Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women’s Chaplain services help turn lives around.
Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women (IPMW) is a nonprofit founded in 1977 by a group of Presbyterian women. Since its creation, IPMW has provided chaplaincy and transition education program for incarcerated women at the Raleigh Unit of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW).
Sarah Jobe, Chaplain of Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women, believes in the value of the Chaplaincy program offered. Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women funds three part-time chaplains to teach a variety of faith-based, self-empowerment classes. The chaplains provide support and resources so that women have an opportunity to practice their faith while incarcerated.
Through chaplaincy services, IPMW offers dance classes, choir group and other fun interactive activities. Courses are also offered at the graduate level with an exclusive partnership with Duke Divinity School. To date, four women have successfully graduated with Duke Divinity School’s "Certificate of Achievement in Theological Education" as a result of the chaplaincy services.
To meet the needs of the women in all areas of their lives, the chaplains also assist with self-help workshops on topics such as domestic violence, substance abuse and recovery. Chaplains are also able to meet individual needs by providing one-on-one conversations with the women when they need it.
“Women can only become what they can imagine themselves to be, and we believe those imaginations are formed by treating women as what we know they can become.” Chaplain Sarah teaches the importance of treating women in the program, "like they are already community leaders; we treat them like they are already women who are leaders in their active communities."
Kaye Ward, program assistant with Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women, trusts the program because she too was once incarcerated and sought the opportunities provided by programs similar to the Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women.
Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women helps create these moments of transformation in which women realize how much they are capable of and use that vision to start new lives on the outside. Their mission is, "to build bridges of hope for women in prison, before and after release — through pastoral care, religious services, education, job training and life skills necessary for productive reentry into communities."
To find out more about Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women, visit them here: ipmforwomen.org