Divine Hope Prison Ministry
Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary
Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary exists as a dedicated prison seminary to provide theological and biblical instruction within the Christian tradition to residents of correctional institutions within the state of Illinois and Indiana in order to promote moral transformation. The goal of this rigorous program of theological and biblical studies is the moral transformation of residents in correctional institutions so that they can live in hope and joy and be a blessing to their families, churches, and communities. We have campuses within the Danville Correctional Center in Danville, Illinois and the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, IN. The Lord willing, a Study Center will open this summer at the Rockville Women's Prison in Rockville, Indiana. Rev. Nathan Brummel is the administrator of the seminary and professor of Systematic Theology. Rev. Ken Anema is profesor of Hebrew and Old Testament studies.
Our school is called Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary. The school intends to bring hope to students by providing them with meaning and purpose as they pursue live-changing studies. Residents in correctional centers can struggle with depression and hopelessness. They can squander and waste their years spent behind bars. The seminary provides an opportunity for hope-giving and life-changing studies that prepare residents for useful service within and outside of prison.
Our school is called Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary because it provides theological training within the historic Protestant tradition. The Reformed tradition is that branch of the Protestant Reformation that found expression in the Swiss, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Polish, and German Reformed churches as influenced by the reformatory work of theologians like Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich, Switzerland, John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, and Zacharius Ursinus in the Palatinate in Germany. The mission is to provide studies within the contours of the historic Christian and confessional Protestant traditions. Students study the breadth of the Christian tradition, including the church fathers and the medieval theologians. The curriculum includes classes in systematic theology, biblical theology, hermeneutics, Christian ethics, Christian history, practical theology, and the biblical languages.
The school is called Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary because the teaching is in line with the Bible. Seminarians study the Bible in the original languages, Hebrew and Greek. The students learn the tradition of reflection on the Bible in Old and New Testament courses and in the study of the science of hermeneutics. Students study each book of the Bible and its place in the canon. They learn how to interpret Scripture. The instruction in systematic theology will be richly biblical, with constant exegesis of the Scripture passages that teach the various doctrines.
The school is called a seminary because it provides an exclusively religious and theological program. The seminary wants to foster “intelligent piety” on the part of graduates. We believe in theological education for moral transformation. We want students who can be examples of moral transformation who are peacemakers. The teaching will foster humility and holiness.
Our mission is to help to reduce recidivism rates. We believe that offender participation in this program will lead to a reduction in minor offenses and violence within prison. Our curriculum is designed for moral rehabilitation with the goal of fostering re-entry back into society. The goal of our program is to provide theological education for moral rehabilitation. The board of the seminary wants to prepare students for a successful reentry into society upon their release. The board wishes to provide a road back into faith communities for offenders who graduate from our program. During the period of instruction, the school will help foster relationships between offenders on the one hand and mentors and faith communities on the other hand. Mentors and faith communities will be encouraged to meet offenders at the gate in order to assist them spiritually and emotionally as they transition back into society. During reentry, the supporters of the seminary wish to help with the re-entry into society of ex-offenders. This type of support would be through the agency of mentors and the diaconate of local Reformed and Presbyterian churches. They will help ex-offenders obtain help from the necessary social service agencies. They will also work with faith communities to identify employment opportunities for graduates.
Ordination and ministerial credentialing is not part of the mission of our seminary. Upon graduation no offender will be “ordained” or receive any other type of ministerial credentials from the seminary.
One goal of the seminary is to produce graduates who can winsomely communicate the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Such graduates will love God and their fellow residents. In humility and love they will watch for the good of souls and nourish their hearers in holiness, peace, hope, and joy.
Another goal of the seminary is to build up and support families. Classes on marriage and parenting will equip graduates to enter into the marriage state with commitment, to be faithful to their spouses, to lovingly and firmly rear their children, and to foster loving family relationships.
The seminary exists to cultivate harmony and unity among the students to lay the foundation for lasting friendships that will be conducive not only to personal happiness, but the welfare of the residents of the correctional institution.
Grace and peace,
Administrator at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary