Undergraduate Certificate in Justice Studies with a focus in Immigration Legal Services

Serving through aiding immigrants in the mission of God

Why Immigration Legal Services?

The Undergraduate Certificate in Immigration Legal Services is a humanities-based interdisciplinary Certificate program providing students the training to be accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals in the U.S. Department of Justice to prepare immigration documents and represent non-citizens. The program is designed for students who join the staff of an ongoing center and students who plan to start a center with immigration services and provides the following capabilities:

  • ability to apply a theological understanding of how God has worked toward, with, and through people in diaspora in their biblical and historical contexts to contemporary immigration, refugee, and justice issues
  • ability to start an immigration legal services clinic including strategic planning, market identification, financial support, creating a non-profit and board, managing key functions, staffing and supervising, promoting services, building relationships with immigrant communities, and applying for BIA accreditation
  • competency in immigration procedure and law, including an overview of the immigration process, family visas, specialized visas, asylum, waivers, deportability, inadmissibility, naturalization, research, writing, citizenship, and ethics
  • competency in legal terminology and concepts commonly used in legal proceedings and communication and the ability to restate legal vocabulary in lay terms
  • competency in understanding the immigration, nationality, and naturalization laws of the United States and the ability to investigate policy issues relating to migration, refugees, asylum, deportation, and citizenship issues
  • competency in legal services management including the systems, procedures, and ethics needed to lead an efficient and ethical legal services ministry based on best practices and trends.

Throughout the history of the United States, millions of immigrants have come in search of freedom, safety, opportunity, and a better life. Many immigrants remain undocumented because they can't afford the services of an immigration attorney, or they become the victims of immigration services scams. Immigrant Legal Service nonprofit organizations help immigrants from all over the world navigate the complex U.S. immigration process. The Undergraduate Certificate in Immigration Legal Services equips non-attorney students to obtain accreditation by the US Board of Immigration Appeals to serve immigrants in BIA-recognized legal service centers. In addition, the program equips students to work with faith-based organizations to establish BIA-recognized immigrant legal service centers in their local communities.

Core faculty