Return to Help Bring Prison Ministry in the United States into the 21st Century

Emily Kjeer (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-11-01 4:13:32pm
This was fascinating to read and learn about the different challenges of continuing this ministry. A few years ago, I attended an LCMS church regularly that was led by a pastor who also served as a chaplain for prisons nearby, and it was always something that struck me as overlooked but so necessary and valuable.
Unfortunately, I have very little knowledge or experience to directly contribute. I can, of course, offer my assistance in attempting to help others hear of this ministry.
I am curious about the purpose of the test aspect of the current system, and why obtaining a certificate is important. It seemed to me while reading through the various challenges that several challenges were unique to the test part of the Bible studies, i.e. the challenge of "devising a way to distribute our self-study courses and enable inmate submissions of tests will be at best more complicated than the USPS system for printed versions" focuses on maintaining the ability for inmates to submit tests and receive the corrected ones back. I don't doubt that there are good reasons for this system, but I am curious what they are. Merely providing Bible study materials for inmates would seemingly be easier, given the presence of the Project Guttenberg already being accessible by inmates. I would enjoy learning what the purpose is behind taking the tests/receiving certificates of completion, as opposed to something like offering the materials and then continuing a pen pal option so that inmates can ask questions and still be guided somewhat through their studies.
Thank you!
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