Welcome Correctional Chaplains, you have a special calling and you serve in a unique high-demand environment. We have put together trainings and resources to help you develop professionally.



Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA)

Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA) is a professional organization, founded in May 2011, through which Christians can celebrate their faith and passion for correctional ministry with other individuals, organizations, and churches; developing professionally through online resources, training, and certifications, and be inspired through uplifting journal articles, networking, and conferences.

The Correctional Ministry Certificate Program

Do you want to develop professionally and become more effective at fulfilling the Great Commission in your ministry? Are you interested in networking and collaborating with others in your field?

Our online program enables chaplains to take their ministry to the next level. Each 8-week course is personally taught by a ministry expert, who provides feedback and guidance to enhance your ministry and learning experience.

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

Charles W. Colson Scholarship

The Charles W. Colson Scholarship provides former prisoners with a Wheaton College education that develops them as Christian leaders. The Bachelor’s Degree Award assists with tuition and on-campus room and board. The graduate Degree Award assists with tuition for a Master’s degree only.

R. Steve Lowe Scholarship

Established in 2020, CMI awards two scholarships annually for students who have been accepted to the Correctional Ministries Certificate Program. Chaplain Steve has held a high level of commitment to education and training for the past 50 years for all who serve in correctional ministry.

Evangelism and Discipleship Training

Our 11-week, in-prison training for Christ-followers to live focused lives of witness and discipleship. If you are interested in delivering the Answering the Call training to the incarcerated, complete the online training to become a Certified Trainer.

Equipping participants to develop relationships and communicate the Gospel naturally, with gentleness and respect, and to disciple Christ-followers toward maturity in Christ.


Bibles for Chaplains

Many prisoners don’t have easy access to their own Bible, and Bibles that are available are often in hard-to-understand translations or tiny font sizes. To help meet the diverse needs of the incarcerated population, Inside Journal®, the Prison Fellowship® quarterly newspaper for men and women behind bars, partnered with Tyndale House Publishers to offer a FREE Inside Journal Life Recovery Bible. With special devotional content based on the 12-step model, these easy-to-read, large-print Bibles (available in both English and Spanish) are a version of the No. 1-selling recovery Bible that has helped millions of readers overcome their addictions and strongholds. 

To learn more or place an order, click here: https://chaplains.prisonfellowship.org/products/inside-journal-bible



The Correctional Ministries Institute was awarded worship grants in 2012 and 2014 from The Calvin Institute for Christian Worship made possible through the generous support of Lilly Endowment Inc. The resources below were created to equip chaplains and those who lead worship in correctional facilities, with youth and adults

  • Worship in Correctional Facilities
  • Guide for Leading Christian Worship Service in Correctional Facilities
  • Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities
  • Using Art in Worship
  • Visual Arts and Worship Seminar
  • Drama Approaches





Arrested: Making Decisions for Yourself and Your Incarcerated Loved One

By Lennie Spitale


Sentenced: Maintaining Relationships During Incarceration

By Lennie Spitale


Released: Preparing for Your Loved One's Return Home

By Lennie Spitale and Karen Swanson


When Your Child is Arrested: A Parent's Guide to the Juvenile Justice System

By John Kinsley and Scott Larson



Correctional Ministry Briefs


Please feel free to use any of the templates below for your ministry needs
The Criminal Justice System and Going to Court

For most people, learning to navigate the criminal justice system is new. The following terms, definitions, and processes provide a basic understanding of what you may encounter as you journey with a person who is accused of committing a crime and brought to court.

Clergy Visit Template

This is a template for a clergy visit at the Dupage County Jail. This template, however, can be used for your own county jail.

Adult Jail Visitation for Families

Terms, definitions, do’s and don’ts of adult jail visitation, and how to post bond for families.

Ministry With Families of the Incarcerated

Families with a loved one behind bars are deeply impacted by their loved one’s incarceration. They need support. Find some resources and tips on how to give and receive help.

Pastor Views On Prison Ministry: A Survey of Protestant Pastors

The Pastor Views on Prison Ministry was conducted by LifeWay Research. Its objectives were to quantitatively measure current church involvement in correctional ministry and to measure Protestant pastors’ experience and attitude toward engaging in ministry among those affected by incarceration.



The U.S. is known as the land of the free, yet more people are locked up than any other country in the world. Representing less than 5% of the world’s population, we now hold almost 25% of the world’s total prison population.

Mass incarceration is a human rights and justice issue impacting over 2.3 million adults and youth, along with their families and victims.

While mass incarceration impacts individuals and communities, the impact is felt more deeply by those who are people of color and the poor. Mass incarceration is an issue that has been largely ignored by the Church. Now is the time for the Church to speak up about the injustices ad respond with justice, mercy, and compassion.

Check out the videos from the GC2 Summit on Mass Incarceration.


Do you have questions?

We have assembled some answers to our most commonly asked questions.

About Correctional Ministries Institute


CMI Award

The Correctional Ministries Institute, Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, annually presents this award to individuals in recognition of years of faithful service to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the incarcerated.


The Correctional Ministries Institute is a training and resource center for those who share the gospel within the correctional community. 

CMI Leadership

Leaders pursue the goals of CMI through networks, collaboration, and strategic partnerships that provide leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries for the advancement of the gospel.

Charles W. Colson Scholarship

The Charles W. Colson Scholarship provides former prisoners with a college education and life formation program that develops them as Christian leaders.