Certificate in Correctional Ministries

The Certificate in Correctional Ministries program equips professionals and volunteers for effective jail, prison and reentry ministry through online courses. The program offers specialized training through experienced faculty for those seeking to increase their professionalism and quality of correctional ministry.

Downloadable Program Brochure (PDF Format): Certificate in Correctional Ministries

Core 2: Semester-Based

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of ministry to offenders and their families and the Biblically-based role of the Church in that effort. In addition, the course will examine the basic structure and functions of the criminal justice system and the culturaldistinctives that govern it. The primary focus will be on the multiple ministry opportunities present in each of the various phases of the criminal justice system— presentencing, long-term incarceration, and reentry.

Guest Speakers: Anna (DeHaan) White, JD (2)

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Course Description

This course will examine common characteristics of offenders, the specialized approaches to ministering within a correctional facility, and the Biblical corollaries for transformation as they pertain to offenders. Special attention will be given to the psycho-sociological factors that contribute to criminality, as well as to ways institutional conditions damage family structures, add to the pains of incarceration, and impair successful reentry. Students will examine possible solutions for overcoming these deficits and helping inmates prepare for returning to their communities.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Course Description

This course is designed to develop personal leadership skills, and equipped to effectively witnesses and disciple justice involved persons to grow in their faith as followers of Christ.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Course Description

This course provides an overview of correctional chaplaincy as it functions in correctional facilities. Topics will include the history of correctional chaplaincy, the special skills and abilities the professional chaplain must possess, the critical dimensions of the multiple roles a chaplain assumes, and the constitutional mandates that govern the delivery of religious services in an institutional setting. Special focus will be placed on the “ministry of presence,” effective volunteer management, the development of individualized ministry plans, and on chaplains as “agents of change.”

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Multiple lecturers, edited by Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Course Description

This course equips those ministering within correctional settings to research, plan, and administrate a ministry program that provides learning experiences to help the incarcerated encounter the person of God, the truths of His Word, the power of His Holy Spirit, and to transform their thinking and behavior while developing basic life skills.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Ch. R. Steve Lowe, MA

Syllabus

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the unique challenges and strategies involved in care and counseling within a correctional setting as presented by correctional staff, the incarcerated and the families of offenders. Focus will be given to an introductory knowledge of the problems of human suffering, biblical foundations for care in ministry, rudimentary person-to-person helping skills, as well as general counseling theories and techniques applicable to the correctional setting. Consideration will be given to ethical issues, knowing one’s limits of competence and knowledge, and of when and to whom one should refer.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Multiple lecturers, edited by Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Course Description

This course will provide participants knowledge of the Biblical foundation for reentry ministry and reentry statistics that will help them describe the issues, barriers, and challenges to successful ex-offender reentry. The course will also describe the phases and key principles of reentry with emphasis on making decisions related to practical planning for your ministry along with the reality of the collaborative nature of individuals, churches, organizations, and the community to assist the ex-offender with reentry.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Joseph Williams, MA

Syllabus

Course Description

The course will examine theories and practices in case management and mentoring for successful reentry of offenders. Assessment and program development will be discussed. Biblical principles are integrated with evidence-based practices.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Karen Swanson, EdD and Robert Vann, MA

Syllabus

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the principles and practices for leading and managing a not-for-profit organization. Topics introduced will include leadership, ethics, strategic planning, operating policies, board governance, human relations, marketing, fundraising, financial management, collaborative partnerships, and program evaluation as they relate to non-profit correctional organizations. Each topic is approached from a Biblical perspective.

Credits

3 Credits

Course Duration

8 Weeks

Professor

Debbie Walsh, MPA, Wendy Martin, PhD, and Karen Swanson, EdD

Syllabus

Chaplain Merlyn Klaus

The son of ministers, Chaplain Merlyn Klaus made a profession of faith in Christ as a young man and has served in a variety of ways in local churches over the years. He experienced a powerful spiritual renewal in 1996 and it was during this time that he first sensed the call of God into vocational ministry. Since 2000 he has been an associate minister at Salem Baptist Church and was eventually ordained by the…

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Dr. Wendy Martin

Before beginning her career in teaching, Dr. Wendy Martin enjoyed a career in consumer goods marketing management at Procter & Gamble and Schering-Plough Healthcare Products. She joined Trinity College after teaching for twelve years at another Christian college. Her primary research interest focuses on marketing for ministries, while her additional research efforts on intergenerational family businesses have yielded several awards, including best papers and the designation as a Family Business Research Scholar. Dr. Martin holds…

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Debbie Walsh

Debbie Walsh has over thirty years experience working in the nonprofit sector, as both staff and volunteer.  Since 2000, she has been involved in prison ministry, for seven years as a Logisitics Manager for Prison Fellowship’s Operation Starting Line, and for almost nine years as the Director of Prison Ministry for Child Evangelism Fellowship.  She has a degree in Social Work from Oral Roberts University, a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from High Point University,…

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Dr. Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior. He is a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute (Princeton), Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (San Francisco), and chief advisor for the Center for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, Peking University…

