Posts Tagged ‘men’s life’


June isn’t even over, and it’s already been an amazing month at PEP …

On Friday, June 7, 2013, Class “Noble Nineteen” graduated from PEP’s Business Plan Competition. 89 men walked across the stage, including several who had already been released from prison but who secured a special exemption that allowed them to return so that they could graduate with their brothers. To read about the event, check out this blog by one of our board members.

Last week, we also graduated another class from our Men’s Life program. This is an optional program, which is also called Men’s Fraternity in other areas, uses a curriculum called “The Quest for Authentic Manhood.” PEP has adapted it as a voluntary addition to our in-prison program; the program is not required, though most of our participants do attend at least a few classes. However, the program has really begun to build energy inside the unit, and we are proud to announce that 65 men graduated last week — our largest group EVER!

To learn more about this program or who you can get involved, click here.

This week, we are preparing busily for the launch of Class 20 on July 19, 2013. We have “peer panels” inside the prison this week… when men who aspire to join PEP have their final interviews with past graduates. These interviews are conducted like job interviews, and allow our past graduates (who are still in prison) the chance to determine if these new candidates really have what it takes to succeed in the Business Plan Competition. All of these final applicants have been transferred to the Cleveland Correctional Center from around the state; to get here, they first had to complete 20+ page application, pass a 50-question entrance exam and get through the initial interview with our recruiter. We know that they have what it takes intellectually … but these final interviews are used to determine if they have the sincere level of commitment that will be required to succeed. By this point, most will make the cut. Some will have potential, but will be delayed for the January 2014 launch of Class 21 to allow them time to continue developing their character and commitment. But there will be a few who do not make the final cut, and who will not be chosen to enter PEP.

Finally, we are very pleased to announce that last week brought a very significant surprise gift to PEP … a grant of $50,000 from an anonymous foundation that wants to support of our efforts to fully occupy all 520 beds of the Cleveland Correctional Center. We are deeply grateful for this amazing opportunity to extend our mission, and look forward to sharing the impact of this grant with you over the coming year.

PEP Men's Life prayer

What does it mean to be a REAL man?

Life can be so overwhelming – how do you make the right decisions?

How does everything fit together?

Who can show me how to build the life that I want to lead for decades to come? 

Realizing that many of PEP’s released graduates were struggling with these questions, PEP’s long-time volunteers Monte Pendleton and Keith Frazier invited several of our released graduates to attend a Men’s Fraternity program at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in 2010. The program, called “The Quest for Authentic Manhood,” was so successful that PEP has now adapted it as a voluntary addition to our in-prison program; the program is not required, though most of our participants do attend.

Also known as Men’s Life, this 24-session study focuses on the primary issues that shape a man’s life; explores in depth the biblical concept of manhood; and finally provides practical building blocks for any man to use to construct for himself a nobler, more satisfying manhood. This program is a text and video-based study program that is “more than just a rally or a Bible study … it provides men with an encouraging process that teaches them how to live lives of authentic manhood as modeled by Jesus Christ and directed by the Word of God.”

This goal is accomplished by identifying the types and extent of wounds that each man carries with him, and which he might use as excuses to prevent him from becoming the man whom God wants him to be. The program also equips participants with an understanding of Biblical manhood and how to apply these principles to basic life issues.

We have been so pleased with the results of this program that we have begun inviting “free world” men to join us in prison each week. PEP offers two sections of Men’s Life — on Tuesday and on Thursday starting at 4:30 p.m. on both days. You can register here.

Our goal is to recruit10-20 volunteers to attend one section per week throughout the entire 12-week course.  This is a great opportunity for men’s groups and Bible studies to volunteer together, or for individuals to engage in high-impact Christian service.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kristie Wisniewski, PEP’s Chief of Staff, at 713-366-0293 or