Calvin Prison Initiative is training faithful leaders in a prison context.

A partnership between Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, CPI is a unique program that provides a Christian liberal arts education to inmates at Handlon prison in Ionia, MI. This five-year program results in a bachelor of arts degree from Calvin College. The Calvin Prison Initiative brings hope, dignity and the opportunity for real accomplishment.

Our vision

The Calvin Prison Initiative provides education to adult learners in prison, equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to be community leaders. Our hope is that through this endeavor, not only will lives regain their hope, but prison culture will be transformed, and justice there will become not merely retributive, but restorative.

By the numbers

  • 75

    Student inmates currently enrolled

  • 16

    Associate's degrees awarded in May 2018

  • 3.534

    overall GPA for CPI students in Spring 2018 semester


Students in the Calvin Prison Initiative take the same liberal arts core courses as students at the Knollcrest campus, such as Oral Rhetoric (CAS-101), Principles and Perspectives (SOC-151) and Fundamental Questions in Philosophy (PHIL-153). Students then take courses specifically oriented towards ministry leadership, such as Christian Formation (ML-121), Practice of Discipleship (ML-122), and Foundations for Pastoral Care (ML-221).

Calvin College Logo
Calvin College Logo
CPI is a partnership between Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary

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