environments for minors and vulnerable adults.

VIRTUS’ Protecting God’s Children® training program will be incorporated into the Church Personnel Certification process, formerly known as the Acceptance Certificate for Service, which is required of all paid personnel, clergy, seminarians, and volunteers who work with minors or vulnerable adults in the diocese. The VIRTUS program helps makes participants aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and the steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse.

The Church Personnel Certification process for the diocese includes a criminal background check, commitment to the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel, and attendance at a facilitated in-person training/education session to review the VIRTUS components and other diocesan guidelines and expecations for acting ethically and with personal integrity. Church personnel must complete the certification process every three years to remain in good standing for ministry in the diocese.

While special safeguards are in place for minors and vulnerable adults, the goal of the diocesan Ethics and Integrity in Ministry program is to ensure that every person is treated with respect and dignity, just as Jesus Christ.

The diocese will also utilize the VIRTUS Online web-based platform that provides Church personnel and parishes with resources, tracking, and compliance functionality 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information about the Church Personnel Certification process or our safe environment efforts, visit

About Virtus

VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote “rightdoing” within religious organizations. The VIRTUS programs empower organizations and people to better control risk and improve the lives of all those who interact with the Church.

The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. (National Catholic) created the programs. Monsignor Kevin McCoy, past board chairman of National Catholic, asked whether child sexual abuse could be prevented and, if so, how? In March of 1998, National Catholic invited prominent national experts—experts in many disciplines—to discuss these questions at a forum in Washington, D.C. From those discussions, the initiative for the VIRTUS programs was created.