The Hutchinson Correctional Facility first welcomed World Impact’s Church-Based Seminary program inside its walls in 2013. This partnership came through the guidance of then-board member Pete Ochs and the first site coordinator, Josh Pearce.
Pearce, the Chief People Officer of Capital III, was already involved with providing work for the inmates inside the prison walls. Many inmates were following Jesus, but they were desperate for something beyond a weekly sermon to build their spiritual maturity.
Evidence of Lives Changed
Almost everyone at the prison can see changes in the Church-Based Seminary students, which allows them opportunities to minister to other inmates and gain trust with prison authorities.
“In the middle of the night, you have someone really struggling…(prison authorities) would pull our guys out of their cell, have them sit outside those men’s cells, and talk them through the night,” Pearce said.
Pearce praised the Church-Based Seminary program both in nature and in practice. It brings men together around the Gospel from different races and backgrounds, which is rare in a prison setting. Also, the curriculum performs an incredible balance.
“I think it is a great hybrid of bringing down very high-level content into accessible spaces without lowering standards,” Pearce said.
Church-Based Seminary Graduation
Since the site began in 2013, 15 students have graduated in two different cohorts, one of which took place this past July. Each of these men are now empowered with the truth of the Gospel, seminary-level training, and the confidence that comes from completing the journey.
World Impact’s mission is to equip leaders, which is exactly what happens at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. These men are now trained to lead and point those around them to Christ, and the Gospel will accompany them effectively and fruitfully.