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

FACULTY

Chaplain R. Steve Lowe

As a former probation juvenile facility counselor and therapist, and today as a seasoned juvenile correctional chaplain, R. Steve Lowe has provided over 50 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 multiple institutions for 33 years and continuing to facilitate juvenile ministry at national sites. Steve’s purpose is to help fulfill the Great Commission with incarcerated and hurting youth, adults, and their families.


As Founder, President, and Executive Chaplain for Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries, an international chaplain-placing ministry, Steve also assists Christian organizations and penal agencies as a consultant in program development and implementation. He has experience as an adjunct faulty member with Wheaton College and Biola University, specializing in criminology and juvenile delinquency coursework. Professional duties have included membership with the Southern California Area Council of Prison Fellowship, the Law and Justice Group of San Bernardino County, faith0based collaborative efforts at gang violence reduction, and co-founder of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA).

Education

AA Police Science  
BS Criminology
Talbot Theological Seminary- Biola University, MA
Pepperdine, MA (psychology-clinical)
California State University,MA
Claremont Graduate University, doctoral coursework

Dr. Debi Sharkey

Dr. Debi Sharkey. Dr. Sharkey is the Senior Chaplain at LCIW (Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women). She started in prison ministry as a volunteer in 2010 and became the chaplain at LCIW in 2012. Dr. Sharkey earned an undergraduate degree in Religion and Philosophy at Palm Beach Atlantic University and her masters and doctorate degrees in Educational Ministry at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where she teaches classes as part of the seminary’s Adjunct Faculty. She has been married for 34 years to Rick, who supervises the Chaplaincy Department at LSP (Louisiana State Penitentiary).

Dr. Karen Swanson

Dr. Swanson has been the Director of the Institute for Prison Ministries (1PM), Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College since 2005. As Director, she oversees the Charles W. Colson scholarship program and pursues the goals of the Institute for Prison Ministries through networks, collaboration and strategic partnerships. 1PM provides leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries. She is co-founder of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA).


Dr. Swanson has more than 25 years of higher education experience and is a faculty member in the Christian Formation and Ministries Department of Wheaton College. She has provided numerous correctional ministry workshops and trainings, directed a residential reentry program, and is certified in Justice Ministries, Motivational Interviewing, Moral Reconation Therapy, Bridges Out of Poverty, Truthought, Anger Management, and Trauma Healing. She serves on the Board of Good News Jail & Prison Ministry, and leadership team of Naiomi’s House.

Education

• Cornerstone University, B.A.
• Calvin College, B.S.
• Western Michigan University, M.A.
• Northern Illinois University, Ed.D.

Rev. 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.


As Founder and CEO of New Creations Community Outreach (formerly Transition of Prisoners), he developed and implemented a number of innovative approaches that have helped others to experience total restoration. An evaluation of New Creations’ TOP program found that those who graduated from the TOP program were ten times less likely to have any further contact with the criminal justice system than a control group consisting of those who did not go through the program. As a result of the innovation and success of the TOP program, Joseph was recognized as an outstanding social entrepreneur in 2006 by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that promotes unique ways of addressing pressing social problems.


These successes continue to provide Joseph with the opportunity to share his expertise with other professionals at various forums around the nation. Among them are the prestigious bodies of the U.S.House of Representatives and the National Institute of Corrections. Joseph has served as a visiting professor for Great Lakes Christian College.

Mr. Robert Vann

Robert Vann is currently the Program Director a 92 bed Christ Centered Transitional Housing Program (Fuqua Hall) a ministry of the Atlanta Mission. He is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of “A Strictly Biblical Perspective Ministries,” (ASBPM) with his wife, Maria of 27 years. He has over 20 years of full time experience in ministry serving as a Addiction’s Counselor, Case Manager, Program Manager/Director at (Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries Prison Fellowship Ministries and the Atlanta Mission and is an Associate Pastor at Community of Faith Church in Buford GA. He has an M.A. degree from Wayne State University in the field of counseling with specialization in substance abuse. He is the author of the “One Step With Jesus Restoration Program,” with a Cognitive Biblical Approach to Understanding & Addressing Addiction & Relapse Prevention, with Mentoring and Discipleship and Ministry components. He has trained over 1500 mentors throughout the United States and facilitates workshops across the nation. Robert has 25 years sobriety and has been restored from crack cocaine/alcohol and heroine addictions.

Dr. Brian Wright

BRIAN J. WRIGHT is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.) and Ridley College (Melbourne, Australia, Ph.D.). He is the author of several books, and both his pastoral and academic work have been featured on several Christian media networks, such as Christianity Today, Crosswalk, The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Power for Living. Brian serves full-time in pastoral ministry as a chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and also teaches for several universities and seminaries as an adjunct professor. He and his wife, Daniella, currently live in Florida with their four children.