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Sidebar: Chuck Colson’s Centurions Program

April 21, 2012

Breakpoint Centurions is a program affiliated with Prison Fellowship Ministries. Chuck Colson and his Prison Fellowship team discovered through years of experience and research that criminality was not a function of poverty as was popularly portrayed, but of moral choices.  They also found that men and women who converted to Christianity while incarcerated were often unequipped to think and live like Christians on a daily basis after their release into society. Around the same time, national polls by George Barna and others revealed a serious disconnect between people who considered themselves Christians, their knowledge of Christian doctrine,  and their belief systems.

Chuck Colson created the Centurions program to address the need for Christians to understand fully the tenets of the Christian faith, to live authentically in that faith, and to bring the light of Christ into lives of darkness and despair.

More than a program, Centurions is actually a movement. The Centurions movement is influenced conceptually by the lifework of William Wilberforce, who was one of Chuck’s heroes. Wilberforce, a British politician and philanthropist, led the Parliamentary movement to abolish the slave trade in the late 1700’s. That effort took 26 years. He continued to work for the abolition of slavery, which took another 27 years. He died in 1833, just one day after learning that the bill to end slavery in the United Kingdom would be passed.

Wilberforce realized that slavery would not end until people viewed it as the vile and despicable institution it was, and worked passionately for the reformation of the manners and mores of his time.  The progress he and others made in reshaping the culture led to the more socially responsible Victorian era.

Centurions are trained to engage our postmodern culture in thoughtful and winsome conversation about the world we live in, the problems we face, and the search for solutions. The Centurions program engages 100 people each year in intense study of Christian apologetics, postmodern intellectual thought, and the philosophy of worldview. Distance-based learning is supplemented with teleconferences, online forums, and two weekend residencies in Washington, D.C. with some of the nation’s premier teachers and thought leaders in Christian worldview studies.   Graduates of the program  have launched numerous ministries and businesses in the arts, education, commerce, entertainment, public policy, and outreach to the suffering. Centurions are linked in local and regional cohorts for continued fellowship, ongoing learning, shared ministry, and mutual support.

Glen Sunshine is one of our favorite Centurions teachers.  Click here for his take on the Centurions program:

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Eve and I are passionate advocates of Centurions training.  It informs our lives and directs our paths.  Applications are being accepted through May 18, 2012 for a new Centurions class beginning in June. Please contact us if you would like to know more.

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