The first graduation class from Mount Olive Bible College walked across the stage to receive their degrees on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. The graduates are all inmates at the maximum-security prison in Mount Olive.
The program graduated 21 inmates with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Bible/Theology and Pastoral Ministry. Eleven of the graduates received highest honors with grade point averages between 3.85 and 4.0.
The commencement ceremony was held in the gym at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex. It featured remarks by Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) and West Virignia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Commissioner Betsy Jividen.
Mount Olive Bible College (MOBC) is the third program of its kind in the United States. It was established by former Commissioner of Correction Jim Rubenstein after he heard about the success of a similar program within Louisiana State Penitentiary. This year has seen the largest enrollment with forty-one full-time students.
“The Bible College is helping us make positive changes in our community, as we mature into men of God and capable leaders,” said one MOBC student.
The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitiation facilitates MOBC as a moral rehabilitation program. It is an additional location of Applachian Bible College. Like Appalachian Bible College, MOBC is accedited by the Higher Learning Commission.