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The Rising Hope Certificate in Ministry and Human Services (CMHS) Program is a college-level course of study designed to prepare men in prison for ministry or work in the helping professions while in prison and after release. The program is open to prison inmates of all (or no) faith traditions who wish to serve and attend to others' needs.

CMHS Program Goals:

  • Provide prison inmates with the equivalent of 24-33 course hours of undergraduate college-level education.
  • Provide students with learning skills that will enhance their ability to earn academic degrees after release.
  • Explore religions and religious practices from an academic, non-evangelistic perspective.
  • Analyze the divine call to personal transformation and service.
  • Help students examine their lives in light of their own religious tradition.
  • Encourage students to promote fellowship & peacemaking while in prison & after release.

The Program Focuses on:

  • Achieving academic excellence
  • Developing a richer spiritual life
  • Encouraging personal responsibility and integrity
  • Fostering community spirit among program participants
  • Redefining one's role as a positive force in the community & society
  • Developing consistency between words and actions
  • The practice of ministry and human service
  • Peacemaking as a community-building tool
  • Respect for all faith traditions
  • Developing leadership skills

My participation in the program was and is a blessing. This endeavor required me to exercise diligence. The academic expectations not only broadened my horizons mentally, but they also rigorously stretched my sense of self- discipline. The long nights provided me with a reminder that hard work breeds a well-appreciated sense of accomplishment. As far as my faith and beliefs are concerned, they were tried, tested, revamped and reinforced. In other words, my faith and beliefs were taken to a deeper level. Despite the various clashes of ideas, religions, and outlooks, a higher purpose was served when I was forced to open my mind to see outside of my particular box; within which I was previously quite comfortable. The result was a greater propensity to see the common ground with others, rather than merely allowing our differences to prevent cooperation.
                              Anthony Knight