Hope College and Western Theological Seminary are partnering to offer The Hope-Western Prison Education Program, an initiative that provides a Christian liberal arts education to men incarcerated at Muskegon Correctional Facility.
As institutions of higher education, Hope College and WTS are bringing the gift of learning to those who often feel disgraced, dehumanized and forgotten. While justice is necessary, so too is the call to mercy and grace.
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program provides incarcerated students with the same academically rigorous liberal arts education that is available through on-campus programming.
Benefits of Prison Education
Programs like this have proven positive effects on prisoners, prison culture and prison systems.
Support the Program
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program is free for incarcerated students, so outside funding is crucial to begin changing the lives of these men.
The program seeks to renew minds and form new persons while transforming the prison, the college, the seminary and the West Michigan community into places where righteousness and peace embrace.
“The trumpet has sounded! The call to a college education beckons, offering me a ride out of the abyss. A Hope College education offers an opportunity to regenerate my soul, edify my spirit, and bolster my ability to be of service to others.” —Student, 2019
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program engages its students at the Muskegon Correctional Facility in an academically challenging curriculum while also focusing on moral rehabilitation and spiritual formation. Students enroll in coursework to earn a bachelor’s degree with standards as rigorous as those expected of Holland-based Hope College students.
We Need Financial Support
“Most of my life has been a journey in the hope of finding something greater than myself. Getting a college education would provide me with the tools necessary to truly complete my journey… to be a better man… to be a bigger person than I once was… to contribute to the world around me in a more positive way… to be what God intended me to be: His true and faithful servant.” —Student, 2019
Recent Blog Posts
“Open your math textbook to page 25 and try solving problem #3.” That’s how I e...Read More
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program relies on the generosity and goodwill of hundreds of pe...Read More
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program has made terrific strides since launching the degree-gr...Read More
The Hope-Western Prison Education Program’s fall semester just concluded. Our 23 students a...Read More
I’ve sometimes wondered why the incarcerated students of the Hope-Western Prison Education ...Read More
During his August 2022 installation Mass as bishop of Winona-Rochester, MN, Bishop Robert Barron ...Read More
Hope by the Numbers
- 1,150Credit Hours Completed
Hope-Western Prison Education Program students have completed a total of 1,150 credit hours since the program’s inception.
- 3.77Composite GPA
As of fall 2023, the grade point average of all enrolled HWPEP students was 3.77.
- 64%Dean’s List
64% of HWPEP students were on the Dean’s List for the spring 2023 semester. The Dean’s List is awarded to full-time, degree-seeking students who have a semester GPA of 3.50 or above.
- 98%Persistence Rate
As of fall 2023, 98% of students who were admitted to the program are still enrolled.