500 College Ave., Wheaton, IL
630.752.5727
ipm@wheaton.edu

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Who should pursue a Correctional Ministries Certificate?

The Correctional Ministries Certificate Program is designed for individuals seeking to establish a foundation in correctional ministries and receive specialized training in correctional chaplaincy or reentry.

Why pursue a Correctional Ministries Certificate?

Equipped professionals and volunteers are more effective at fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment through service in jails, prisons and reentry ministries. Those served through correctional ministry deserve the highest quality ministry possible.

Completion of the Correctional Ministries Certificate does NOT automatically permit access to any correctional facilities. Facility administrators determine who is permitted to minister in their facility. The Correctional Certificate is a continuing education program.
A grade of C or above is required to earn a certificate.

Certification Requirements

All core courses and either Correctional Chaplaincy or Reentry Leadership courses

Correctional Chaplaincy

CM 201 Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy

CM 202 Pastoral Care in Corrections

Reentry Leadership

CM 301 Foundations of Reintegration

CM 302 Case Management and Mentoring

Core Courses

CM 401 Organization and Ministry Development

CM 402 Capstone Project or
CM 403 Practicum

Course Features and Schedule

Course Features

-Lectures
-Videos
-Discussion Forums
-Quizzes
-Written Assignments
-Mentor Meetings

Length: 8 weeks

Effort: 3-5 hours/week

Tuition: $249 per course ($199 for CMCA members). Payment is due prior to the first day of the term.

R. Steve Lowe Scholarship

Schedule 2020


Spring, April 6-May 31, 2020
CM 101 – Dimensions of Correctional Ministry


Summer July 6-August 30, 2020
CM 102 – Dynamics of Working with Justice-Involved Persons
CM 302 –
Case Management and Mentoring


Fall October 7-December 1, 2020
CM 103 – Christian Formation in Corrections

Course descriptions

Schedule 2021

Winter January, 2021
CM 101 – Dimensions
CM 201 – Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy
CM 301 – Foundations of Reentry
CM 401 – Organization and Ministry Development

Spring April, 2021
CM 102 – Dynamics of Working with Justice-involved Persons
CM 202 – Pastoral Care in Corrections
CM 302 – Case Management and Mentoring


Summer July 2021
CM 103 – Christian Formation

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About the Program

The Institute for Prison Ministries seeks to develop spiritually whole, intellectually grounded, and practically skilled ministers of the Gospel who are prepared to build up the Church through Correctional ministry. This certificate program was built on the vision of Dr. Thomas Beckner, founder of the American Chaplaincy Training School and is recognized by national ministries such as Prison Fellowship, Good News Jail & Prison Ministry and the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA).


Earning a Correctional Ministries Certificate does NOT automatically permit access to correctional facilities. Facility administrators determine who is allowed to minister in their facility.

Certificate Program Objectives

We diligently seek to develop wise and compassionate servants of Christ who are: 

A. Spiritually maturing in that they …

1. Commit to an ongoing life of personal growth in Christ as the foundation of effective ministry.


2. Apply Scripture to themselves for developing the character of Christ and to serve in a correctional ministry setting with integrity and humility.


3. Develop an awareness of their gifts, passions, and calling in correctional ministry.


4. Commit both personally and collaboratively to work for God’s global Kingdom purposes though the universal and local Church.




5. Honor all persons as created in the image of God by appreciating the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and religious traditions within the correctional environment.

B. Intellectually grounded in that they …

1. Develop and commit with flexibility to a thoroughly Christian and carefully integrated philosophy of ministry.


2. Articulate a strong biblical/theological basis for correctional ministry. B 3. Describe Christian formation, its process and goals.


3. Describe Christian formation, its process and goals.



4. Apprehend the truths within the disciplines related to correctional ministry integrated with Biblical truth.





5. Exhibit academic integrity, and critical and reflective thinking through research and study.

C. Practically skilled in that they …

1. Handle Scripture rightly, wisely and humbly.



2. Communicate effectively orally (teaching and presentation skills) and in writing in multiple environments.



3. Manage programs and people in correctional ministry that promotes transformation of those they serve.


4. Promote strong interpersonal relationships with colleagues, justice-involved persons, corrections staff, volunteers, the Church and the community to support ministry goals and rehabilitation.


5. Create learning experiences that help others encounter the person of God and the truths of His Word.


6. Utilize skills that promote rehabilitation of justice-involved persons.

Core Values

Biblically based – all material is developed on Biblical principles with an emphasis on the integration of faith and learning.
Compelled to evangelize and disciple – sharing the Gospel message and provide spiritual guidance through Christian formation.
Committed to unity of believers in Jesus Christ – as evidenced by the ministry collaboration.
Devoted to excellence – quality equipping for quality ministry- convinced that justice-involved people deserve the highest quality of ministry possible.
Learning communities created – through a cohort model, discussion forums, and feedback and interaction with faculty.

Faculty