Dr. Dale Scadron, M.Div., Th.D., a Chaplain at Taft Correctional Institution, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility in Southern California (“TCI”), founded Signet Bible College and Theological Seminary (Formerly Chaplains College) in 2009. Over the years, as an ordained minister and chaplain, Dr. Scadron has had the unique opportunity to counsel people from all walks of life with all sorts of spiritual issues and questions regarding their faith.
However, it was while working within the prison system and with inmates that he became frustrated with what he termed “jailhouse religion”, i.e., Bibles being passed along from one inmate to another with little or no formal teaching or training. He observed that while many inmates were turning to Christ and looking for answers in Scripture, God’s message of salvation was not resonating. Something was amiss.
When Dr. Scadron arrived at Taft, he observed thousands of broken men—many of whom had lost everything, including their families, their reputations, and their identities. He observed men who were both emotionally and spiritually lost, searching for something to hang on to, something to give them hope and direction. He understood that for many of them, time alone with God would be their last chance. As he began working with these men, he realized that his perspective, his own views, had changed. He no longer saw these men, these inmates, as they are often portrayed on television or in movies. He saw them as brothers in Christ – brothers who with the proper training and guidance could not only be transformed, but also help transform those around them. He observed brothers who had the potential to be Fishers of Men by going out into the world to embark the work of ministry.
With this vision, Dr. Scadron set out to develop the materials and the tools necessary to teach, train, and equip these men, so they could build the foundation they would need to do God’s work. Dr. Scadron made sure that the curriculum reflected his unwavering belief in the power of the Gospel to renew minds and transform lives. Indeed, he had seen first-hand how Christ could work miracles in the lives of lost men, giving them hope and purpose. He understood that true life—giving, God-honoring change is possible as long as you first build a solid foundation for change; a foundation that allows Christ to come into men’s hearts and reveal His will to them.
As the College continued to experience growth, Dr. Scadron further realized that this type of training would be invaluable outside the prison namely in our churches and our communities. It could provide the much-needed, yet often-neglected bridge between commitment and capability for many lay ministers. Too often today, people are placed in positions of leadership in their churches without the proper training.
Unfortunately, desire is a poor substitute for competency—you cannot have one without the other. To be effective ministers, you must be both dedicated and well equipped to serve the Lord. Signet Bible College and Theological Seminary began with this vision—to train the body of Christ worldwide for the work of ministry—and continues to expand its reach today. Since beginning its first class in April of 2009, the College at TCI has already graduated 53 students with Associate Degrees. In addition, 87% of our graduates are actively serving in various ministries vital to the lives of churches and communities all around us.Fishers of Men