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Robert Vann

Robert Vann is currently the Program Director of Fuqua Hall, a 92-bed, Christ-centered transitional housing program—a ministry of Atlanta Mission in Atlanta, GA. He is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A Strictly Biblical Perspective Ministries (ASBPM), with his wife of 29 years, Maria.  He has over 25 years of full-time experience in ministry, serving as an addiction counselor, case manager, and program manager/director at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Prison Fellowship Ministries and the Atlanta…

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Richard Barnhart

Richard Barnhart has lived in Fort Collins for the past eighteen years.  He currently serves as the Executive Director of an evangelical, non-profit organization called the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA).  Richard also teaches classes in criminal justice and management part-time at the University of Wyoming. His correctional experience includes twelve years working in probation and in institutions for the Utah Department of Corrections, five years working as a deputy warden for the Oklahoma…

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Anna DeHaan White

Anna is an attorney at Hann Persginer, P.C., in Holland, Michigan. Anna practices criminal defense, family law, and acts as a mediator for both general civil and domestic cases. In addition to her practice, Anna sits on the Board of Directors for Latin Americans United for Progress, Midtown Counseling Services, Holland Teen Court, and Ridge Point Community Church. Anna also serves on the Mediator Quality Assurance Committee with Mediation Services, which schedules and facilitates training…

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Joseph Williams

Leading social entrepreneur Joseph Williams is on a mission to restore the lives of those affected by crime. His passion for helping the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and their families reach their God-given potential is born from his own personal battles. Joseph Williams currently serves as Executive Director of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association. As founder of New Creations Community Outreach (formerly Transition of Prisoners), he developed and implemented a number of innovative approaches that have helped others to experience…

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Chaplain R. Steve Lowe

Founder, President,and Executive Chaplain Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries Education: MA, Talbot Theo. Seminary - Biola University MA, Pepperdine University MA, California State University, San Bernardino Doctoral Course Work, Claremont University As a former probation counselor and therapist and today as a seasoned juvenile correctional chaplain, Steve has provided over 40 years of professional institutional service to California's San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties. Supervising the Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry for the Orange County Juvenile Justice Complex's…

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Dr. Karen Swanson

Dr. Karen Swanson is director of the Institute for Prison Ministries (IPM) at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. As director, she oversees the Charles W. Colson Scholarship Program, serves on the Christian Association for Prisoner Aftercare Advisory Board, and pursues the goals of IPM through collaboration, networks and strategic partnerships that provide leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries for the advancement of the gospel. She began her correctional ministry by teaching in the Life…

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This is an online program. In order to complete it, you must have internet access and basic computer skills. To be admitted, simply submit:
Costs for your 18-credit hour Certificate in Correctional Ministries will be as follows:

Registration fee: $15
Tuition: $200/credit hour
Total Program Cost:  $3,615
You will pay tuition course-by-course when you register for each. Full program tuition payment is not required.


*Payment plans are available. Click here to read more.

 

LOOKING FOR FINANCIAL AID?
We do not presently offer financial aid related to FAFSA. However, we have a limited number of scholarships available for qualifying students. Click here to learn more about scholarships. 

Students interested in the Certificate in Correctional Ministries can choose from the following emphases:
Correctional Chaplaincy EmphasisCredits GrantedCourse FormatSyllabi
This emphasis is designed for individuals seeking to pursue ministry as a chaplain in a jail or prison.
CM401 Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy3Semester-BasedSyllabus
CM402 Correctional Ministries Program Development and Evaluation3Semester-BasedSyllabus
CM403 Care and Counseling in Correctional Ministry3Semester-BasedSyllabus
Reentry Specialist EmphasisCredits GrantedCourse FormatSyllabi
This emphasis is designed for individuals ministering or seeking to pursue ministry in the areas of reentry from incarceration.
CM404 Foundations of Offender Reentry3Semester-BasedSyllabus
CM405 Case Management and Mentoring in Reentry3Semester-BasedSyllabus
CM406 Organizational Administration for Nonprofit Correctional Ministries3Semester-BasedSyllabus
In order to receive your certificate, you must complete all of the requirements listed herein within five years of registration for the program.

In order for any course in this program to apply toward the certificate, you must achieve a grade of C or higher in the course.

In addition to completing the required courses, the Correctional Ministries certification requires the completion of a capstone project or practicum experience supervised through the Institute for Prison Ministries (IPM). $200 fee required.

The Certificate in Correctional Ministries is not a 4-year undergraduate degree.

Upon completing the program requirements, submit the graduation request form to receive your certificate.
Completion of the Certificate in Correctional Ministries program signals to all concerned that the individual has completed a set course of study that prepares them for ministry within a correctional setting (in-prison, reentry, or other correctional ministry setting). Students who complete the credential program will receive a certificate from the Institute for Prison Ministries indicating the completion of the credential program. This is a non-degree program. The certificate does not guarantee employment nor entrance in a correctional institution. It is up to each institution or agency to determine hiring and entrance criteria. The certificate does demonstrate the specific correctional ministry preparedness of the individual seeking employment or entrance.
We are happy to help. Please contact us as follows:

Christian University GlobalNet
Address: 3000 Kraft Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Email: admissions@cugn.org
Phone: (888) 487-5376 ext. 1

Institute for Prison Ministries
Address: 500 College Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187
Email: karen.swanson@wheaton.edu
Phone: (630) 752-5727