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Crossroad Bible Institute: A Bible Institute for Prisoners

Premiere Issue: Pneuma Review Fall 1998

Have more effective Prison Ministry follow-up by utilizing this Institute devoted to training inmates in God’s Word.

CBI Ask anyone who has been involved in prison ministry what the biggest difficulty is and they will tell you: Follow-up. Nothing is a greater obstacle to effective ministry to the incarcerated than the inability to establish relationships with them. With constant changes, especially in local jails, the same prisoner will likely not be in same place for the second visit or next month’s chapel.

If you have struggled against this very deterrent in prison ministry, or are interested in developing a ministry into the jails and prisons, you need to know about a ministry resource that is available to you. You need to know about Crossroad Bible Institute.

Crossroad Bible Institute exists to provide a step by step, high quality Christian education for people who are in prison. CBI has been ministering to inmates for 15 years and currently has over 7,000 students all across the country and in over a dozen foreign nations.

There are many correspondence schools available to inmates, but Crossroad Bible Institute is unique in many ways. First of all, unlike most correspondence schools, CBI is non-denominational. Although the founder and writing/teaching staff come from a predominately Reformed tradition, they are careful to not emphasize their doctrinal distinctives. To say it plainly, they know that many of their students are not from a Reformed background and that most of them are new believers. There material, for this reason, concentrates on the basics of the Christian life.

CBI does not charge the student anything, but is supported by churches, businesses, private individuals, and a host of creative fund-raising programs. They even operate a new and used book store to help pay for the cost of materials and postage.

CBI works effectively because the instructors for this institute are trained volunteers who are eager to help these students. CBI trains each instructor to correct the correspondence lessons received from the prisoner-students. All of the work is done in the privacy of the instructor’s home and the for the sake of the security of the instructors, all contact with the student passes through CBI.

If you already have an established prison ministry, CBI can be of great help in connecting prisoner-students with your church’s own instructors. The time commitment for instructors, who might not otherwise even participate in prison ministry, is relatively light. For a rewarding 2 hour investment every 3-4 weeks, instructors have a tremendous impact on the life of a prisoner.

Speaking of my own experience as an instructor, the mentor/student relationship built through this correspondence school is strong. Students who graduate are wholeheartedly praised, CBI doing much to make the student know that they have accomplished something. Instructors are encouraged to write letters to their students, giving students an opportunity to open up themselves as little or as much as they desire.

Contact this ministry yourself to better learn how you can make use of this resource in your church’s prison ministry. Perhaps there are even some in your church ready to become instructors for such a ministry. The staff at CBI is always delighted to assign new students to people whom the student has already worked with. This is, after all, how the ministry began and flourished.

Crossroad Bible Institute  (updated October 2013)

P.O. Box 900 Grand Rapids Michigan 49509-0900

Telephone: 1-800-668-2450

Pneuma Review editor Raul Mock with CBI President David Schuringa after his message for chapel at RBC Ministries (publishers of the daily devotional Our Daily Bread) on May 28, 2014.


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Category: Fall 1998, Ministry, Pneuma Review

About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996, working with Information Services and Supply Chain Management for more than two decades. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. LinkedIn

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