Welcome Ministry Leaders and Volunteers, The Correctional Ministries Institute provides training and resources to equip you to walk alongside and support people impacted by crime.



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 you to develop professionally and take your 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.

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 networking, and conferences.



Life Coach Training

Life Coach Training will equip you to work with justice-involved adults as they transition back into the community.

Answering the Call In-Person 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.

Customized Training

customize your training needs by selecting the topics and amount of training you desire for your correctional ministry workers.

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.





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



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.



Jail Ministry Opportunities

A Mission Field In Our Backyard

Guide for Starting a Jail Ministry

Jail Ministry Talking Points Presentation

Jail Ministry Power Points Presentation



Juvenile Justice Ministry

Starting Effective Ministry

Juvenile Justice Infographic

Juvenile Justice Organizations

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.