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.

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.

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Why Teach in Prison
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Hope-Western Prison Education Program Interview
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One Detroit: College Prison Programs
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Higher Education in Prison: An Uncommon Good 鈥 TEDx Macatawa 2023
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WOOD TV8: 鈥楳uskegon prisoners can soon get four-year degrees from Hope College鈥
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Why Teach in Prison
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Movement West Michigan: Hope-Western Prison Education Program
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Hope College Chapel: Rich Ray and Trygve Johnson

鈥淭he 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.鈥 鈥擲tudent, 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鈥檚 degree with standards as rigorous as those expected of Holland-based Hope College students.

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鈥 to be a better man鈥 to be a bigger person than I once was鈥 to contribute to the world around me in a more positive way鈥 to be what God intended me to be: His true and faithful servant.鈥 鈥擲tudent, 2019

Recent Blog Posts

  1. HWPEP Welcomes Three New Members to the Circle of Advisors

    Posted by Richard Ray

    The Hope-Western Prison Education Program is pleased to welcome three new members to its Circle o...

  2. How Does Teaching in Prison Help Main Campus Students?

    Posted by Richard Ray

    The principal object of concern for the Hope-Western Prison Education Program is the educational ...

  3. Advent in Prison?

    Posted by Richard Ray

    Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,     a...

  4. Mathematics Can Help Incarcerated Students Flourish Too

    Posted by Richard Ray

    “Open your math textbook to page 25 and try solving problem #3.” That’s how I e...

  5. A Grateful Student Speaks

    Posted by Richard Ray

    The Hope-Western Prison Education Program relies on the generosity and goodwill of hundreds of pe...

  6. Small vs Big

    Posted by Richard Ray

    The Hope-Western Prison Education Program has made terrific strides since launching the degree-gr...

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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鈥檚 inception.

  • 3.77Composite GPA

    As of fall 2023, the grade point average of all enrolled HWPEP students was 3.77.

  • 64%Dean鈥檚 List

    64% of HWPEP students were on the Dean鈥檚 List for the spring 2023 semester. The Dean鈥檚 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.