News & Updates
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New Prison Initiative Program!
The Prison Initiative Program is an intensive, two-year ministry training program offered by Birmingham Theological Seminary (BTS) to inmates in the Alabama corrections system. Every other year, 15 inmates are interviewed and selected from various state prisons and transferred to take seminary classes at the Bibb County Correctional Facility in Brent, Alabama.
The focus of the BTS Prison Initiative is on training the inmate to effectively and faithfully serve the Lord while incarcerated. For that reason, only inmates with at least seven
years left on their sentence are eligible for the program. And inmates have to agree to serve wherever they are sent after graduation, even if they are assigned to a higher security correctional facility than their inmate “classification” dictates.
The BTS Prison Initiative is closely modeled after a program offered by Columbia International University in the South Carolina corrections system. The CIU program started
in 2008 and their graduates have collectively made a tremendous impact on the culture of the South Carolina prison system. In fact, two CIU program graduates agreed to transfer into the Alabama system to assist BTS in launching this program and to serve as mentors and teaching assistants here.