Mentoring training that will equip you to work with justice-involved adults as they transition back into the community.

Life Coach Training (LCT) includes Life Coach Pre-Requisite Training and Life Coach Training Basics. These courses are designed to prepare men and women to journey alongside justice-involved adults as they transition back into the community and become law-abiding and productive citizens. A Christian Life Coach Training module is available with Life Coach Training Basics.

The LCT is a research-based training which integrates evidence-based and gender-responsive principles.

Upon successful completion of the training, a certificate will be awarded.


  • Identify your role and responsibilities as a Life Coach
  • Develop the skills needed to be an effective Life Coach
  • Describe the feelings, challenges, and barriers of those with whom you are working
  • Explain the process of Life Coaching

Students must complete the free Life Coach Prerequisite Training and Life Coach Training Checklist.
Contact your Program Coordinator to receive a code to access Life Coach Training Basics.


Pass each quiz by scoring 90%. Notes and handouts can be used during the quiz. Practice the skills.

LIFE COACH Prerequisite Training

This FREE pre-screening helps you and your Program Coordinator determine if serving as a Life Coach is a good fit and if it is the right time in your life. This is a three step prerequisite training that consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Register for the Prerequisite Training

Step 2: Complete the Three Prerequisite Lessons

  • Lesson P.1: What is a Life Coach?
  • Lesson P.2: Who are the Participants?
  • Lesson P.3: Should I be a Life Coach?

Step 3: Complete the Life Coach Checklist Assessment

LIFE COACH Training Basics

What to expect in the Life Coach Training Basics:

Module 1: Foundations of Life Coaching. (2 lessons) This module discusses the realistic and unrealistic expectations Life coaches have about being a life coach and about life coaching. Topics covered include how to avoid different types of paternalism, set boundaries and prevent manipulation.

Module 2: Communication Skills (3 lessons) Strong communication skills are needed for a positive Life Coaching relationship. This module includes accurately observing, asking questions, listening, summarizing, giving feedback and personal transparency. Practice exercises included.

Module 3: Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (5 lessons) Motivational interviewing is a proven method of helping an individual become internally motivated for behavior change. Topics in this module include the change process, principles and skills of motivational interviewing. Practice exercises included.

Module 4: Understanding and Caring for Participants (3 lessons) This module identifies the risks and needs of participants (separate modules for men and women), thinking barriers, and the feelings, needs and barriers to transitioning from incarceration to society.

Module 5: The Life Coaching Process (5 lessons) This module identifies the different phases of the life coaching process along with the goals, skills and attributes needed for coaching for each phase.

The following components are designed to provide a high-quality, high-impact curriculum that equips adults with the knowledge and skills needed for effective Life Coaching.

Audio lectures (10-15 minutes each) and corresponding powerpoints
Lesson outline (handout)
Coaching tools (handouts)
Skill practice assignments

The training will take approximately 5 hours. You may work at your own pace and can stop and start as needed.

LIFE COACH Training Curriculum Developers

LIFE 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 Correctional Ministries Institute (CMI) at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center since 2005. As Director, she oversees the Charles W. Colson Scholarship Program and pursues the goals of the Correctional Ministries Institute 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
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
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.

LIFE COACH Training Costs and Links to Purchase

Prerequisite Training: FREE! Register here

LIFE COACH Training Basics course:

Click here to enroll in the Life Coach Training Basics Course! (You must complete the Prerequisite training first!)

CMCA members get 50% off the Basic Course!
Become a CMCA Member Today!

An additional module is available with lessons on the roles and responsibilities of caring for the spiritual needs of your participant, Christian formation, witnessing with gentleness and respect, and how to disciple.