Connexion Northeastern: A New Narrative — The Center for Restorative Justice

In a country where the justice system prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation, The Center for Restorative Justice at West Virginia Wesleyan College is working on crafting a new narrative. Students, faculty, and professionals alike have come together to flip the script surrounding vulnerable populations to view transgressions with empathy, humanity, and compassion.

The Center for Restorative Justice recently received two generous development grants to research the need for a Day Center, a potential game-changer that could provide invaluable services for unsheltered and food or housing-insecure people. This opportunity has grown out of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Methodist roots and its commitment to change the way the world cares for those in greatest need.

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Viewing Humankind Through a Compassionate Lens

In the United States, the average recidivism rate is a staggering 68%, with all convicted individuals at risk of rearrest within the first three years of release. The Center for Restorative Justice is dedicated to breaking this cycle. Their work, focused on supporting vulnerable populations as they reintegrate into society, not only benefits the individual but also has a profound positive impact on society as a whole. 

The transformative efforts of The Center for Restorative Justice are inspired by the social holiness and commitment to social justice championed by John Wesley, reflecting a deep-rooted Methodist tradition of compassion and rehabilitation. After exiting the correctional system, The Center for Justice removes the all-too-frequent subhuman feeling by offering housing, food, emotional, and professional support. By simply recognizing their intrinsic humanity and reaffirming dignity, vulnerable persons are empowered to reimagine and realize a future with greater possibilities that may have otherwise manifested as a relapse into incarceration.

West Virginia Wesleyan College

With a namesake that reflects its rich Methodist history, West Virginia Wesleyan College sits in the heart of Buckhannon, West Virginia. Founded in 1890, WVWC is home to a thriving liberal arts student population that prepares local and out-of-state students both professionally and spiritually, as evidenced through programs like the West Virginia Restorative Justice Project.

The transformative initiatives at West Virginia Wesleyan College have garnered significant support. GBHEM, for instance, has been a steadfast partner, endorsing and participating in life-changing programs and services, ranging from the Appalachian Prison Book Project to Americans for Prosperity. This strong support is a testament to the impact and value of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s work and is a source of pride for the entire Methodist community.

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

Our mission is bringing people together to discern, learn, and lead for the church and the academy.

As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is committed to supporting United Methodist students. Through various scholarship programs, GBHEM empowers students to achieve their academic goals and develop as leaders prepared to transform the world. Each year, GBHEM awards an average of $5.5 million in scholarships. 

GBHEM supports and advocates for United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools.  The educational institutions connected to The United Methodist Church are among the finest in the world and contribute to the greater good of humanity and to the health and well-being of society. The vast expanse of Methodism’s educational footprint cannot be overstated.

 GBHEM also supports 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) related to The United Methodist Church. Through the Black College Fund, GBHEM helps maintain and enhance these vital institutions, ensuring diverse students have the opportunity to excel through higher education.

Additionally, GBHEM’s leadership and discernment programs guide young adults in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives. Programs like the “Exploration” create transformative experiences that help young adults discover their path in life.

Through scholarships, institutional support, and leadership initiatives, GBHEM prepares global leaders for a global church and world, building the church of tomorrow, one student at a time.

View scholarships for United Methodist students.

Help us forge strong Connexions. Give to GBHEM today.