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Prision Initiative.indd

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WHAT IS THEBTS PRISON INITIATIVE?The BTS Prison Initiative is an intensive, two-year ministry training program off ered by Birmingham Theological Seminary to inmates in the Alabama Corrections system. Every other year, 15 inmates are interviewed and selected from various state prisons and transferred to take Seminary classes at the Bibb County Correctional Facility in Brent, Alabama.The focus of BTS the initiative is on training the inmate to eff ectively and faithfully serve the Lord while incarcerated. Only inmates with at least seven years left on their sentence are eligible for the program. Inmates also have to agree to serve wherever they are sent after graduation, even if they are assigned to a higher security Correctional Facility than their inmate classifi cation dictates.BTS graduates are already serving in and impacting multiple prisons across the state and, with plans for future growth, we could send these “inmate missionaries” to every corrections facility in the state.MISSION STATEMENTThe BTS Prison initiative is a unique program in which Birmingham Theological Seminary brings the full resources of the seminary to train inmates with signifi cant time to serve the prison system of Alabama as disciplers, evangelists,counselors, and in proclamation of the word.

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BIBB COUNTY CORRECTIONAL LEARNING CENTERBTS considers Bibb County Correctional facility to be one of our seven learning centers (including Huntsville,Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Dothan, Demopolis, Digital/on-line, and Bibb County such, we commit to ensuring the students in the Masters of Biblical Studies program receive the same level of teaching,professors, and educational content at all of our Learning Centers.CURRENT CLASSThe BTS Prison Initiative was launched in September 2016 and graduated it’s fi rst cohort(Cohort 1) in September of 2018. Cohort 1graduates are serving faithfully at Bibb and three other state run prisons.The second cohort (Cohort 2) launched in 2018.Cohort 2 was initially supposed to graduate in September of 2020, but complications due toCOVID-19 pushed their graduation to December of 2021.Cohort 3 has now arrived at Bibb Correctional and will begin remedial and preparatory classes in September of 2021 and full graduate classes in January of 2022.

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FACULTYThe professors that teach in this program are the same professors that teach classes at diff erent BTS Learning Centers throughout Alabama.The Bibb County Correctional Facility Learning Center students received the same level of graduate education as other BTS students throughout the state of AlabamaWHAT DO THEY STUDY?A cohort of 15 inmates takes classes four days a week studying the BTS Master of Biblical Studies program. Students can take classes either as traditional graduate students or as Advanced Diploma students. This program includes biblical studies, systematic theology, counseling, discipleship, and practical Ministry courses. BTS, in collaboration with other ministries, off ers workshops and seminars to these students in such areas as hospice care, confl ict resolution, relational wisdom, and life skills.FUTURE PLANS: ROLLING COHORTSCurrently, BTS operates one cohort of 15 men at a time over a two year period. We have recently been given access to three classrooms in the two bays we operate along with one of our partner ministries, Jump Start AL. If able to outfi t these class rooms with computers and our new library, our goal is to begin “rolling cohorts.”What are rolling cohorts? Rolling cohorts are when we launch anew class of 15 students every year, giving us a total of 30 students at any given semester. Professors can teach multiple classes when they go out to Bibb, maximizing their time, and we will be able to launch a new graduating class to minister at Bibb and be transferred to other prisons every year!Help us fl ood the Alabama prison system with gospel agents and ambassadors of Jesus Christ!

