Program Website: http://www.risinghope.org/
Contacts: Bob Lukey at Rising Hope (914) 276-7848, or RisingHopeInc@optonline.net
Program Description: Rising Hope, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization providing incarcerated people with one year of post-secondary education called the Certificate in Ministry and Human Services (CMHS) Program. It operates in four New York State prisons; Sing Sing, Green Haven, Fishkill and Woodbourne. Rising Hope is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation sustained entirely by private donations and does not receive any government funding.
The CMHS Program is an opportunity to join a community of educators and students dedicated to expanding the horizons of scholarship, spiritual maturity and ethical conduct even while within prison walls.
Rising Hope, Inc., provides educational programs for men in prison in order to awaken them to their innate potential to learn and grow intellectually, psychologically, spiritually, morally, socially, and vocationally, and to equip them to work in the helping professions for the benefit of themselves, their families and others both in prison and after release.
Programs Offered: The Certificate in Ministry and Human Services Program (CMHS) is a one-year course of study that uses the experiences of marginalized populations, particularly those based on race, economic status and gender, to help shape the curriculum. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to: English Composition, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Contemporary Theology, Ethics, History of Christianity, Sociology of Religion, World Religions, Introduction to Counseling, Introduction to Social Work and Homiletics. The school year is 2 semesters, 15 weeks each, 5 courses per semester. It is not a correspondence course. All classes are taught on cite in the prisons.
Degrees Offered: Certificate in Ministry and Human Services. Rising Hope is not an accredited college institution, but Nyack College welcomes Rising Hope alumni to enroll in the Operational Management Program of Nyack College where they will receive full credit for all Rising Hope courses passed with C or better. Other local colleges have also accepted Rising Hope course credits toward a BA degree.
Correctional Facility: Sing Sing, Green Haven, Fishkill and Woodburne Correctional Facilities
College/University/Organization Partnership: Nyack College, Nyack, New York
Population Served: Incarcerated people who possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, want to study at the college level, and wish to engage in some form of ministry or community service while incarcerated or after release.
Headquarters: New York
Year Founded: 1995
Founders: Rev. Dr. George W. (Bill) Webber and Sr. Marian Bohen, Ph.D.
Number of Students: 75-100 per year
Graduates to Date: More than 1,300 students have graduated since 1995
Funding: Rising Hope, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 corp. sustained entirely by private donations; it does not receive any government funding. RHI does not charge tuition and provides free textbooks to the students. The professors volunteer their time.
Unique Features: While the program is based upon the curriculum taught during the first year at many Christian seminaries, it is open to incarcerated students of all faith traditions or without religious affiliation. The material is studied from an academic perspective without proselytizing. The program’s goal is not to tell the students what their faith should be but to help them grow as they pursue their personal faith journey.