Providing access to higher education in prisons and enhancing the academic experience for all.
At Lipscomb, we seek to provide higher education to anyone who desires it and deepen the spiritual and academic growth of all students. The Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) is one of the unique ways we accomplish this mission, bringing faith-based education to two Tennessee prisons.
Only 35% of state prisons offer college education, and just 6% of the prison populace take courses. LIFE is one of a growing number of higher education in prison programs in the U.S. We are proud to say this program has celebrated 30 degree completions since 2007 and expects 14 LIFE students to graduate in 2022.
Traditional, campus-based students can participate in the LIFE program by enrolling in relocated classes at the prison with LIFE students. This allows both groups the chance to develop the self-confidence, character, knowledge and compassion to pursue their education while serving with others.
Take LIFE Courses
Undergraduate students may enroll in relocated classes to study with LIFE students. LIFE courses open to undergraduates in the upcoming semesters:
- PO 4513 Criminal Law and Procedure
- BI 1073 The Story of Jesus
- HI 4013 Religion and American Culture
- BI 1083 The Story of the Church
- ENT 2503 Introduction to Business
Teach LIFE Courses
Lipscomb faculty across the disciplines are invited to teach LIFE courses at both the men's and women's prisons.
LIFE Breakout Chapel: Thursdays at 10:55 (Fall & Spring)
Contact Robbie Spivey for more information.
Qualified candidates from the prisons are admitted as Lipscomb students. Then, they can earn credits toward the following degrees:
- Associate of Arts
- Bachelor of Professional Studies
- Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
In 2021, LIFE announced the Richard C. Goode LIFE scholarship for students who wish to pursue a Lipscomb degree after release from prison. In the first year of the scholarship, recipients have included two graduate students and two undergraduates.
LIFE students receive reduced tuition costs. Meanwhile, the program itself is maintained through state funding, private donations and the Richard C. Goode Endowed LIFE Scholarship for returning students.
If you wish to provide additional aid, please make a gift below.
"LIFE gives me a future. LIFE gives me a community. LIFE gives me hope."
—Lipscomb LIFE student and resident of the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center