The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC)( with the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition (CPMC)( has developed a national, integrated, and Catholic approach to identifying, preparing, and supporting men and women who can offer pastoral care ministry in the many settings it is needed.

Partners in Pastoral Care – Prison Ministry Training

Continuing the Healing Ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church.

Pathways of Formation bring together the four pillars of holistic formation that includes human, pastoral, spiritual and intellectual formation for pastoral care ministers. These formation pathways for growth cover Foundational, Intensive and Leadership.

  • Foundational – Total Hours (30 Hours)
    • Understands the basics of pastoral are ministry, especially empathetic listening, pastoral care presence, how to assess the diversity of the setting.
  • Intensive – Total Hours (between 60-75 Hours)
    • Understands more deeply the meaning of the healing ministry and its practices in the Catholic Church, and understands those being serviced. Acquires special knowledge and skills for the area of ministry (options for home care, senior care, prison ministry, health care setting)
  • Leadership – Total Hours (between 100-120 Hours)
    • Leads others in service as well as provides services. Serves as a faith companion, a group leader or a coordinator of services. Identifies specific spiritual care / sacramental needs.


The Foundational program includes prison ministry and tailored to two pathways.

  • Introduction to Catholic Prison Ministries: An introduction to prison ministry with an emphasis on the unique theological, psychosocial, and ministerial needs of the incarcerated. Learn practical tools needed for successful prison ministry.
  • Prison Foundational for Catholic Ministry: Catholics who feel called to minister with the incarcerated but have little to no concrete experience providing pastoral care within the justice system.

Partners in Pastoral Care provides pathways to service in Pastoral Care Ministry. While many Catholic dioceses / organizations have initiated formation / training programs in pastoral care, there has not been a nationally consistent set of standards / competencies, nor approaches for training to ensure that the highest quality of pastoral care is being provided. The current Partners in Pastoral Care include a pathway for training clergy and lay volunteers to serve in various areas of prison ministry, home care, senior care and health care settings.)

More information is available by contacting Lou Slapshak (Associate Coordinator of Prison Ministry) for the Diocese of Belleville, IL (