2019 Conference Classes
2020 Classes To Be Announced

Basic Chaplaincy Courses

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Knowing how to manage stress, both for the Chaplain, and those whom the Chaplain serves, is one of the most important and basic skills a Chaplain can bring to the table.  Taught by Chaplain Gerry Griffith, a Certified Chaplain, Certified Trainer for the National Organization for Victim’s Assistance, and Critical Incident Stress Management, Chaplains will acquire the basic knowledge and skills necessary to increase their effectiveness in their ministry.



Sr. Chaplain Dave Clemmons of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, will present an in-depth look at how Chaplains can suffer from Burn Out and Compassion Fatigue.  Chaplains, if unaware of the warning signs, can become vicarious victims of the same scenarios the people they are helping are suffering from.  It is imperative that Chaplains learn these basic signs and symptoms to protect themselves.


105 – Legal Liability and Confidentiality

This course will cover the basics that every Chaplain needs to know about where the lines are they should not cross to avert potential legal liability from their actions as a Chaplain.  Learn how Chaplains are covered by State laws and the circumstances where Confidentiality legally applies and where it does not.


107 – Ethics

Vigo County, Indiana Chaplain and Deputy Dan Willis will present the range and depth of ethics in the role of a Law Enforcement and/or Jail Chaplain.  There are many warning signs and pitfalls that can easily trip up even the most experienced Chaplain and this course till help bring these issues to the forefront.  Anyone involved in Chaplaincy needs to know this material in order to be the best Chaplain they can be.

Crisis Response


This course is an in-depth look into a Chaplain’s Response and Understanding of how to best help and serve people going through a Crisis or Critical Incident.  This includes ministering to Law Enforcement Officers and how “Secondary Wounding” can occur and how to identify and avoid it.  The course is taught by Chaplain Tom Kendall of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, who is also certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Crisis Intervention and Law Enforcement Intervention, and is Vice President of the Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team that trains and responds using the National Organization of Victims Assistance (NOVA) Model.

Officer Death


Just about every Law Enforcement Chaplain, sometime in his or her career, will likely be called to the situation of an Officer Injury, or worse, an Officer’s Death.  Every situation is different and Chaplains need this basic training to be prepared to deal with these terrible situations should they ever occur.  For this reason, the trainer is as important as the training, and we are blessed to have the highly experienced Chaplain and Police Officer, Mel Keaton, of the Lawrence Police Department, to share his experiences and knowledge on this subject.

NYPD With Child in Mineature Police SUV


As both a Chaplain and Deputy Sheriff, Dan Willis will provide an in-depth understanding of what Chaplains need to know about the perspective of an Officer who has a Chaplain riding along with them on-duty, as well as the do’s and don’ts Chaplains need to know when riding with an Officer.  Ride-alongs are not joy rides, but opportunities to connect with Officer to earn their respect and trust.  Every Law Enforcement Chaplain should spend time riding with the Officers they serve and this training will be invaluable when doing so.

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These Seven Classes make up half of the courses necessary for certification as a “Basic Certified Chaplain” by the Sheriff’s Chaplaincy Conference.  The other seven will be presented at Next Year’s Conference.

Senior Level Courses

Ministry to Families


Law Enforcement Families often deal with unique stresses and issues that civilian families usually do not deal with.  LE Families deal with the same issues as other families, but knowing the unique issues and needs of these special families is critical in developing a successful Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and Ministry.  The class will be taught by Chaplain Chuck Stout with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Jail Chaplaincy.  Chaplain Stout, in his career has also served as a Corrections Officer and a Police Officer and will share his unique knowledge and experiences with students in this class.

Chaplain Self Defense


When one is involved in Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, and particularly Jail Ministry, one never knows when a Chaplain be required to defend him or herself in a potentially dangerous volatile situation.  Although such incidents may be relatively infrequent, one must be prepared and properly trained to protect themselves in the event a confrontation escalates.  We are again privileged to have Retired Lt. Eddie Moore teach this hands-on training that could potentially save a Chaplain from injury or even more serious consequences.

Sheriff Quakenbush


This is a unique opportunity to hear from and ask questions of a panel of current Elected County Sheriff’s and their perspective on developing, growing and maintaining a Jail Chaplaincy.  One of the Sheriffs on the panel will be recently elected Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush.  Prior to being elected Sheriff, he served as the Patrol Captain under former Sheriff Mark Bowen.  Other Sheriffs have been invited to join Sheriff Quakenbush in sharing their unique perspective that will undoubtedly give every Chaplain new perspectives and insight on how best to serve in this ministry.

Ouija - Occult


As a chaplain, we are required to minister and serve people in our communities that may or may not have the same spirtitual world views as we do.  One of the most challenging is when we are called to serve a person or family who is involved in the occult or witchcraft, including Wiccan and other forms.  Chaplain Dan Willis will teach this class that brings a better understanding of the occult in our society so Chaplains will have current information as well as the experiences and knowledge from a seasoned Chaplain and Deputy Sheriff, Dan Willis of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department.


