General Clergy Information

Lead clergy or religious volunteers are eligible to receive an ID pass.  Lead clergy may apply at the sheriffs office with limited visits to a member of their congregation only and/or may complete the online chaplaincy training course and receive expanded ministry opportunities.

Lead Clergy

If you are the lead clergy person of a local verified church of 25 members or more, you are eligible to receive a (limited) Religious Volunteer ID pass from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. The Religious Volunteer ID pass permits the visiting pastor to enter the jail and conduct a 20-30 minute visit with a member or attendee of their congregation ONLY.  It does not permit any other jail ministry – nor does it permit any visits with an immediate family member. Please see Clergy Guidebook – Page 7, Section D.6 Note: If a lead clergy would like to designate his pass to an associate pastor or other church leader, he may do so in writing on church letterhead. Passes are limited to one pass per every 200 church members.


  • A completed 28 questionnaire must be completed before a clergy (pastor) application may be submitted.
  • Submit a letter of verification of their lead position on church letterhead stationery signed by a person with church authority (clerk/secretary).
  • A security clearance will be conducted and upon approval, the applicant will be called to pick up their Religious Volunteer (Pastors) ID pass.

 Clergy / Lay Worker – Online Chaplaincy Training

If you are clergy or lay-worker and would like to visit or disciple inmates housed in the Genesee County Jail with expanded ministry opportunities, you must do the following:


  • Complete the Online Jail ChaplaincyTraining Course.
  • Return a completed Clergy Guidelines (28) Questionnaire to jail chaplain.
  • Chaplain will send to you an approved clergy application form to submit to sheriff’s office.
  • Complete a Security Clearance process (generally 1-2 weeks).
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from your pastor and submit with your application.

Review: Section D – General Rules (pages 6-10) of the Clergy Guidebook for best days and times for inmate visits and other important visitor information.

Definition of Clergy

Pastor, Associate Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Minister, Evangelist, Bishop, Overseer, Church Leader, (designated position of lead authority).