Prison ministry sees 15-year dream become reality

By November 18, 2014

International (MNN/CBI) — It’s been a long road for Crossroad Bible Institution to get where they are. CBI is a ministry that helps prisoners come to know God.

This year they launched Tier 2 Life Skills Program, which features practical courses on the Christian work ethic, family, addiction recovery, financial stewardship, and community. The launch was a 15-year dream come true, and the lessons are pouring into CBI offices around the world.

The international program has expanded to include 20 established satellite campuses, with several more emerging.

But that wasn’t the only 15-year dream in the making. The next dream up and coming is the development of Crossroad College International.

In the mid-90s, Congress cut off Pell Grants for people in prison. Since many prisoners are among the poorest of the poor, this termination of Pell Grants, combined with the increasing tuition costs of financially-driven colleges and universities, cut many prisoners off from the opportunity to take college courses.

However, CBI has been piloting a handful of college-level courses known as Tier 3. So far, over 3,500 students have participated in Tier 3, which helped CBI perfect their delivery system.

For the last five years, CBI has been in Phase 1, developing the college and functioning as a licensed post-secondary school by the State of Michigan, authorized to grant diplomas.

The next big leap is into Phase 2. This project is a three-year plan. It involves a $1.2 million endeavor to become a fully accredited two-year degree granting institution. Professors with PhDs are preparing courses, and Tier 3 Instructors will continue serving as students’ Teaching Assistants. A College Advisory Board of experts has also been appointed to guide the process.

Instead of the institution being a Bible college, it will be a Christian liberal arts college, preparing students to think critically as Christians. CBI says, “We envision that such a well-rounded education can be applied to any line of work that our students will undertake when they reenter society.”

As Phase 2 begins, pray for opportunities for more students to sign up for courses.

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