After a nationwide search, the Hope-Western Prison Education Program is pleased to announce that Kary Bosma has been appointed Co-Director of the program. She will succeed Dr. Richard Ray, who will retire at the end of June, 2024. She joins Dr. David Stubbs, Professor of Ethics and Theology at Western Theological Seminary in leading the program into its next stage of development.

Kary comes to HWPEP from Calvin University, where she served as Director of Operations for the Calvin Prison Initiative. After earning her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Calvin University, Kary cultivated a career in higher education at Calvin, where she served students through both student life and academic departments. When CPI began in 2015, Kary discovered a rare opportunity to combine her interests in the criminal justice system, restorative justice, and higher education. She joined the CPI staff in 2016. CPI grew to become a nationally recognized exemplar for prison education programs under her leadership of its operations.

“What began as a job in an area of interest developed into my calling and vocation,” said Bosma. “I witness daily the life-changing impact of a Christian liberal arts education on incarcerated students. Their minds are shaped and transformed as they explore the world through a variety of disciplines; and their sense of humanity is restored as they build community with professors, staff and fellow students.  It’s inspiring and humbling to see God at work through ordinary means, such as professors teaching, students reading and writing, and a learning community engaged in rich, sometimes challenging, dialogue. As a Christian, I believe God is a God of redemption and no one is beyond the grace He offers through faith in Jesus Christ. I have the privilege of demonstrating God’s love and grace through an educational program, affirming students’ humanity, encouraging them to discover and embrace their inherent worth as image bearers of God, inspiring their pursuit of a meaningful vocation, and working tirelessly to ensure students have the support and tools they need to succeed.”

Kary has actively supported the flourishing of prison education programs across Michigan. Beginning in 2021, Kary convened a monthly gathering of Michigan colleges and universities involved in higher education-in-prison alongside leaders from the Michigan Department of Corrections. In 2023, the group formally organized as the Michigan Consortium for Higher Education in Prison, with the goal of promoting higher education opportunities for incarcerated students, sharing best practices, developing shared educational standards, and learning from one another’s experiences. Kary serves as the Chairperson of MiCHEP’s Technology and Curriculum Subcommittee.

“We are thrilled to have a person of Kary’s experience and character join HWPEP’s leadership team in this critical role,” reports retiring Co-Director Richard Ray. “Few people have a deeper or more impactful history with college-in-prison than she does. And fewer still understand and are as committed to the character and mission of a Christian liberal arts college and the ways that such a college can transform the hearts, minds, and spirits of incarcerated students. She and fellow Co-Director David Stubbs will be a winning combination.”

Kary joins the HWPEP team to contribute to the program’s continued flourishing. “HWPEP has built a strong foundation under the leadership of Co-Directors Richard Ray and David Stubbs. I am eager to help lead the program through the next stage of growth and development. We’re working toward a student body of 80 students at Muskegon Correctional Facility, which will require the development of sufficient academic supports and continued integration into the Hope College and Western Theological Seminary ecosystems. In 2025, we will celebrate the graduation of our first cohort of students; and there is work to be done in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Corrections to develop post-graduation roles for graduates to positively impact and serve the many needs that exist in the prison community. I am hopeful for the future of HWPEP and am honored to contribute my gifts toward its success.”

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program offers a Bachelor of Arts to men incarcerated at Muskegon Correctional Facility. HWPEP is a partnership between Hope College, Western Theological Seminary, and the Michigan Department of Corrections. The program seeks to renew minds and form new persons while transforming the prison, the college, the seminary, and the West Michigan community into places where righteousness and peace embrace.

Join the Conversation


  1. Congratulations! This is such an important program. Great t0 see it continue under such capable leadership.

  2. Congratulations Kary. We pray that God uses your gifts and directs your path on this new journey. May the work that you are doing continue to change lives and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  3. Congratulations Kary…. So excited to see this program only grow stronger with your leadership in the years ahead…. 🙂🙏👏💕

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