From Prison to Doctorate in Ministry
For Cary Sanders, the path to a Doctorate in Christian Ministry began in a prison cell.
As a young man, Sanders was entangled in a life of crime, violence, and recklessness. Arrested 17 times by the age of 17, he seemed destined for a bleak future. Sanders was involved in robberies, violence, and drug-related activities, leading him to a path of self-destruction. After a violent incident, he found himself incarcerated and facing a lengthy sentence in prison.
In desperation, Sanders prayed for guidance and discovered solace in the words of the Bible. He embraced the Gospel and committed his life to serving God. Behind bars, he committed his life to serving God. Shortly afterwards, Sanders became involved in JUMPSTART, a faith-based prisoner reentry program. JUMPSTART not only offered spiritual guidance but also practical support, including job placement and housing assistance.
A Second Chance
As his release date approached, Sanders’ faith and determination caught the attention of Richard Ingram, a volunteer at JUMPSTART. Ingram saw potential in Sanders and believed he could achieve great things, including pursuing higher education. Against all odds, Sanders applied to North Greenville University, despite having a lifetime trespassing ban from the institution.
Rather than focusing on his past, they saw the transformation he had undergone and welcomed him with open arms, even giving him a job in the I.T. department. Sanders completed his bachelor’s at NGU and later returned to earn his Doctor of Ministry in 2022. NGU “is a place where men and women are being equipped to be transformational difference makers for our Lord,” Sanders said. Today, Sanders is the Chief Executive Officer of JUMPSTART SC.