Prison Initiative

Video: Inside Look at the Prison Initiative


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 22 prison facilities in South Carolina. 24 graduates have been released with 0% recidivism. Two graduates were transferred to the Alabama Correctional Institution to help start a similar program there.


Each year, fifteen qualified inmates are selected through an application and interview process to participate in the two year program taught by CIU professors. After graduation they receive an accredited associate of arts degree in Bible and are assigned (re-located) to prisons throughout South Carolina 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.

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 new baby last 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 this spring.