Archdiocesan Volunteer Requirements for NEW and CURRENT Volunteers

All employees, and volunteers who interact with minors, are required to complete the “Essential Three” requirements (which must be renewed every three years) and maintain safe environment credentials through the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This includes completion of the VIRTUS training as well as submission of the Volunteer Application and a Background Check.

Essential Three Requirements:

  • Background Check – all volunteers must undergo a criminal background check through McDowell Agency every three years.  McDowell is a licensed, private investigation firm specializing in background checks and pre-employment screening services.
  • Code of Conduct – Archdiocesan Code of Conduct for volunteers, establishes standards of ministerial behavior and appropriate boundaries for volunteers who have regular or unsupervised contact with minors.
  • Virtus safe Environment training – is a 70-95 minute online training module to better equip adults in protecting children in the world around them.

Please Note:

  • Employees and volunteers may not begin volunteering until approved by the Safe Environment Coordinator. Alison Wacek is the coordinator at St. John’s school.
  • For current parents, there is a need to be re-credentialed every three years, so don’t assume that if you have been on the approved list in the past, that you are still on it.  Please check with the school office each year to double check that you are still an approved volunteer. *This includes coaches, class parties, field trips, etc.
  • Incomplete VIRTUS accounts are deleted after 30 days, and you will be required to start over.
  • If you previously created a VIRTUS account, do not create an additional/new account. Contact Alison Wacek at for assistance, so your account can be updated prior to login.
  • If you are unable to access and existing VIRTUS account, contact Alison Wacek.
  • To retrieve or reset your login information, click I Need Login Help on the VIRTUS home page.

To ensure successful completion of the requirements, follow the information below before creating your VIRTUS account. If you have an existing VIRTUS account,

Total Time Commitment: Approximately 95 minutes

VIRTUS Instructions for First Time Users
  • Go to the VIRTUS website (
  • Click First Time Registrant
  • Click Begin the Registration Process
    • Select your organization – carefully choose St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN (Archdiocese)
    • Enter your full legal name. Do not use nicknames or punctuation.
    • Primary location: If your primary location is a school, select the location with School in the title.
    • Carefully read and follow the instructions on the website in the order presented.
  • Complete the Code of Conduct
  • Complete the Background Check application
    • The application will open in the McDowell Agency website.
    • Your social security number (SSN) is required.
    • Click submit at the end of each step to proceed.
    • A note will appear on the screen to confirm the application has been successfully submitted.
    • Click Return to VIRTUS to begin your online training module.
  • Complete Safe Environment Training (approximately 75 minutes)

Paper Forms

After completing the Essential Three online, fill out and turn in two required paper forms to the school office – Attn: Alison Wacek .

  • Volunteer application – this form is an information resource for St. John’s School and Parish only.
  • 123B.03 form (part two of background check) – this forms grants the McDowell Agency to check the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry.
    • This form CANNOT be electronically signed, it must be “inked” signed.    

Volunteer Application          Background Check – 123B.03

Technical Tips
  • Do not use a cell phone or tablet. Use Google Chrome as a browser from a computer. Allow pop-ups.
  • Do not log in on multiple devices. If you changed devices, log out completely and restart the first device.
  • Do not close tabs until instructed.
  • Do not use the “page back” or “page forward” buttons on the web browser.
  • Only use the buttons on the screens, such as “Continue,” “Next,” and “Previous.”
  • Fast-forwarding the training module will cause the module to lock up. You will be forced to start over.

For more information on the Archdiocesan Safe Environment requirements, visit the Essential 3 (E3) page on their website.

Essential 3 (E3)