Prison Chaplaincy Careers

The Potency of Faith in The Corrections Module

As humans are complex multi-faceted beings, so, too, are their needs when seeking out value, significance, and worth. They are more than the object of a program or the tool of a new initiative. There must be more than conformity and robotic compliance to those who are in power. So it is with the incarcerated person. Many are accustomed to "going along to get along". This perspective only works until the price for non-compliance is eclipsed by the delicious fruit of self-gratification. With this perspective, no price is too high, no level too low. Many times not even personal shame, loss of one’s family, one’s marriage or the return to prison can deter this self destructive behavior. There is an answer!

Offender speaks to Chaplain
Offender speaks to Chaplain

Instead of changing one's direction by sheer will, the entire "operations mechanism" must be replaced. This is where the faith component comes into play. Many offenders are eager to re-evaluate faith principals because they realize their self-seeking strategy has failed them miserably. Chapel programs challenge offenders to address the spiritual issues deep inside that they have ignored or denied. Prison chaplaincy is an exciting and rewarding career ministry. Offenders need to see chaplains as spiritual role models who effectively administer a professional chapel operation and orderly, relevant, "needs based" programming. Volunteers need to be directed and supervised in a team approach that is friendly and professional yet deliberate and strategic, placing offender’s needs above volunteer wants.

Perhaps it’s time to take a look at Prison Chaplaincy - maybe it’s for you!

Examples of Work Duties

  • Ensures freedom of religious practices as accommodated by the department
  • Provides spiritual guidance and care to all offenders without regard to cultural and/or religious differences
  • Manages and coordinates a multi-faith program according to offender needs
  • Recruits, trains and manages religious volunteers reflective of institutional need
  • Provides individual and/or group counseling for offenders and their families
  • Consults with professional and community groups on topics related to prison ministry
  • May conduct religious services or lead small groups as needed and as is feasible

Abilities 

  • To relate fairly and openly to all faith groups
  • To effectively participate as a multi-disciplinary team member in a correctional environment
  • To work with religious volunteers of other faiths in an appropriate manner to meet the spiritual needs of all offenders
  • To correlate one’s spiritual convictions with the pluralistic demands of the position
  • To work creatively and harmoniously with persons of diverse cultures and faith backgrounds and their organizational structures
  • To make decisions based upon sound judgment and insight with emphasis on institutional safety and security
  • To determine, plan, promote and implement an ecumenically inclusive spiritual care program

Knowledge and Skills 

  • Working knowledge of comparative religion, methods of spiritual care and counseling in a correctional setting
  • Effective in communication and organization
  • Effective in administration and management
  • Formulate innovative methods and procedures to meet spiritual and emotional needs
  • Recognition of all faiths and the corresponding values held by adherents

Qualifications 

  1. Bachelor’s degree in theology, ministry, religion, counseling, psychology, sociology or other closely related fields with courses in religion or theology
  2. Endorsement from the candidate’s religious body for ministry in a correctional setting
  3. Two years experience in the management of religious programming in a full time, salaried staff position

Benefits

  • Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS)
  • Major Health insurance (provided for employees and available for family)
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Cafeteria Plan
  • 12 Paid holidays per year
  • 10 hours of annual leave per month
  • 10 hours of sick leave per month
  • Ongoing training provided each year
  • Credit Union
  • Paycheck Direct Deposit
  • Employee health, wellness and safety initiatives
  • MOST (Missouri Saving for Tuition) 529 College Savings Program
  • Savings Bonds
  • Tax deduction for annual housing allowance
  • Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Administrative leave when applicable
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Annual salary (full-time): starts near $35,742
Religious/Spiritual Programming Mission-Vision-Values

Fully Accommodated Faith Groups

  • Al-Islam/ Muslim
  • Buddhism
  • Christian - General
  • Christian - Roman Catholic
  • Judaism
  • Messianic
  • Moorish Science Temple of America
  • Nation of Islam
  • Native American Spirituality
  • Wicca

Note: Other faiths are accommodated on a solitary practice level. 

Contact us:

Religious/Spiritual Programming
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, Mo. 65102
Phone: 573-526-6489
FAX: 573-751-4099

Download this information as a printable brochure: