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CCI, Lewis University launch prison ministry training program

Catholic Conference of Illinois and Lewis University have teamed up to develop a Prison Ministry Leadership Curriculum. Students participate in workshops and online classes during the 15-month program, which culminates in certification from the American Catholic Correctional Chaplains Association, an organization accredited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Students from across the state met for their first workshop in August 2013, and will complete the program in October 2014. The program is one of only two such curricula nationwide that has been certified by the ACCCA.

The program grew out of a need for more formal training identified by the Catholic Conference’s Prison and Jail Ministry Network. Dr. Christie Billups of Lewis University and Fr. Christian Reuter, OFM, of the Belleville diocese served as architects of the new curriculum under the guidance of CCI’s Director of Social Services/Social Justice Marilou Gervacio.