Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy

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Foundations of Correctional Chaplaincy


Number of Lessons: 24Avg. Lesson Length: 30 MinutesTime Required: 24 Hours MinimumLevel: Advanced


This course provides an overview of correctional chaplaincy as it functions in jails and prisons. The course will examine the history of correctional chaplaincy, the special skills and abilities the professional chaplain must possess, the critical dimensions of the multiple roles a chaplain assumes, and the constitutional mandates that govern the delivery of religious services in an institutional setting. Special focus will be placed on the chaplains as “agent of change,” the “ministry of presence”, on effective volunteer management, and the development of individualized ministry plans.


Great material- very practical.

Course Reviewed: 2 months ago

The lectures were very informative and applicable.

Course Reviewed: 2 years ago


ProfessorKaren Swanson
  • Northern Illinois University, EdD
  • Western Michigan University, MA
  • Calvin College, BS
  • Cornerstone University, BA


  • Comprehend the rich tradition of correctional chaplaincy in America.
  • Identify three critical dimensions of institutional chaplaincy.
  • Explain the religious rights of the incarcerated and how to determine accommodations.
  • Identify the multiple ways that effective chaplaincy positively impacts inmates, correctional staff, and the institutional environment.
  • Compare the strengths and skill-sets of effective chaplains and compare those with your own personal giftings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to build a ministry plan that corresponds to specific institutional settings and its inmate demographic.
  • Develop strategies for creating meaningful ministry partnerships with local church leaders and laypersons.
  • Develop a chaplaincy manual specific to your institution.


Video LecturesAudio LecturesTranscriptsOutlinesDiscussion QuestionsHandoutsQuizzes & Exams


Outstanding and practical information to use in correctional ministry, whether as a chaplain or helping a chaplain.

Course Reviewed: 3 years ago

This course has been a real blessing to me.

Course Reviewed: 3 years ago

[I liked] the challenge it presented to become more involved in the administrative aspects of chaplaincy, including evaluations of self and volunteers.

Course Reviewed: 3 years ago

I have really enjoyed the courses. They are substantial. The reading is interesting. The courses are challenging but still enjoyable.

Course Reviewed: 4 years ago

God has worked in my own spiritual life and I have grown so much in my walk with Him through doing these courses. I have learned about how to more effectively care and listen to the men I minister to in prisons. I was impressed with how important it is to have your own life in order first before you can empathically reach out to others. Doing these courses have better equipped me in looking at the mission field we have in our institutions all over the world.

Course Reviewed: 4 years ago