The Catalyst Model


Moral rehabilitation is what we’re after. Moral people don’t take your money, your car or your life. Moral rehabilitation is the direct result of spiritual transformation. “When a person’s heart changes, their behavior changes.”

“We can educate, train, and teach trades and skills, but without the moral component, without a change in their hearts, we are just making smarter criminals,” Burl Cain, Founder/CEO Global Prison Seminaries Foundation.

Mt. Olive Bible College funded by Catalyst Ministries is unique to most prisons in America. The Bible College graduates having experienced their own moral transformation will work with other inmates throughout West Virginia to change the West Virginia prison system from the inside out.

What makes this approach so different from anything that has been done in Penal history in America?  There are three core elements: A Bible College(train/equip), the allowance of graduates to apply what they’ve learned by serving in various key roles within the prisons(hope/purpose), and inmate lead congregations (shepherding their own flock – peer to peer).

We have modeled our work after the successful, evidenced-based transformation that has and continues to take place at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola prison.  Once known as America’s bloodiest prison, Angola is known today as one of America’s safest. 

Like Angola, we provide a four-year accredited education through our academic partner, Appalachian Bible College.  Our college (Mt. Olive Bible College) is located at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex (MOCC), Mt. Olive, WV.  The graduates of Mt. Olive Bible College receive a Bachelor of Arts in Bible/Theology and Pastoral Ministry.  As the students embark on four years of study, we begin to witness a change in their worldview.  We witness layer after layer of pain and hopelessness begin to peel away.  The changes we see in the men are tangible.  Hope and a new purpose begin to illuminate within them, it’s true transformation from the inside-out.  These changed men become one of the greatest assets the prison could have. 

Upon graduating the men are anxious to apply what they’ve learned.  They’re excited to lead others down the path toward hope and purpose.  Catalyst Ministries working with WVDOCR has established many opportunities for the men to help others, peer to peer.  An inmate will respect and listen to another inmate before they will outside volunteers and in many situations prison staff. 

Our graduates will serve in areas that focus on a person’s physical, educational, social, emotional, moral and spiritual well-being.  The graduates work hard to create a positive culture change within the prison.  A culture that will produce less violence, reduced drug and contraband use, reduction in prison extortion, etc.  A culture where inmates are encouraged to participate in the many opportunities to become a better person, to take ownership in something positive.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for change within the prisons of West Virginia, as not only will Mt. Olive Correctional benefit from the new graduates but others will to.  Some graduates will be paired and sent as missionaries to other WV prisons to facilitate moral rehabilitative programs.  

Additionally, 90% of the incarcerated have release dates, so our investment today will produce safer communities in the future.    

It is important to note that any one may apply. There are no requirements that an applicant be of any faith or religious persuasion.  Students from any faith, any religion or no religion may apply. Also, MOBC is fully funded via private donation.