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OUR PRINCIPAL PARTNERSCHRIST BEHIND THE WALLSAs the BTS and JumpStart AL students and participants continue to grow in their pursuit of Christ-likeness and God’s word, they found that they wanted to explore other options for attending church services inside Bibb Correctional. Eventually, this lead to the BTS students leading in launching Christ Behind the Walls, the only mission church in the PCA that meets inside a prison.Christ Behind the Walls meets in the JumpStart bay and is attended regularly by over 150inmates. BTS students, along with guest pastors from supporting churches, provide the ministry of the Word. Pray for Christ Behind the Walls, as the gospel radiates from these men to the whole prison!LIGONIER MINISTRIESLigonier Ministries, founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul, has long been deeply engaged in prison work by supplying teaching, discipleship, and research resources to programs housed inside prisons. In2020, Ligonier began to build on their initial relationship with BTS and JumpStart by supplying signifi cant research resources free of charge, principally to help house a deep and theologically sound library in the BTS / JumpStart classrooms.JUMPSTARTJumpstart AL is a program designed to begin work with men inside the prison who are soon to be released. These programs start them down the pathway to success outside of prison while inside of prison by providing discipleship, accountability, purpose, and structure. Upon release,Jumpstart participants transfer to the outside portion of their program. They move into the dormitory at Brent Presbyterian Mission Church and continue their program of discipleship,accountability, purpose, and structure, working in the local community, attending Brent Pres, and pursuing fi nancial independence and spiritual health. This program is run for a full year before they graduate from Jumpstart AL. Jumpstart AL graduates nationally have a less than 10%recidivism rate, as opposed to the national average of over 80%.

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THE TEAMREV. MITCH HAUBERTBTS PRISON INITIATIVE COORDINATOR JUMPSTART AL EXECUTIVE DIRECTORRev Mitch Haubert, the pastor of Brent Presbyterian Mission Church and serves as the BTS prison initiative coordinator. He oversees the program and serves as a teacher and mentor to the end mates. In addition, Rev. Haubert is also the Executive Director of our partner ministry, JumpStart AL.DR. THAD JAMESBTS VICE PRESIDENTBTS PRISON INITIATIVE DIRECTORDr. Thad James, VP of BTS, is the Director of the BTS Prison Initiative. In addition to providing guidance for the program, Dr. James teaches courses in Communications and Bible Interpretation. Dr. James also serves as the board chair of JumpStart ALIKE REEDERBTS PRISON INITIATIVE COORDINATOR JUMPSTART AL EXECUTIVE DIRECTORIke Reeder serves as the President of Birmingham Theological Seminary. BTS champions inmate education by working to recruit dedicated faculty who are theological sound and committed to education as discipleship.

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HOW CAN YOU HELP?BTS must raise a minimum of $50,000 (one cohort) a year to run the Prison Initiative.We desperately need fi nancial Partners and prison initiative Champions!In order to grow to Rolling cohorts, we need to raise $70,000annually. We you champion the Amazing Grace of Jesus Christ!?SHOULD I SUPPORT BTS?One of the conditions set for this program by the state is that it must be entirely funded through private means.Because BTS is dependent upon donor funds to operate,that requirement is challenging, but not overwhelming.This amount is almost nothing when compared to the impact the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make in the prison Systems of Alabama.Not only that, it’s a fact that the impact of this program on families and communities around the state connected to the inmates of the Alabama Department of Corrections is immeasurable.Please consider contributing in support of this worthy program .Annual Goals:Church Partners: $35,000Individual Donors: $35,000

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HOW CAN I PRAY?• Director, Dr. James and Coordinator,Rev. Mitch Haubert• Suffi cient ongoing funding to sustain this important program($50,000 annually for one cohort,$70,000 for two)• Faculty members able to travel and teach the BTS students at Bibb County Correctional Facility• Eff ective teaching and discipleship by BTS faculty and BTS students• Ministry opportunities for the students at Bibb County Correctional Facility and then and at their new assignments upon graduation• Continued favor with the Alabama Department of Corrections offi cials including the Commissioner,Warden, and Corrections Offi cersPRAYER PARTNERSMore important than even our fi nancial support, BTS needs prayer partners to commit to lifting up the BTS and JumpStart AL participants in prayer. These men are living out the Gospel in the darkest places in America--the Prison Systems. Their lives are in danger. Pray for God to grant them wisdom, courage, and strength! Would you commit to being their prayer warriors?

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