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What faculty say about the Lipscomb LIFE program

"Participating in the LIFE Program at TPW has been a highlight of my teaching career. The women are dream-students: dedicated, eager, inquisitive. But they are more than that...they are friends. Many a Wednesday evening I've entered checkpoint thinking I'd try to be good for them, and left two hours later with my own heart overflowing." —Leanne Smith

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“Teaching for Lipscomb in Nashville prisons has served as a Damascus Road experience for me.  When I taught my first class in the spring of 2007, I was a law-and-order prosecutor.  The relationships I forged with people who are imprisoned caused me to re-think my faith and my career.  I determined that I could not hear about forgiveness, redemption, and restoration on Sunday morning and serve as an agent of retribution Monday through Friday, so I quit my job as a prosecutor and have become an advocate for criminal justice reform.  My experiences in the LIFE Program have left me convinced that, as Jesus taught in Matthew 25, my salvation is bound up with that of people behind bars.” —Preston Shipp

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“My teaching experience at the TPW has shown me that people can grow and flourish in a harsh environment and under difficult circumstances and that joy and love are not easily extinguished.  I have had reinforced that it is not wise and not fair to assume too much about people you haven't met and don't know.  I have had confirmed an idea I have tried to hold tightly to; that whatever unfortunate choices a person makes and actions a person takes, there is still good inside that person to be brought out and nurtured.” — John Crawford

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"Teaching at the Tennessee Prison for Women remains a career highlight for me in my 17+ year tenure at Lipscomb. Women with profound experiences of pain and grief, and a new found, or newly honored, passion for learning and and raising questions, admixed with traditional students who get to see things about the world we live in in a new and sometimes provocative and inevitably challenging way--all this becomes fertile ground for the very best fruit of excellent Christian higher education springing up, in redemptive and beautiful fashion. As both an alum and now long-time faculty member at Lipscomb University, I could not be more proud of any initiative we have undertaken than the LIFE program.” —Lee Camp

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"When I think of LIFE students, some of the words that come to mind are "diligence" and "perseverance".  When it comes to working on my course, my LIFE students are the most diligent I've ever seen. The work they submit shows strong attention to detail and a strong desire to learn.  I can only imagine what life is like for them during the 166 hours between classes.  Completing their academic work most certainly is a very high priority to them.  When I ponder how long it takes LIFE students to graduate, it is clear that perseverance is a key attribute.  I can't imagine taking 7 years to earn an associate's degree and 14 years to earn a bachelor's degree." —Andy Borchers?

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"Education behind bars has a reach farther than one would expect. Not only is this opportunity providing further education for the ladies inside, which can help with employment and opportunities for re-etnry after release from prison, ladies in this program provide an example for their children and grandchildren. This example helps change the pattern of high rates on incarceration for children who have parents in prison. Educating ladies through the LIFE Program shows our students and their families that more is available to them in life and community through education." — Christin Shatzer