Wounded Healers is an aftercare educational partnership program for addiction recovery ministries.

Request Information

Graduation Rate:

for matriculated students
0 %

Employment Rate:

for graduates
0 %

Wounded Healers as Students:

in 2023

Ministry Partners


When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers. - Henri Nouwen


Wounded Healers Ministry Partners and Expectations

Below is a list of past & current partners that have sent their program graduates to City Vision and the number of students they have sent. 

12 Neighbours (1)
Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley (3)
Bay Area Rescue Mission (3)
Brother Bryan Mission of Birmingham (5)
Capital City Rescue Mission (3)
Christian Mission Centers (Enterprise AL) (1)
CITA Rescue Mission (2)
City Union Mission (Kansas City) (1)
CityTeam: Oakland (1)
CityTeam: Portland (1)
Columbus Rescue Mission (2)
Dream Center Los Angeles (6)
Durham Rescue Mission (1)
Gateway Mission (Holland MI) (2)
Gateway Rescue Mission (3)
Healing House KC (2)
Idaho Falls Rescue Mission (1)
Jericho Road Ministries (FL) (1)
Knox Area Rescue Mission (3)
Long Beach Rescue Mission (1)
Market Street Mission (3)
Ministry Village at Olive (2)
Miracle Hill Ministries (6)


New Life Center Fargo (1)
Open Door Mission (Omaha) (4)Peoria Rescue Ministries (1)
Place of Promise (1)
Rescue Mission Alliance: Central Coast (2)
Rescue Mission of Salt Lake (1)
Salvation Army Central Territory (1)
Salvation Army Eastern Territory (2)
Salvation Army Western Territory (3)
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (1)
Shelter KC (1)
Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission (1)
Springs Rescue Mission (2)
St. Matthew’s House (rescue mission) (24)
Sunday Breakfast Mission (Wilmington DE) (2)
The Lovelady Center Birmingham (3)
Union Rescue Mission (Los Angeles) (2)
University of the Nations (1)
Valley Rescue Mission (3)
Wheeler Mission Ministries (2)
Wiseman Ministries (6)
World Impact (TUMI) (1)
Wyoming Rescue Mission (4)

City Vision is only able to provide our scholarships to students because of the efforts partners make in supporting the partnership. All scholarship partners must meet the following expectations to remain active partners and receive partner scholarship benefits. Partner organizations agree to:

  1. Refer clients to City Vision. Students from partners sending one student will receive a 10% scholarship (after scholarship, tuition is $720/course for both undergrad & grad). Students from partners sending one student will receive a $250/course scholarship (after scholarship, tuition is $550/course for both undergrad & grad).
  2. Have at least one partnership meeting per year (preferably two) with City Vision University involving the executive leadership of the organization.
  3. Appoint a partner liaison to serve as the primary contact for the CVU partnership. It is recommended that organizations appoint one contact for staff and one contact for clients (Wounded Healers).
  4. Actively promote City Vision to clients as appropriate. This could include the following:
    • Inviting City Vision to present briefly at a client meeting
    • Requesting brochures to be sent to you from City Vision and distributing them to staff and/or clients.
    • Requesting a poster to be sent to you from City Vision
    • Having City Vision review any of your existing high-quality training with clients for potential credit recognition
    • Including City Vision as an aftercare partner in grant applications and funding request to increase chances of getting funding
    • Developing a cohort program where groups of clients take courses together and have on-site discussions about their learning experiences

Basis for Partnership Expectations

CVU’s tuition is about ⅓ or ½ of most other online Christian schools, so we are only able to make this scholarship financially sustainable if the effort of partners significantly reduces our marketing cost. Ultimately, the more partners promote City Vision and the more students they provide, the more that reduces our marketing costs. This allows us to fulfill our goal of providing high-quality, radically affordable online education to partners.

Wounded Healers Program Components

City Vision provides specialized life skills and job-focused training courses and certificate programs that can also lead to Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

City Vision provides aftercare support alongside our recovery ministry partners particularly tailored to the aftercare needs of recent recovery program graduates.

Wounded Healers receive a scholarship from City Vision. For partners sending 2 or more students, City Vision provides a $250/course scholarship (after scholarship, tuition is $550/course). In addition, more than 90% of our Wounded Healers students who apply for aid receive a full Pell grant.

For students from partners sending two or more students and receiving the maximum Pell grant:
Maximum Pell Grant:            $924/course
City Vision Scholarship:       +$250/course
Tuition:                                  $800/course
Refund Paid to Student:       $374/course

What is the Wounded Healers Program?

City Vision University's Online Undergraduate Certificate Programs for Wounded Healers

6 Courses
  • 16 credits, 8 months
  • $800/course ($4,800 total program)
  • Credits count toward Associate's & Bachelor's
  • Up to 4 transfer credits
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pell Grant Eligible

City Vision's Wounded Healers Life Skills Courses

These courses are intended to be a complement to the life skills courses that many residential recovery programs offer. The goal is that the 135 learning hours that a student spends in a 3 credit course will enable them to go much deeper in their own learning and growth in these areas. Our approach with Wounded Healers in life skills courses is that they ) Learn 2) Do and 3) Teach. As such, students in this course will Learn and Do steps in these courses so that they can later teach and counsel others through a similar process in other contexts and organizations.

