Freedom of religion is one of the fundamental liberties enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Yet acts of targeted violence against houses of worship are a real—and potentially growing—problem in the United States.

People praying in a church | active shooter response training

To mitigate these threats and enhance the preparedness of clergy, staff, and congregants, the First Congressional Church of Hampton, United Church of Christ took a creative, innovative and cost-effective approach to train 29 houses of worship, of all religious denominations, throughout Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

The secret to success for this effort was accomplished utilizing FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program and teaming with The Power of Preparedness, a Michigan-based, veteran-owned, e-learning company specializing in Workplace Violence and Active Shooter Preparedness training. The comprehensive course has been customized for houses of worship in order to reflect the unique environment and response protocols for faith-based organizations. Underscoring the importance of this initiative, the training is introduced by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu:

The course includes these critical topics: recognizing workplace violence, behavioral indicators, situational awareness, gunfire recognition, verbal de-escalation techniques, Run-Hide-Fight active shooter response methodology, and response to injury. TPOP’s team of subject matter experts are nationally recognized thought leaders, educators, mental health professionals, and digital learning design experts. The training can be accessed on any internet enabled device, providing a customized 1:1 experience that provides the knowledge and tactics for anyone to mitigate workplace violence where possible, and, when necessary, survive an active shooter event. 

Keep Worshipping with Active Shooter Response Training

Houses of worship face unique challenges as they strive for the right balance between security and accessibility. They should tailor the knowledge gained from this active shooter response training to meet the needs of their communities while maintaining the open and welcoming atmosphere that makes houses of worship a critical part of our social fabric.

TPOP provides discounts to FB-ISAO members and is available to assist with the grant process. For more information: