North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Transformative Justice Certificate

Why a Certificate in Transformative Justice?

In this graduate level program, a foundation will be laid for transformative justice ministries and practices in the context of the Christian faith. This unique certificate is being offered at Stateville Correctional Center, where students will learn in an integrated classroom of free and incarcerated students. All students will deepen their knowledge of biblical, theological, and practical contexts for the gospel in action. This program is especially intended for those whose vocation has prophetic and social dimensions.

Program Requirements

• 12 semester hours
• 2-year cohort program
• Complete as a stand-alone certificate or part of a degree
• Attend semester courses each Monday onsite at Stateville Correctional Center
• Complete and pass Stateville requirements including orientation and background check

Faculty Spotlight: Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom

As Professor of Theology and Ethics, Michelle has led the way in getting North Park involved in seminary education in prison. Through her teaching she exposes students to diversity of theological ideas, student body, and denominational backgrounds.

more about professor Michelle

see all faculty

A Unique Learning Opportunity

This certificate will be offered at Stateville Correctional Center, where students will learn in the integrated classroom of free and incarcerated students. Taking courses at a prison is a rare opportunity to learn in a context where many intersecting justice issues come to the fore.

Stateville Requirements

For two years, every fall and spring semester, participants will need to be able to travel to Stateville on Mondays for class. The class time is from 9:45 am – 1:30 pm, those commuting from campus together will leave at 8:30 am and return at 2:45 pm.
Stateville has strict requirements for outside students to gain access to the prison. For this reason entry to the certificate depends on security clearance by Illinois Department of Corrections and includes a background check and a possible drug or medical test.

Certificate Outcomes

  • Gain skills and knowledge to minster in or work in some way with incarcerated populations, persons with criminal justice events in their history, or other under served populations
  • Deepen one’s faith and knowledge of Scripture as it leads to healing and reparative work in communities
  • Develop skills and knowledge to actively and effectively address social injustices in order to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Become pastorally and socially aware of the complexity of systems of dominance and of one’s own place within social systems

Application Details

  • Due to space limited spots are available
  • Applications are due by Monday July 10th
  • All applicants will be reviewed at the same time and notified by July 17th
  • If admitted, you will be required to pay a $200 tuition deposit by July 24th. This allows for enough time for background checks, etc. to be completed before class starts August 28th. If an admitted student does not pass Stateville requirements their $200 deposit will be reimbursed.

Certificate Courses

  1. Peace, Justice, and Restorative Practices
  2. Mobilizing for Justice: Methods & Practice of Justice
  3. God’s Global Vision: Mission as Biblical Theme
  4. Saints, Radicals, and Heretics: Critical Voices in Christian Theology

Course Descriptions