In March 2018, I began my studies to become a jail/prison chaplain. Four quarters (18 month later) I graduated from the program. Graduation Night talks more about that.
One of the perks of being a graduate of the program is that we can attend the subsequent classes for free. The class for Fall Quarter 2020 was held this week . We met 6-10PM Monday-Friday via ZOOM.
“Directed by Rev. Rich Hines, the Chaplain’s Training Academy is designed for those with a heart to serve as chaplains within a jail or prison system. Academy training includes a one day seminar and/or an intensive week-long training event. Academy graduates receive a credential validating them as a biblical correctional chaplains.”
Rev. Hines began the first evening with Deuteronomy 32:3b-4 (NASB) “Ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” His teaching included:
- What is a Biblical Chaplain?
- Evangelizing Inmates
- Discipling Inmates
- Inmate Issue: Trusting God
- Inmate Issue: Loyalty to Men or God
- Inmate Issue: Marriage & Divorce
- Inmate Issue: Biblical Work Ethic
- Inmate Issue: Attitude/Resentment Towards Authority
- Working With Corrections Officers
The guest speaker, Jack Jenkins taught on Biblical Counseling for Inmates. Based on the Nouthetic Philosophy of Ministry.
Nouthetic counseling (Greek: noutheteo, to admonish) is a form of evangelical Protestant pastoral counseling based solely upon the Bible and focused on Christ. It repudiates mainstream psychology and psychiatry as humanistic, fundamentally opposed to Christianity, and radically secular. (Wikipedia)
“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14 (NASB).
The topics that Jenkins focused on were:
- How to Handle Anger
- Handling the Past Biblically
- Motives: Helping Inmates Understand Why They Do What They Do
- Seeing the “I” in Pride
- How to Avoid Failure When Counseling Inmates
- We were also given a case study of an actual inmate and worked together to come up with a counseling strategy for him
Yes, it is a plethora of information in a VERY short amount of time. The 20+ hours of lecture that students in this program receive each quarter, are akin to sitting through an entire college term in one week. The students then have about 6 months to complete the homework. It is exhausting; but worth every minute when you walk into a state or county correctional facility and know that you are prepared for whatever is waiting for you behind those heavy metal doors.
If you are interested in more of my posts on Behind Bars But Still Free, feel free to take a look.
Click on the only Hope Prison Ministries Logo below for more information about the program.