COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. --- The North American Division has chosen to send all trainee prison ministry specialists to earn their field study credits by ministering to students at Southern Adventist University. "It is vital to give our trainees a true sense of what it is like to work with inmates in a prison-like setting," said NAD Prison Ministries Director, Trent Carcel. "We could think of no better training ground than Southern's campus."
Carcel said that Southern's "encyclopedic rules handbook, rigid dress code and residence hall lockdowns work wonders in putting students in a prison frame of mind." While he acknowledged that there are plenty of Adventist schools with modestly large student populations, "no other school works nearly as hard to feel like prison."
Carcel stressed that prison ministries trainees would have a unique opportunity to minister to a "frustrated and captive student population the majority of which are certain they will not be liberated for four or more years."
NAD Prison Ministry Trainees are being warned that many students will claim that they were absolutely innocent and did not deserve their time at Southern. Carcel reminds all trainees to help Southern's students see the light at the end of the tunnel. "Help them see that there is hope even in the face of the strictest curfew. One day they will see freedom."