Transforming the Wounded into Wounded Healers

We provide a new model of Christian higher education for those who were formerly addicted, homeless or in prison, enabling these “high-risk” students to get jobs and lead transformed lives. We call this our Wounded Healers program, which includes about 25% of City Vision students.

Each year thousands of individuals complete Christian addiction recovery programs, prison re-entry programs or job readiness programs for the homeless, but many still struggle to find a job. City Vision provides a national program partnering with many of these ministries so they can help their clients secure and maintain employment. We partner with ministries serving high-risk clients so they can develop career tracks for retail, food services, addiction counseling, nonprofit management and ministry jobs. While these ministries can partner in many ways for career training, we have found for most organizations, City Vision provides a unique offering that significantly improves job outcomes in these fields.

Traditional Christian higher education is not very affordable or accessible to these high-risk students. City Vision provides the strengths of Christian higher education with the affordability and accessibility of a community college to effectively serve high-risk students. By doing this, we enable these students to become wounded healers that transform the pain of their past. That way, they can help others coming from similar circumstances. 

We teach these wounded healers that God never wastes a painful experience, and often the best addiction counselors are those who have recovered from addiction themselves. Those who graduate from our Addiction Counseling program typically get a job counseling hundreds of individuals where they can truly live out the parable of the sower and the seed, producing a crop of “a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matt.13:8)

Wounded Healer Testimonies

Frequently Asked Questions

A large portion of our students in our life skills courses are graduates of Christian recovery or re-entry programs. They are joining a community of peers and faculty that help them stay on the “straight and narrow” way.

Our courses help improve students’ employment prospects. Having better jobs both improves their housing stability and helps them avoid employment situations (like working in fast food restaurants) where drug use is rampant among employees.

The largest recovery ministry outcomes study we are aware of showed 80% success rate over two years if graduates had three things in place: stable housing, employment and a supportive church community. Our courses and programs actively support students in maintaining these three elements needed for success. The study found that there was less than a 20% success rate without these elements. 

  1. Contact us at partnerships@cityvision.edu or by completing the form above.
  2. We will set up a meeting with you to explain the program.
  3. See the section Expectations for Wounded Healers Program partners for additional details. We do not require any partnership contract, but only the expectations listed in that section.

Yes. Many programs may use City Vision courses to supplement their existing programs with College Credit Electives (similar to how many high schools will offer outside electives for college credit). One key factor to keep in mind is that a 3-credit course typically requires about 17 hours of work per week. If you decide to offer City Vision courses in a residential recovery program, we recommend you build those hours into their schedule as supervised study periods in a computer lab, etc.

We also recommend that their case manager (or similar) check in with them weekly on their progress in courses. The case manager may also find it helpful to ask the student to share some of their major papers with them.

Yes. Our enrollment agreement with students allows us to share outcomes with partner organizations they are or were affiliated with. This can be very valuable to partners as we frequently will have a relationship with students for many years especially if they pursue a Bachelor’s degree part time.

It is very common for our partners to have grant or funding proposals for their job training and aftercare programs. Many of these donors find partnerships with accredited institutions that lead to degrees very attractive. For those organizations we are partnered with, City Vision University will be glad to be listed as a partner in your proposal and can provide a letter of support if desired.

Some organizations will use donations to create an education fund for both clients and staff. This can make it much more attractive and financially sustainable for clients in aftercare programs to continue their education. Below is an example of how this might work financially:

Maximum Pell Grant:            $924/course 
City Vision Scholarship:       +$250/course
Grant Covered Tuition:        +$550/course
Tuition:                                  –$800/course
Refund Paid to Student:       $924/course 

Yes. The vast majority of our Wounded Healers students work either full-time or part-time. Because each 3-credit course takes about 17 hours/week of time, we recommend that most Wounded Healers students only take one course per term unless they are only working part time.

Yes. Our goal is to support the long-term success of clients. To enable that, the City Vision partner scholarship they were awarded because of their affiliation with your organization will continue even if they are “timed out” of your aftercare program or leave for other reasons.

City Vision sets up credit mapping articulation agreements with ministries that have high-quality ministry training that can be evaluated through our prior learning assessment process. We have had credit mapping partnerships with Wheeler Mission, St. Matthew’s House,  Genesis Process, The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI), Third Millennium, Saylor Academy and YWAM’s University of the Nations, among others, that work in conjunction with our prior learning process. If you are with an organization that would like to set up a Credit Mapping Partnership, please contact us. We evaluate credit using our Nontraditional Institutional Credit Evaluation Worksheet. You can see an example of this form successfully completed for credit evaluation with St. Matthew’s House here.

City Vision believes we are among the best in the world in providing an extremely practical Christian education for those interested in Addiction Counseling and Nonprofit Management. 