Post Traumatic Event


The trauma that surrounds a post-shooting event can be devastating to all parties involved.  Often, Officers involved in a line-of-duty shooting event where someone is seriously injured or dies, affects the Officer as deeply as it may other family members and friends of the shooting victim.  If an Officer is the victim of a shooting or other violent life-threatening event, the Chaplain may be called to minister in a very different way.  In our goal to provide the most comprehensive training to Chaplains, and particularly experienced Chaplains, we offer this very serious class led by Chaplain and Police Officer Mel Keaton of the Lawrence Police Department.  Chaplain Keaton has considerable insight and experience of both sides of this difficult situation and is sure to provide a stimulating and very information class for all Chaplains involved.

Death and Dying


Thanatology is the study of death and dying.  One of the most common events Chaplains are called to are to minister to people who are near death, or the families of people who have died in a variety of situations.  Chaplains often accompany Officers when making death notifications.  Sometimes what not to say in these situations is as important. or even more important, than what should be said.  SCC President and Sr Chaplain Mark Fidler of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department will teach this class.  Chaplain Fidler has many years of experience in this area and teaches this class to all new Officers at the Sheriff’s Department.  The classes should spark some serious discussions about a topic many often avoid.



Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crimes in today’s world and is the topic of news stories almost daily.  Knowing how these crimes operate and how to protect yourself, your department and your family from these crimes can be invaluable to you as well as protecting the confidentiality of the Chaplaincy and your ministry.  Because these crimes keep changing and evolving almost daily, it is important to become knowledgeable of the most recent types of cybercrime that is waiting to attack.  Deputy Don Whitehead of the Howard County Sheriff’s Department will be teaching this class again this year.  He has considerable experience in this area and always gets very positive reviews of this class whenever he teaches it for the Sheriff’s Chaplaincy Conference.

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These Seven Classes make up half of the courses necessary for certification as a “Senior Certified Chaplain” by the Sheriff’s Chaplaincy Conference.  The other seven will be presented at Next Year’s Conference.  Basic Certification is required before applying for Senior Certification.

Enrichment Classes

Chaplain Patch



This is a half-day enrichment class consisting of a panel of very experienced Chaplains, SCC President and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Senior Chaplain Mark Fidler, Former SCC President and Madison County Sheriff’s Department Senior Chaplain Benny Santiago, and Marion County Sheriff’s Department Senior Chaplain David Clemmons.  This will be the first Enrichment Class offered on Monday, October 14, 2019, and will provide a very in-depth discussion about Law Enforcement Chaplaincy.  Information presented here will be helpful to Chaplains and Senior Chaplains alike, or any Chaplain who is working to develop, grow and expand the ministry and outreach of their Department’s Chaplaincy.


Thin Blue Line
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The Law Enforcement community generally has what they call a “Thin Blue Line” that insulates the Law Enforcement mindset from other professions and the community in general.  This is due in part to the ever changing attitudes toward Police, laws that make their job more difficult and dangerous and many other factors.  Getting past that thin blue line is just as difficult for a Law Enforcement Chaplain, and sometimes even more difficult than the public in general.  Chaplains are often seen as sympathetic to the people the Officers are trying to get off the street and thus counter productive to their objective of keeping the community safe.  This class will help you understand both sides of that line and tips on how to gradually win the trust and respect of the Officers in your Department.

What Are Enrichment Classes?

Once a Chaplain has attended both the Basic and Senior Tracks of Courses, there is an annual ongoing “Master Level”, or “Enrichment” courses we offer to provide ongoing, continuing education for even the most seasoned Chaplains. We seek relevant classes that are different or significantly updated from year to year, to make the Conference a great value even after completing the inital 4-years of Basic and Senior courses.

Enrichment Classes vary in length from a half day, one day, and sometimes two Full Days, as the training provides in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Juvenile Offender



Ministry to Juveniles is very different than ministry to adults.  Particularly, there are many laws that protect the identity of juveniles that Chaplains must be aware of and be able to teach other Chaplains that join our Department’s Chaplaincy to avoid a host of legal issues. This half-day class will go into depth about these issues as well as techniques used by one of the most experienced Chaplains in this area who has dedicated his entire ministry to helping juveniles change their lives and stay out of trouble.  We will be updating more about this class and the Chaplain teaching it in coming weeks.  However, he is one of the most vibrant and motivated Chaplains you may ever meet.  Check back from time to time for more information about this class.


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In the Coroner’s Forum, you will have an opportunity to hear a presentation from the Hamilton County Coroner and learn how to interface with the Coroner’s Office as a Chaplain when working at a death scene or death notification.   Learn more about what the Coroner’s responsibilities, authority and powers are and what that means when you are at a death scene or counseling a victim’s family at the morgue.  You will be able to ask the Coroner any questions you may have as it is an open forum discussion about Chaplains and the Coroner’s Office.