Making Him Known Within The Walls


To train inmates to live in accordance with Biblical principles and to equip them for the unique ministry opportunities afforded by their incarceration.


Since 2007, the Prison Initiative has graduated 135 student-inmates who have earned an accredited degree, and are assigned to over 20 prison facilities.


Each year, fifteen qualified inmates are selected to participate in the two year program taught by CIU professors. After graduation they are assigned to prisons where they become missionaries and ministers in the various facilities.


There are numerous opportunities and resources available to help match your gifts with God’s mission.

Give a gift:

This program is 100% donor funded, including student scholarships. This means that your gift makes an immediate impact, providing the necessary funding for student aid and program resources. All gifts are tax-deductible.

To give a gift online, go to or Call CIU at 803-807-5006

Cash/Check Payable to “Prison Initiative” at CIU Development Office: 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203

Spread the word:

Let us know about opportunities to come speak at your church or organization.

Visit Kirkland Correctional Institution and meet the students.

Volunteer to tutor and disciple students.

Prison Initiative

Prison Initiative

Prison Initiative


Please pray that our students would remain focused and diligent in their studies.

Pray that their walk with the Lord and with each other would remain pure and would reflect the Gospel.

Please pray for our Prison Initiative family as we grieve the loss of two graduates in the span of just a few weeks.

Pray that the families of each of these graduates would finding healing and comfort.

Please pray that the Lord would continue to provide for the financial needs of the Prison Initiative.

Please pray that the Lord would give our staff wisdom to know how God wants us to grow and develop as a program and as a team.


For the Lord's provision of several mature, godly men to serve as mentors with our students this spring!

For good working relationships with SCDC leadership and staff.

For a committed team of faculty and volunteers who genuinely love our students and have a heart for seeing our students grow and the gospel spread inside the prison system.

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Jerry Chambers was a member of CIU Prison Initiative Cohort #2 and graduated in 2009. He was released from prison in April 2014 and since then has been blessed with a beautiful wife, Monisha (and a baby due in this fall!). He is currently working and studying at CIU in addition to serving as an associate minister and leader of the Evangelism Team at Temple Zion Baptist Church in Columbia.

Jerry writes, "God is teaching me patience in allowing Him to establish me in life. I am also learning how important it is for me to stay focused on the mission of God." God used an Introduction to Psychology class during Jerry's time in the Prison Initiative to influence his life goals. "Through this class I began to understand people and myself better. I received my vision of attending CIU through this class."

Jerry plans to graduate from CIU with his Bachelor's in Psychology next spring.