One Person’s Journey

This “Personal Reflection on a 13-Month Journey” is the final assignment for Cherry Hill Seminary’s Community Ministry Certificate (CMC) program’s 2023 cohort. The CMC is a comprehensive 13-month online course covering a range of topics, including Pagan history, ritual creation, diversity, ethics, life stages service, leadership, addiction, violence issues, and lifework planning.

This poignant submission comes from a student we’ll refer to as “Jack.” Jack is the first incarcerated individual to participate in the CMC program. Correctional facilities often lack the chaplaincy resources and the choice of teaching offered by CHS.

While serving a life sentence, Jack found himself in a position where others within his community often sought his spiritual guidance.

Although he initially felt uncomfortable as a leader at the program’s outset, the journey of self-reflection and learning that the CMC provided gradually transformed into a newfound self-confidence and a more profound sense of personal and community (local and in the broader world) responsibility.