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Background Checks for Church and Ministry

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Keep Your Ministry Safe & Secure With

Shepherd’s WatchBackground ChecksTM

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In today’s challenging environment, it’s critical to take steps to protect those in your church’s care. Properly screening your staff and volunteers is an important step in that process!

Shepherd’s Watch Background Checks is partnered with the leading global background check company, First Advantage. Because of our long-term partnership with First Advantage, we’re able to offer you best-in-class background checks at affordable prices.

Group has been serving churches for more than 45 years, and we’ve been offering background check services for more than 17 years. You can trust that we know your church’s needs and we understand the best ways to protect your church and those you serve.

When you choose Shepherd’s Watch you get…

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Quality and affordable background checks starting at just $9 from the leading background check company in the world. First Advantage is FCRA compliant and accredited with the PBSA.

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Expertise from specialists at First Advantage who know background checks the best.

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Easy- to-use electronic and mobile consent forms for your new-hire candidates and volunteers to easily enter their own personal information, saving you valuable time and resources.

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Fast access and turnaround times. Register your account and start running background checks in 24 to 48 hours, with fast results. 93% of all U.S. Criminal Screens are completed in 1 day.

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Peace of mind knowing you’re running your background checks through one of the most comprehensive databases in the world.

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Easy payment as you go. Simply pay with credit card for each background check as you request it, and you're all set.

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Thank you for considering Group's Shepherd’s Watch Background ChecksTM for your church background check needs. We love the local church and have specialized in serving ministries such as yours for over 45 years. We understand the unique challenges that churches are facing today, and look forward to partnering with you in keeping your church safe.

Steps to Get Started

It’s Easyto Get Started

  1. Purchase your Shepherd's Watch® Lifetime Membership — one-time fee; No annual costs!
  2. Activate your Shepherd's Watch® account with the leading global background check company, First Advantage. Once you have purchased your membership, you will receive a confirmation email and instructions on how to set up your account.
  3. Login to your Shepherd's Watch Background Check Account and choose from the background check packages below for each person you're screening. Use the E-Invite permissions form to keep the process confidential and secure. And easily pay with credit card for each background check as you go.

Know the Facts

Not All Background Checksare Created Equal

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Who you order your background checks from matters. One of the most common misconceptions is that all background check companies are pulling from the same set of data... this is not true!

Background check companies compile their own proprietary databases, which comprise city, county, and state records from across the country. It’s a complicated web of information, and not all cities, counties, and states provide their data in the same manner. Some are electronic, and some still rely on good ol’ paper and ink. This makes the process of retrieving data complicated and time- consuming for companies like First Advantage.

Because First Advantage is spread out across the nation, you can be confident they have one of the most comprehensive databases in the industry. Their proprietary National Criminal File searches millions of criminal records, with 6,000 to 8,000 new records added daily.

Membership Details

Your LifetimeMembership Includes...

Fees are a one-time setup cost. No annual fees.


  • Monthly Safety Newsletter

    Covering topics such to avoid and spot child sexual abuse and safety basics for children, youth, and at-risk adults.
  • Videos for Volunteer Safety Training

    Send these videos out to your team!
  • Articles and Forms

    Use these articles and forms for your staff and volunteers.
  • Special Pricing on Expert Background Checks

    Background checks not included in membership fee.
  • Convenient online E-Invite system

    Keeps information confidential and paperless at no added cost.


Whether you are considering Shepherd's Watch or are already an existing member contact us at or call 1-800-447-1070

Reliable, Affordable, and Easy to Use

Background Check Packages

Report Options

Basic Starter


Basic Starter
Nat'l Sex Offender


Basic Plus


Basic Plus
Nat'l Sex Offender


Vehicle Plus*
Nat'l Sex Offender


All Inclusive*
Nat'l Sex Offender


?Social Security Number Verification

?National Criminal Record File PLUS

Includes Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of Courts, Individual County Courts, State specific criminal record repositories, and sex offender registry within the state of residence.

?Felony and Misdemeanor

Up to two indexes at single courthouse.

Current county of residence, 1 name, 7 years deep at courthouse. Fees are included, except for NY.

?Motor Vehicle Check/Driving Record

Current state of residence. Access restricted in some states; requires state approval in some states. Fees are included.

? Department of Justice National Sex Offender Registry

Searches across all 50 states. (MA and NV require additional paperwork.)

Because sex offenders can move from state to state, adding this check provides stronger due diligence.

Important note: The package rate covers the search for one name only, any additional aliases are $5 each in addition to the package charge.

Additional background check packages are also available, including Employment Packages (additional fees may apply). Pay for all background checks with credit card upon ordering. Click here for a full list of options.

View All Background Check Packages

*These pricing packages are also available without the National Sex Offender Registry.

Our background check partner takes steps to ensure the confidentiality and security of the personal data submitted by applicants, including encryption methods.


Whether you are considering Shepherd's Watch or are already an existing member contact us at or call 1-800-447-1070

Frequently Asked Questions

Background checks can reveal red flags for behaviors you need to know about. And should any sort of litigation ever emerge against your organization, you must show your due diligence in screening candidates, employees, and volunteers with church background checks.

A number of industries—especially those that require the handling of other people’s personal and private information—require background screenings. These include the home healthcare, financial, and education industries among others. But even if your organization does not operate in or provide services to these industries, there are still enough crucial reasons to run them. Many insurance companies do require that church background checks be performed when dealing with children, youth, and at-risk adults regardless of the law.

Yes, you do. If you want to order and review any kind of church background check in order to determine somebody’s eligibility, you must ask their permission. First Advantage makes this easy with a mobile-friendly online form where applicants can submit their information safely and quickly at a time that’s convenient for them.

You will only need their first and last name and email address. Once you enter their information into the online system, the applicant will receive an email with a link to an online consent form where they will fill out their own personal data. They will need to provide their Social Security Number, date of birth, full legal name, and address history for the past seven years.

The best option is to run a comprehensive background screening on your employees and volunteers at the point of hire and check annually after that. Hiring someone doesn’t mean that he or she won’t commit a crime in the future. Without a periodic check, you have no way of knowing if someone has been convicted unless the information is volunteered. It is important to check with your insurance company to see what they require.

If you intend to decline an employment applicant based on what was found in the church background screening, you need to provide the applicant with at least two notifications, commonly known as the pre-adverse and adverse action letter. For more information on the pre-adverse and adverse action letter CLICK HERE.

There are no monthly minimums, but we do ask churches to order at least one church background check a year in order to keep their account active.

It all depends on what type of report you run. 93% of all U.S. Criminal Screens are completed in 1 day. If a record is found, it will be verified before being reported to you. The verification process can take 1-3 business days.

Also Available

Shepherd’s Watch: Safe and Secure Church Kit

Protect your congregation with a compassionate approach to church safety and security.

Your church doesn’t need to seem like an armed fortress to be safe. This comprehensive, ministry-focused kit helps you recruit, train, and equip a safety and security team that both protects and serves your congregation. Be ready for anything—from a medical problem to a catastrophic active-shooter situation.

Learn More