500 College Ave., Wheaton, IL


Winter Term Starts January 4, 2021!

Accepting Applications Now! 

Join a cohort of ministry peers learning with and from each other through the online Correctional Ministries Certificate Program.

Or, individuals may choose to enroll in specific courses.  See the complete 2021 Course Schedule here> 

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

Interested individuals must first apply to be accepted into the Correctional Ministries Certificate Program. 


CM 101 Dimensions in Correctional Ministry

CM 102 Dynamics of Working with Justice-Involved Persons

CM 103 Christian Formation in Correctional Ministry

CM 201 Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy
CM 301 Foundations of Reintegration


CM 202 Pastoral Care in Correctional Ministry
CM 301 Case Management and Mentoring 

CM 401 Organization and Program Development

CM 402 Practicum or Capstone Project

Frequently Asked Questions

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 trainingin correctional chaplaincy or reentry. 

Why pursue a Correctional Ministries Certificate? 

Equipped professionals and volunteers are more effecitve 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. 

How many courses are required to earn a Certificate? 

The program requires 7 courses to earn either a Certificate of Correctional Chaplaincy or a Certificate of Reentry Leadership.


What is the course format?

Online courses follow an 8-week format. Learners enroll in a single course at one time, progressing through course material and learning experiences guided by our faculty and instructors.

Course Features: 
-Discussion Forums
-Written Assignments
-Mentor Meetings
Course Descriptions 

How much time will I spend on coursework?  

You should expect to spend 5 – 8 hours per week on your coursework.

Do I have to be online at any specific time? 

Our courses are set up so that you can begin each week on Monday and complete your coursework by Friday at midnight. 


What is the cost of an online course?

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

R. Steve Lowe Scholarship

Can I take the courses out of order?

Our program  is set up so that you may complete your coursework sequentially.  We understand that ministry and life events change even your best planning, so you do not have to take most courses in order.  The Practicum or Capstone course must be taken at the end of the program.



Certification Requirements

All core courses and either Correctional Chaplaincy or Reentry Leadership courses

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.