Becoming A Member

Active Member Qualification

  • An Active COPE Member is a person, ministry, or corporation who is actively involved in providing support and/or services to individuals who are, or have been, incarcerated, their family members, victims of crime, as well as institutional staff who serve the incarcerated. 
  • An Active COPE Member abides by the Statement of Faith and Ethical Standards of the Coalition of Prison Evangelists.
  • To become an Active Member, simply submit the membership application along with the membership fee. 
  • An Active Member is current on their annual membership dues.

Membership $200 Annually

Student  -- for individuals age 17-25, with a valid student ID, who are attending a higher education program, whether it be an accredited university or church related ministry school.  

Individual  -- all individual persons, including, but not limited to, Criminal & Restorative Justice Ministers, Chaplains, Pastors, non-profit and organizational staff, and volunteers alike.

Ministry  -- for 501(c)(3) organizations. Includes all Individual Member benefits plus private consultation to develop your ministry. This includes organizational help, programs and speakers for fund raising banquets and events.

Corporate -- for 501(c) (3) organizations and ministries with many staff members and volunteers, companies who wish to support and participate in COPE functions, and ministries and individuals who want to support COPE at a higher level. Includes all Ministry Member benefits plus your staff is eligible for all COPE member discounts, inclusion in Corporate Directory and special recognition.

Statement of FAITH

  • We believe the Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative word of God.
  • We believe there is one God eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of God the Father, and in His personal future return to this earth in power and glory to rule over the nations.
  • We believe man was created good and upright but voluntarily sinned and thereby incurred both physical and spiritual death, which is separation from God.
  • We believe regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for personal salvation. The redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides forgiveness, healing and answers to believing prayer.
  • We believe the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance and faith in the precious blood of Christ.
  • We believe in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling and filling the Christian is enabled to live a holy and Spirit-led life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.
  • We believe the ministry of Jesus Christ today is committed to the Church, His body and that ministry is “that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15: 12) “For I was hungry and you gave me meat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.’’ (Matthew 25:35, 36)

Membership Benefits

  • Prayer, encouragement, and spiritual support
  • Your ministry/organization listed on the COPE website
  • Your published works/merchandise hosted on the Online store
  • FREE non-profit & tax consultation from our industry recognized experts
  • FREE guest speakers for your events, including fund raising, at not charge
  • Resources, networking, collaboration and fellowship with like-minded ministries from around the world
  • Access to the latest restorative justice trends and tools
  • Regional and International conferences with well-known leaders hosting informative workshops, and advanced training
  • Discounts on all COPE conferences
  • Discounts on office supplies from Office Depot/OfficeMaxx
  • Discount on Enterprise / National Car Rental 
  • Membership certificate available upon request
Rev. John Sullivan, of Gone Fishing Ministries has shared the Gospel inside prisons and jails worldwide. He has been in over 300 prisons in no less than 40 states and continues to serve in many different aspects of prison ministry. John has been an Active Member for over 18 years and serves on the COPE Board of Directors.

ETHICAL Standards 

  • Each member shall subscribe to COPE's written statement of faith, affirming their commitment to biblical Christian faith and shall conduct their personal, ministry and financial affairs in a manner that reflects these accepted truths and practices.
  • Each member will first practice both in public and personal life those things he/she preaches in regard to faith, Christian character, compassion, obedience, righteousness, etc.
  • Each member will recognize God's leadership in and through the local and universal Church, and will commit to encourage all believers to obey God's command to “visit those in prison” (Matthew 25:36).
  • Each member organization shall have a statement of mission or purpose and shall be governed by a responsible Board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be other than employees/staff and/or related by blood and/or marriage. The Board shall meet at least annually to establish policy, set goals and review accomplishments.
  • Each individual member will be in submission to a church and/or ministry organization that is familiar and approves his/her jail/prison ministry activities.
  • Each member commits to respect, obey and cooperate with all criminal justice authorities, including wardens, officers and chaplains.
  • Each member organization (and individual) will conduct all its activities with high moral, ethical and financial integrity. Ministry leaders will have their integrity held accountable by a knowledgeable Board, while individual members will be accountable to a pastor or a ministry leader.
  • Each member organization will acknowledge that ministry flows out of relationship and will therefore seek to build relationships and positive cooperation, both with the inmates, families, correctional officials, etc. that they serve and with other ministries in the body of Christ.
  • While being faithful to their own particular calling from God, each member will work together to see that the broken people they reach are disciplined to wholeness either by themselves or referred to others who can.
  • Each member organization acknowledges that leadership is first expressed in servanthood, that the strong should serve the weak and, therefore, will commit themselves to serving and equipping those to whom God has called them to minister.
  • Each member organization will produce a complete yearly report of activities and finances to be made available to all supporters and volunteers. Individual members will submit activity reports to covering organizations and/or church at least annually.
  • Each member organization shall exercise management and financial controls necessary to provide reasonable assurances that all resources are used to accomplish the exempt purpose for which they were given and intended.
  • Each member organization will acknowledge God's gifting of volunteers and donors and will hold themselves accountable for good stewardship, appreciation and accurate communication of ministry needs, activities and gifts and how they are used.