Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Darren Hercyk


Chaplaincy, Volunteers, Prison, Prison Ministry, Prison Chaplaincy




Volunteers within prisons are not accustomed to a prison’s pluralistic environment. Discipleship and relationship building with inmates in prisons have been strained because proper methods are not being incorporated into their chapel services. There is a need to understand inmates' diverse backgrounds and cultures to build more healthy relationships, lead them on the right path, and maintain a successful prison ministry. The goal of this project was to teach volunteers intercultural discipleship methods at Whiteville Correctional Facility. The first phase of the research methods involved doing a pre-interview with each participant that would serve as a control to gauge where the volunteer was in their thinking in relation to culture, relationships, and preaching. The second phase was a series of six group workshops. They focused on appropriate evangelism, centered-set theory, and intercultural discipleship. The third phase consisted of individual exit interviews to assess what was gained through the workshops and how the thinking of the inmates changed from the pre-interview. Five major themes arose through conversations during the workshops and exit interviews. They were: relationships first, understanding contextualization, comprehending the inmate’s real-life environment, how living incarnationally improves ministry, and considering what types of worship services work best in a pluralistic environment. Understanding what these themes can do for prison ministry will influence how a prison minister conducts worship service, interacts with inmates, and how they approach spiritual development in a correctional setting.

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