While state schools can provide information about counseling, City Vision will provide very practical counseling education with deep Christian integration. Similarly many state schools’ nonprofit management programs are often essentially generic business degrees, while we help our students integrate their Christian values in how they run nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Many community colleges or state schools will advertise “free” or nearly free tuition. Historically, for City Vision students that have applied for a Pell grant, 79% have qualified. For students that receive a full Pell grant, the grant will pay all your tuition and even provide a Pell refund to the student (as described above). 

Many of our partners have also found that when they sent students to community colleges or state schools, the courses undermined the core values and Christian worldview that the ministry was promoting. 

Because City Vision is an online-only educational institution, we intentionally do not focus on physical vocational trades such as construction, plumbing, driving, welding, etc. Because of this, we will not be a good option for all of recovery program graduates.

Our goal is to provide as many career paths as possible for those that can be effectively supported by online education: retail, food services, addiction counseling, case management, nonprofit management, office jobs, ministry jobs, etc.

In addition, our accreditation guidelines require that students have a high school diploma or equivalent. City Vision does not have the funding needed to offer a national high school equivalency program. Local community colleges and adult education institutions serve as better partners for these students. City Vision can be a good partner after students complete these programs.

City Vision is very focused on providing extremely practical Christian education for those interested in Addiction Counseling and Nonprofit Management. City Vision offers fewer degrees than the mega-universities, but the degrees that we do, we do very well. We like to think of ourselves similar to the family-run hardware store where staff can answer all your questions with personalized service as opposed to the big box department stores like Walmart that offer everything. 

Liberty and Grand Canyon are fine schools if they are what you are looking for, but we believe we are superior for students seeking an affordable, practical education in what we teach. The following shows how we believe our strengths compare to those of Liberty and Grand Canyon:


City Vision

Liberty/Grand Canyon


$8,000 per year

$12,198/$15,725 per year

Core Competencies

Nonprofit Management & Addiction Counseling degrees, with personalized service and practical training

Hundreds of degrees, convenience that comes from scale of 100,000+ students


20+ year history of serving the poor, addicted and underserved, including partnerships with rescue missions and Salvation Army

Liberty was founded by Jerry Falwell. 

Grand Canyon was a for-profit school.

Speed to Degree

Extremely flexible acceptance of transfer credit and prior learning credit 

Somewhat flexible transfer credit.

Student Recruitment

Primarily word of mouth and partnerships with 90+ rescue missions, Salvation Army, counseling centers, 500+ nonprofits and urban ministries

$100 million+ advertising campaigns

We have never had a student who wasn’t accepted into a graduate program based on our degrees, although in some cases with state schools we have had to advocate for them.

Our alumni have been accepted into the following schools: Grand Canyon University, Bay Path University, Southwest Baptist Seminary, Fuller Seminary, California University of Pennsylvania, James Madison University, Liberty University, North Park University, Southern New Hampshire University, St Mary’s University of Twickenham, Trinity Bible College, Bakke Graduate School and AG Theological Seminary.

Ultimately the acceptance of any degree or transfer credit is up to the receiving institution.

City Vision is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the US Department of Education and CHEA. The US Department of Education does not recognize a distinction between regional and national accreditation in its standards and recently stated, “The Department does not believe…that rejecting transfer credits, an application for admission to graduate school, or a request to sit for a State occupational licensing exam on the basis of the type of Department recognized accreditation is justified.” See the US Department of Education letter on National vs. Regional Accreditation.

We have heard from a number of our students that other schools (sadly, even Christian schools) use scare tactics as a part of their sales practice, and misrepresent the significance of the distinction between national and regional accreditation.

From a Christian social justice perspective, many have called the distinction between regional and national accreditation a cartel that is a major injustice that hurts the poor.  Having said that, there are those that still maintain this distinction, so we address their concerns in this section. This letter from Dr. Leah Matthews addresses some concerns about the quality of DEAC accreditation.

Functionally, our experience has been that the distinction between regional and national accreditation is primarily of importance for:

  1. Student pursuing academic careers, since many high-end schools may require Ph.D.’s from regionally accredited schools. A very small percentage of jobs (mostly academic) require regional accreditation.  For example, a recent search of jobs in Boston showed 19 jobs out of 65,645 total requiring regional accreditation (of which 18 were in academic institutions).
  2. Students pursuing licensing in fields that often require a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school, such as Counseling or Social Work. It is because of this reason that City Vision does not offer master’s programs in these fields. As listed above, regional master’s programs to date have always accepted our bachelor’s degrees, but the decision is up to each individual school.
  3. Students planning to complete their bachelor’s degree at other schools. Many state schools and some CCCU schools may not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools. It is up to each school to decide what transfer credits they accept. Based on this, for students that come to City Vision who do not plan to complete either their associate’s or bachelor’s with us, but expect to complete at a state university or CCCU school, we recommend that they first check with that school on credit transferability.

Ultimately, choosing City Vision’s national accreditation over a regionally accredited school is a question of value: you get more for your money with City Vision. If you need the “gold plating” of regional accreditation for one of the reasons described above, then it may be worth paying 2-10 times more to get a degree with regional accreditation from another school. However, because of the career choices of our students, they prefer to choose the value of City Vision rather than more expensive high-end options.