Character Development and High School Literature: Born Again by Chuck Colson

Learning character development through high school literature is powerful for teens and Born Again by Chuck Colson is a powerful resource.

Character Development and High School Literature: Born Again by Chuck Colson

Character Development and High School Literature: Born Again by Chuck Colson

7Sister Sabrina Justison was leading her 2012 homeschool high school group class through the Literature Study Guide for Born Again by Chuck Colson. They had been discussing his inspiring story of political intrigue, fall, and redemption when Sabrina heard about his passing.

In a lovely moment of grace, Sabrina and her homeschoolers gathered together and prayed for the Colson family and his ministry, Prison Fellowship. Isn’t it wonderful to live in a culture where prayer is normal and natural? These teens experienced character development through reading about a great role model and by living a prayer life together.

According to CNN’s obituary after his death on April 21, 2012 Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship, founded in 1976, “provides support for inmates in the form of in-prison Bible studies, mentoring programs and support for the children of prisoners.  Today, the organization calls itself “the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families,” with a presence in 113 countries.”  (CNN ,”Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies“)

Born Again

Sabrina created the literature study guide to accompany Born Again, and the timeline and chapter summaries in it to help our homeschool high schoolers keep track of the major events and players who impacted Colson’s life. Her homeschool group class discussions, based on the study guide, delved into the pride that defined Colson and so many of the Nixon administration, followed by the humbling that God allowed him to experience.

The book Born Again presented a character-development challenge to her homeschool high schoolers.  They considered the ways in which they might be tempted to live independent of God, operating in their own strength, and were challenged to count the cost of living that way.

Another insight they found in Born Again was a challenge to pray for and minister to those who are incarcerated.  The hopelessness of life behind bars was not something these homeschool high schoolers had considered with any depth, and they came away from Colson’s story with a new burden for those in prisons worldwide.

Reading Born Again with the Literature Study Guide in conjunction with a study of US History in the 20th century is also a great way to gain understanding of the Nixon administration and the events that shook our nation as the Watergate scandal broke.  While the amount of historical detail about the political intrigue surrounding the Watergate era in Washington is a bit overwhelming, the message of redemption in Chuck Colson’s story is inspiring.

Character Development and High School Literature: Born Again by Chuck Colson


Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

2 Replies to “Character Development and High School Literature: Born Again by Chuck Colson”

    • Hi Jennifer!
      Born Again would be a challenge for most middle school students. It requires both a lot of reading (translation: it’s long), but it also requires some mature thinking in order to really get the meat out of it. I’d save it for high school.

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