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May 20, 2013

Billy Graham Center to Host Summit for Correctional Ministry Volunteers and Professionals

The Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association, a ministry of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College's Institute for Prison Ministries, is sponsoring the International Correctional Ministries Summit from Thursday, May 30 through Saturday, June 1. The event will take place on the campus of Wheaton College.

The summit, titled “Serving Together,” is designed to bring together national and international correctional ministry professionals and volunteers for learning, networking, strategizing and celebration.

“Serving Together” features more than 40 workshops on a variety of issues, including ministry to children of prisoners; a biblical response to mass incarceration; effective case management; evidence-based reentry practices; and assimilating recovering and formerly incarcerated people into the church. The workshop schedule is available on the website of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association, cmcainternational.org.

Speakers and teachers include Rev. Carmen Warner-Robbins, chaplain of the American Jail Association and founder/CEO of Welcome Home Ministries; Dr. Richard Mansfield, co-founder of the Micah Fellowship; author, teacher and speaker Christopher Yuan; Jerry Blassingame, executive director of Soteria Community Development Corporation; and Lennie Spitale, an author and minister with nearly four decades of prison ministry experience.

Dr. Karen Swanson, director of the Institute for Prison Ministries, says the summit provides a strong educational component to help prison ministry volunteers and professionals to enhance their experience with research-based strategies and practices.

“Experience is valuable and necessary for effective Christian correctional ministry, but individual experiences are limited to the circumstances and environments in which we’ve ministered and the people we’ve encountered there,” Swanson says.

“Education provides a broader view, introduces a variety of resources, research and ministry methods, and allows practitioners to stay current in the field of correctional ministry,” she adds. “Our goal is to provide professionals and volunteers with the most recent ministry tools to help them improve their ministry effectiveness.”

The CMCA plans to offer similar summits annually. The 2014 International Correctional Ministries Summit, titled “Impact,” will take place May 29-31.

Wheaton College is located at 501 College Avenue in Wheaton. The cost is $200 per person. Online registration is available on the CMCA website. For more information, call 630.752.5727.

The mission of CMCA is to connect, encourage, equip and strengthen Christians as they fulfill the Great Commission in corrections. Established in May 2011, CMCA provides certification, training and support.

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