“I think people traditionally think of students as 18 to 22, looking forward to the rest of their lives, but we tend to forget there are other people out there looking to learn, no matter their age or what they’ve done in the past,” says junior accounting major Emanuel Muange.

When Emanuel first arrived at Corban as an 18-year-old student, looking forward to the rest of his life, he was eager to get involved in a way that would impact the community around him. “I was looking for ways to serve because I didn’t want to just be a student and become complacent,” he says. “And when someone mentioned that Corban is close to five different prisons, I thought, ‘Whoa. I need to get into one of these prisons and see what Jesus Christ looks like through the eyes of other people.’”

In December of 2022, Emanuel began serving at the Oregon State Correctional Institution through Corban’s partnership with Paid in Full Oregon, a ministry that seeks to transform adults in custody (AOCs) into spiritual and moral leaders. “We pour into people through the Corban classes we offer so that they can be equipped and one day sent out into other prisons,” he says. “It’s about developing leadership and changing the dynamic of prisons from the inside.”

AOCs in the program are offered the opportunity to receive a Corban education while within the prison system, and Emanuel serves them as a teaching assistant, helping with their studies and leading discussions. “I learn so much every time I get to go in,” he says. “These men are leaders inside of the prison. I’ve learned a lot about leadership, wisdom, and patience through this opportunity.”

From his first moments inside the prison, where he was greeted with an unexpected power outage, to today, where his role and relationships continue to expand, Emanuel has seen his understanding of ministry reshaped and transformed like the people he serves. “Everyone has a different circumstance that they’re in there for, and of course, I don’t ask,” he says. “But some will tell you, and it’s interesting to see how someone can come from something like a life of violent crime and be transformed through Christ.”

This revelation has moved Emanuel to think differently about his time at Corban, and about his future ministry. “Making a difference in the world for Jesus Christ isn’t just for our little world here on Corban’s campus, but for the entire community,” he says. “It’s been amazing to see Corban making a difference in the lives of adults in custody. Education reduces recidivism. We are seeing confidence grow, families restored, and bonds strengthened.”

As a junior, looking ahead to his future after leaving this campus, Emanuel hopes to see prison ministry continue to be a part of his story. So much so, that he plans to someday start his own. “I don’t want to forget those who feel forgotten,” he says. “It may have nothing to do with accounting, but your ministry doesn’t always have to be aligned to your vocation.

Jesus was a carpenter, but He never gave a sermon about wood. I think I can serve in the same way.”