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 145 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

The CIU Prison Initiative Program had the privilege of educating 26 women at Camille Correctional Institution in Columbia, SC from 2012-2016. The women’s program ended in 2016 but not before two cohorts had successfully graduated with their degree in Bible and been sent out as missionaries to serve in South Carolina’s two women’s prisons.

Pam Stokes graduated from the first women’s cohort in 2014 and served as the teacher’s aide for the second cohort of students. She was released in the fall of 2016 after serving 29.5 years of a life sentence and has transitioned beautifully into the free world. She graduated from Jump Start in the spring, --a program which helps recently incarcerated men and women adjust to life on the outside.

Pam writes: “The Prison Initiative program prepared me to share my love for Christ in the free world. I go to different areas and share my testimony, plus speak at fundraisers for organizations that help men and women just released from being incarcerated.”