Prison Initiative

Training inmates to live in accordance with biblical principles and equipping them for the unique ministry opportunities afforded by their incarceration.

The CIU Prison Initiative program provides training for men and women who are incarcerated in the South Carolina prison system. Each year, fifteen qualified inmates are selected to participate in a 60+ credit Associate of Arts Degree program from Columbia International University. These incarcerated students are taught behind the walls of Kirkland and Camille Correctional Institutions by CIU professors and are expected to submit to academic standards as high as the standards found on the main CIU campus. In addition to their study time, the men and women invest 2 – 6 hours weekly in cell to cell evangelism as well as Bible teaching. Since the start of the program in January 2007, over one hundred and twenty students have graduated from the program and are currently serving in 22 prisons throughout the state.

Our graduates have been equipped with a strong, Biblical foundation that can positively influence individuals and an institution as a whole.

As graduates finish their education and transfer to institutions throughout South Carolina, each graduates ministry may look different but the goal is the same: that they would positively impact the prison population with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Graduates have influenced yards around the state through many creative outlets, including:

  • One-on-one discipleship
  • Mentoring
  • Counseling (spiritually, family, Biblical)
  • Teaching life skill and Bible classes
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Character Based Dorm Leadership
  • GED Education
  • IRC Leadership
  • Men’s Fraternity
  • Chaplain’s Assistant
  • Facilitating DVD-driven studies
  • Assist with multiple prison ministries
  • Music ministry
  • Preaching/Teaching
  • Church/Chapel Leadership
  • Chaplain Assistant
Alumni Reflection

“Coming to the CIU program has shaped and molded me in a way that I never dreamed or even imagined. I was a Christian before coming to the program but since being in the Initiative, I have really come to know God. I now have a relationship with Him that compels me to want to make Him known to everyone I meet.” –William