Ministry Curriculum Addresses Addicted Inmates

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Jennifer LeClaire


Addictions of one type or another are practically a given for prison inmates worldwide.

“About 80 percent of people in prison wrestle with some sort of addiction: alcohol, drugs, whatever,” says Dr. David Schuringa, president of prison ministry at Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI). “In fact, a very high percentage of people in prison committed their crime while under the influence of some substance.”

CBI provides biblical training for prisoners across the globe, reaching out to them with Bible curriculum, discipleship and opportunity.

Recently, Schuringa wrote a series of articles on the poignant subject of addictions. There is a spot in a CBI quarterly magazine where Schuringa addresses students directly. Articles in the past have dealt with various issues that prisoners will face when they leave prison. Recent topics have included “Success in the Workplace” and “Success in the Family,” both of which gained enough response to be turned into full-fledged courses.

Schuringa’s articles have gotten some great feedback, but none so much as the recent series on addictions.

“I’ve been writing these articles [on addiction], and the response has just been unbelievable. I’ve never written anything that has received so much response,” says Schuringa. “It seems like it really hit a nerve.”

So many people responded to the issue that seemed to resonate so personally, that CBI decided to make a course out of this series too.

The new course “seeks to have a balanced and holistic approach,” Schuringa says, combining several elements to ensure full recovery. Addiction, Schuringa says, is a matter of the heart, mind and will. The program will address all three.

Matters of the heart are confronted first and foremost by a relationship with Jesus Christ in the new course. Students will be encouraged to fill the hole in their hearts with Christ rather than a substance or other addiction.

Matters of the mind are treated with a full mind transformation as Paul discusses in several books of the Bible.

Matters of the will cater to lifestyle changes. This area approaches the issue from a physical standpoint of healthy eating and other habits.

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