Distinctives of the Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) program
Faith and secular-based universities share many academic goals. For Christians, however, the reconciliation of all people to God and one another (2 Corinthians 5) is an essential and defining commitment. Thus, a Christian university will pursue justice for the marginalized, build community with the disinherited and work to restore right relationships between alienated neighbors.
As an expression of this mission, Lipscomb University has, since 2007, offered an educational opportunity like few others. The Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) program selects courses from the university curriculum and relocates them from campus to the Tennessee Prison for Women in west Nashville. Qualified candidates from the TPW are admitted as Lipscomb students. Students in one of Lipscomb’s baccalaureate programs may study with their Lipscomb peers residing at the TPW by enrolling in these relocated classes. All students in the class at TPW, therefore, are Lipscomb University students earning college credit for their work. The course content may be essentially the same as if the courses were offered on campus, but the classroom context and diversity of students provides a rich, often life- changing educational experience. Whatever the academic discipline, together we explore something of what it means to be a minister of reconciliation in today’s world.