Robyn, an inmate participating in Prison Fellowship's Prisoners to Pastors program, has begun a prayer movement at her prison in California.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I was at a prison where the warden was giving several other wardens and me a tour of the grounds. We met his staff and then sat down with about two dozen prisoners enrolled in Prisoners to Pastors, a seminary-level training program that prepares Jesus-following inmates to be leaders behind bars and when they return to the community.
There seemed to be nothing good about the imprisonment of the biblical character Joseph. For years, he languished in Pharaoh’s dungeon, seemingly with no hope or purpose for his life. But God had not forgotten Joseph. He used those years of captivity to humble him and build up his character, and when the time was right, God called him to lead.
Daniel is enrolled in the Prisoners to Pastors program (also known as The Urban Ministry Institute) at his prison. That means he is a committed, engaged follower of Jesus. He spends hours every week in the classroom, going through rigorous, seminary-level classes.
A version of the following article originally appeared on the website of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. To learn more about the work and the mission of the Colson Center, visit their website at www.colsoncenter.org.
“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
One dark night in January, a cold drizzle enshrouds the California Institution for Women. But inside the education wing, one room overflows with light, life, and joy.
When God works on the inside of a person, the transformation of their heart inevitably overflows into their life. In the same way, if we are doing God’s work inside the prisons, we will effect change on the outside. What begins behind bars will bear fruit in homes and communities.
Cary White, one of the first graduates of the Prisoners to Pastors program (a joint effort between Prison Fellowship and World Impact), has released a new book for Christians considering entering full-time ministry.
The book, Spiritual Foundations of the Christian Worker: The Life of Timothy Curriculum (Volume 1), is intended as a workbook for individual or group study.
A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life and Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly has found that the number of individuals claiming no religious affiliation has grown significantly over the last five years, with young adults leading the charge.
It’s so easy to think of ourselves as superior to those who have been incarcerated. When I was a pastor, I would often remind my fellow believers that we are all recovering from something and re-entering from somewhere. The addict and the ex-offender are not at all different from us.
The growth of The Urban Minisitry Initiative (TUMI) program in California prisons continues to get great national coverage. A recent Associated Press article looks at the effect the program has had in the lives of current inmates, and considers the impact such a program could have in society.