LIFE COACH Training Curriculum DevelopersLIFE COACH Training Basics was developed by experienced teachers who have both academic and practical experience in mentoring and corrections.
Dr. Karen Swanson
Dr. Swanson has been the Director of the Institute for Prison Ministries (IPM) at the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College since 2005. As Director, she oversees the Charles W. Colson Scholarship Program and pursues the goals of the Institute for Prison Ministries through networks, collaboration, and strategic partnerships that provide leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries.
Karen has more than 25 years of higher education experience, is an Associate Professor at Wheaton College, and teaches Correctional Ministry courses. She has an Ed.D. in Curriculum Leadership from Northern Illinois University and a Justice Ministries Certification from Taylor University. Karen is certified in Motivational Interviewing, Moral Reconation Therapy, Bridges Out of Poverty, Truthought, and Anger Management. She has experience working reentry and mentoring formerly incarcerated persons.
Karen has delivered workshops at the following conferences: American Jail Association National Conference, Mental Health and Corrections Conference, Christian Association for Prisoner Aftercare, Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association, and the Community Development Association National Conference.
Karen has co-authored “Released: Prepared for Your Incarcerated Loved One’s Return Home” and published in the American Jails Journal and The Journal of Correctional Education.
Joseph Williams is the Executive Director of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association, founder and past President. He is a leading social entrepreneur Joseph Williams is on a mission to restore the lives of those affected by crime. His passion for helping the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and their families reach their God-given potential is born from his own personal battles. In his gripping memoir, Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing: When the Actions of a Christian Turn Criminal, Joseph simultaneously recounts his own personal triumph over drugs, crime, and prison, and becomes a conduit of freedom for others.
As Founder and CEO of New Creations Community Outreach (formerly Transition of Prisoners), he created and implemented a number of innovative approaches that have helped others to experience total restoration. An evaluation of New Creations’ TOP program conducted in 2000, found that those who graduated from the TOP program were ten times less likely to have any further contact with the criminal justice system than a control group consisting of those who did not go through the program.
As a result of the innovation and success of the TOP program, Joseph was recognized as an outstanding social entrepreneur in 2006 by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that promotes unique ways of addressing pressing social problems.
Nick Robbins is the Executive Director at Returning Home, Inc, a reentry program. Nick coordinates services with local organizations to best serve those returning home and oversees a Life Coaching program.
While in prison, Nick participated in a faith-based program. After his release from incarceration, he has served as a Reentry Assistant in an IFI program and Reentry Specialist with Prison Fellowship.
Nick is a recipient of the Charles Colson Scholarship from Wheaton College in 2012. He completed a Correctional Ministries Certificate in Reentry Leadership through the Institute for Prison Ministries.
Nick oversees the Woodland Hills Family Church Prison Ministry. He lives in Branson, Missouri with his wife Kelly and has two children.