All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.[1]

2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV

The Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry holds the view that a man’s faith and practice is between him and his God. With the courts, we agree, there is no governing of a person’s faith.

We, at the Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry, enjoy TDCJ’s fairness, equal treatment, and uniform application of its policies. As a Christian college providing the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry, we entirely agree with and champion every rehabilitation goal set forth by TDCJ.

We understand and lawfully enjoy the strict neutrality on the part of the State to not champion any one religion over another or a lack of religion—a Constitutional reality and precedent set and upheld by the courts. Since men and women who are our students live in the prison, it would be impossible to separate the cost of his or her living. There are no state costs for our students that are used to deny or champion any one faith over another. In fact, many tax dollars are saved due to TDCJ’s careful oversight of the men and women who study, graduate, and serve as Texas Field Ministers while they serve their fellow inmates through hospice, peacemaking, education, prayer, family events, chapel services, and as scholar-mentors among the prison population. It is essential that Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry students to be exemplary in their conduct toward TDCJ administration and correctional officers and among the prison population.

The State of Texas, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry work in full accountability to the United States Constitution in its entirety, with careful attention to the First and Fourteenth Amendments. We are aware of the two clauses of the First Amendment—the Establishment clause and the Free Exercise clause—and all parties take special precautions toward clear lines of respect in our distinct roles and responsibilities so that we serve and respect all people who enjoy the privileges of the United States Constitution. The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry that the Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry exists within the clear space the Constitution and courts overwhelmingly provide, and we will continue to work within that space with diligence and excellence.

Integrity on the front lines

The Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry is: a.) overseen by a board of directors, b.) privately funded, c.) run daily by a Chief Executive Officer, and d.) produces regular third-party financial reviews and audits which are committed to the highest level of integrity.

Our graduate, the Field Minister. “The goal of all biblical instruction is love qualified by a transformed life . . . Love for God and others should flow from a life of purity, integrity, and sincerity . . . Theological education should remain focused on effective ministry as the evidence of successful equipping.”[2]

The Field Minister maintains a visible, unashamed, humble, accountable, and incorruptible personal integrity in a place where inmate integrity is often defined by the dark network of the prison’s inmate culture. 

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:7-8, ESV

[1] Holy Bible. English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Titus 2:7-8.

[2] TheMark Bailey, “The Foundation and Shape of Theological Education” in  Theology, Church, and Ministry, ed. David Dockery (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017), 35-36.