Career Tracks


I want to learn how to copyedit and proofread. Where do I start? Visit the Career Tracks page to find our suggested course of study for beginning copyeditors and proofreaders. Most courses are available in three course formats: Group Course, One-on-One Instruction, and Digital Curriculum..


Why are there three course formats? Because everyone learns differently, we offer three options for most of our courses.

  • Digital Curriculum—This option includes the lesson material in PDF format. There is no group interaction, homework assignments, or instructor feedback. Purchase and download the course material to learn anytime, anywhere.
  • Group Course—This option includes the lesson material, optional homework, additional instructor handouts, a private email group to learn from other students, and direct feedback from the instructor. Group courses are scheduled throughout the year and administered via private forums.
  • One-on-One Instruction—This option includes the lesson material, homework assignments, additional instructor handouts, and one-on-one mentoring from the instructor. This option is available throughout the year and is scheduled directly with the instructor.

I found an error in a lesson. How did that happen in an editing course? Although we strive to have our lessons be as error free as possible, editors are still human, and we all make mistakes. If you find an error, please bring it to our attention by emailing Director@PENinstitute.com.

Will you offer webinars and other educational opportunities? We now offer webinars. See https://peninstitute.com/courses/webinars for more information.

I would like to purchase PENCON audio and video recordings. Recordings from PENCON, our annual conference for editors, can be purchased on the PENCON shop.


Are discounts available? Members of The Christian PEN get discounts based on their membership level.

  • Bronze members receive 10 percent off,
  • Silver members receive 15 percent off, and
  • Gold members receive 20 percent off the price of each course.

You can get your member discount code by logging in to your Christian PEN Membership account.

Apply for membership now.

How do I enter my discount?  Follow these steps to purchase a course and enter your discount code:

  • Click “Add to Cart” on the course page.
  • Click “View Cart” on the next screen.
  • Enter your coupon code in the box and click “Apply Coupon.”
  • Follow payment procedures to complete your order.

Are scholarships available? We consider scholarships for courses based on need. Email Director@PENinstitute.com if interested.

Will more courses be added? Yes. Continue checking the Course Schedule for additional learning opportunities.

When does course registration close? Registration closes one week after the course begins. If you missed registering for the Group Instruction on a particular course, consider purchasing the Digital Curriculum or One-on-One Instruction or look for dates the Group Course will be offered again.

Why does One-on-One Instruction cost more than Group Courses? Group Courses are set up as a scheduled class and typically have several students. This allows the instructor to teach multiple students at one time and focus on teaching during the length of the course. Participants do benefit from seeing the responses of their fellow students in addition to feedback from the instructor. One-on-One Instruction is individual mentoring between the instructor and the student. The student has direct access to the instructor for course questions and receives more focused attention. This individual attention replaces the group forum.

What is your refund policy? Please visit our Refund Policy page to view our policy.

A friend told me about a course, but I don’t see it online. Is it still available? Most courses are available for purchase and download as Digital Curriculum at any time. Group Courses are scheduled throughout the year. One-on-One Instruction is available for most courses at any time. If you are unable to find a course that used to be offered through The PEN Institute, please let us know by emailing Director@PENinstitute.com.


May I contact my instructor directly? For Group Courses and One-on-One Instruction, you are encouraged to communicate with the instructor once your course has begun. However, Digital Curriculum do not come with feedback from the instructors.

Are the instructors certified in teaching? How are they qualified? Our instructors are professionals in the industry and highly qualified to teach their courses. We choose instructors based on their levels of experience, areas of expertise, and ability to mentor students. See our instructor bios.

How do I become an instructor? Fill out the instructor application.

I’m having trouble accessing the Groups.io group for my course. You will be added to the class group by the administrator. Contact Director@PENinstitute.com for assistance.

When will I get my certificate of completion? Your certificate will be sent after the course is completed and the instructor has confirmed that you met the course requirements. Certificates are emailed within one month of course completion. Certificates are not available for Digital Curriculum downloads.

Why haven’t I received my certificate of completion? If you met the course requirements and did not receive your certificate within one month of completion, please email the director at Director@PENinstitute.com.

Can I contact other students directly? Absolutely. Once your Group Course begins, you may email other students within the forum. However, we do not give out student contact information. All personal information is kept confidential in our database.


Does The PEN Institute have a physical school in a specific location? No. We are strictly an online institution. All instruction and communication with teachers is digital. If you are interested in meeting instructors face-to-face, we encourage you to attend PENCON, our annual editors’ conference.

Are TPI courses only for aspiring or beginning editors? Our courses are for every level of experience and any type of editor. While some of the material is pertinent to freelancing in any field, we strive to educate freelance editors and proofreaders, in-house editors, and publishing interns. We offer courses for “newbies” as well as continuing education for established freelancers.

Is The PEN Institute affiliated with a particular Christian denomination? The PEN Institute’s foundation is based solely on God’s Word. See our Statement of Faith to understand what we believe. However, most of our curriculum is focused on industry standards, so we welcome students of any faith to learn about editing.

How long has The PEN Institute been around? For a history of TPI, see our About Us page.

Is The PEN Institute associated with any other educational institution or company? TPI is a part of the Christian Editor Association. Our company includes three other entities:

The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network is a community of editors who learn from one another.

The Christian Editor Connection helps connect authors, agents, and publishers with established, professional freelance editors who specialize in their manuscript needs.

PENCON is our annual conference for Christian editors (the only one of its kind).

Editors Choice Award celebrates newly released books that are superbly written, well edited, and published by a Christian publisher or self-published by a Christian author.

How are the Boot Camp 401 courses different from the other Group Courses? Boot Camp 401 courses are unique. They are designed to give you real-life experience editing material. They are hands-on courses to give you confidence and experience editing. There are no lessons—only editing exercises that are reviewed by an experienced editor who will give you feedback. Ideally, students should take the 101, 201, and 301 course tracks before registering for a Boot Camp course.