At WIEA we are encouraged when we hear from our students. We thought you would be as well. We often hear stories of success and gratitude, like:
- The student that was incarcerated at the age of 15 in a maximum-security adult prison and would spend the next 15 years of his life in isolation before enrolling in the Trinity program. He acknowledges just how, “far reaching” our program is, and that he now communicates with his family for the first time in nearly two decades. A letter he wrote to WIEA was filled with optimism and thanks.
- A second-year student who described himself as distraught; mentally, spiritually and physically, over the death of his father, sought comfort in the only place he felt love – the classroom with Dr. Long and Pastor Knoll. He credits the program with saving his life.
- Another second-year student talks about how he has started to see people not as targets “to hit with the bible,” but as “human beings to share the love of God with.”
We know what happens to the men in our program, but how do they get there? How exactly does WIEA work? We field lots of questions regarding the enrollment process and what happens once a student is accepted.
Here’s how the process works:
Application Process (6 months)
- Any inmate can apply from any prison in Wisconsin – all faiths (or no faith tradition) are welcome
- Participation is voluntary
- GED is required
- Applicants must answer several essay questions and provide background history
- Department of Correction along with Trinity International University – Deerfield, IL, thoroughly screens all applications, with the goal of adding 20 to 25 students per year
Once Accepted Into The Program
- Students transfer to Waupun Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, often from medium security facilities where they had been granted significantly more freedom. For many this is a huge step of faith – doing something that looks like a step backwards.
- Students attend a full week of orientation
- Once the semester has started, students attend classes 5 days a week, 7 hours a day
- Graduating students receive an accredited degree, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University – Deerfield, IL
- After graduation, student inmates become Field Mentors. They are re-assigned in teams back into different prisons across Wisconsin to serve other inmates – peer to peer – to live as peacemakers and servants among the broad prison population.
The process is simple really – yet makes a powerful impact on the lives of our students, their fellow prison inmates, families, and neighboring communities.
- Please pray for inmates considering application to our program that they heed the call of His voice.
- Please pray for our current students; for their perseverance and resiliency.
- For our faculty and staff. That they may use His guidance to Shepard our students.
- For everyone connected with our program: board members, prayer partners, churches, individual donors, foundations and grantmakers, and the families of our students. Pray that the Lord guides our actions that they may be fruitful and pleasing to Him.
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him.”