“We are not interested in making men better, but we are interested in making better men. A better man will make the man better.” – Dr. Paul Carlin
“And He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11, 12). This verse is the source for the name of The Ministry Church, Inc.
In 2005 Dr. Carlin retired from his Prisoners Bible Institute, Inc. Prison Crusade ministry to develop what had been on his heart for several years—a Christ-centered, Bible-driven, Christian discipleship program for long-term violent crime offenders. Texas had none. He chartered The Ministry Church, Inc. as “The Church Behind Prison Walls.” He then established the Therapon Prison Program titled, The Spiritual Dynamics of Criminal Recovery and Relapse Prevention. The program was approved by Mr. Douglas Dredke who, at that time, served as the TDCJ Institutional Division Director. The program, which was immediately implemented by Senior Warden David Stacks at the Eastham Prison, was named “The Warden’s Program.” In 1968 Eastham was featured in Newsweek magazine as the “toughest prison in America.” Dr. Carlin wrote the entire 500-plus page study guide for the two-year offender program. The program contains four components: academic, Biblical, therapeutic, and relational with a strong family restorative (re-connecting) component. The classroom studies were and still are taught as a dialogue, not as a monologue. Every class time is one enormous Spirit-anointed group therapy session.
In 2007 when the Texas Supreme Court approved non-regionally accredited and/or non- secularly accredited Bible colleges and seminary to offer secondary and graduate education programs in religion studies and ministry, Dr. Carlin organized Therapon Theological Seminary and Bible College (TTSBC), the first independent Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognized school of Christian Correctional Higher Education established in the Texas prison system. TTSBC believes the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, fully sufficient Word of God. The entire TTSBC curriculum is centered in the King James Version of the Bible. The school offers the inmates on the Eastham Unit a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies, a masters degree in Biblical Studies and doctorates in Ministry and Restorative Justice. The tuition and books are free to the inmates.
The Ministry has seen lives changed and families restored. The three primary steps in the Therapon Criminal Recovery and Relapse Prevention program include reconciliation (re-connection) to the Father through Jesus Christ, recovery, and finally restoration—the return to usefulness.
Those involved need to learn three important facts:
1) What the men in prison tried before obviously did not work. There is a new and better way (2 Corinthians 5:17).
2) Agreement is the key to intimacy with God (Amos 3:3).
3) They must learn to think like God (Philippians 2:5; Romans 8:5-8).
Therapon Theological Seminary and Bible College has graduated 200 men with undergraduate degrees in Bible and 96 men with graduate degrees.