Georgia’s first female offenders graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), in partnership with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) Leavell College Extension Center at the Whitworth Women’s Facility (WF), hosted a launching ceremony in honor of ten women offenders on Friday, May 21 2021. This ceremony celebrated the first GDC women offenders to receive an associate degree in Christian ministry through the NOBTS program at Leavell College.
“I am proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment these offenders have shown in achieving their goals and achieving their Associate Degree,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We value our partnership with NOBTS and Heartbound Ministries to help offenders make positive change within themselves and within the walls of institutions.
NOBTS, Leavell College Extension Center in Whitworth WF began in 2019, offering offenders a two-year, 76-semester associate’s degree in Christian ministry. The first batch of graduates will now begin the four-year, 126-semester Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry. These fully accredited university degrees are designed to provide a broad basis for ministry within the prison system. They are based on eight core competencies: Bible exposure, Christian heritage, servant leadership, interpersonal relationships, spiritual and character training, discipleship training, worship leadership, and life skills.
In addition to earning a degree, offenders serve as ministers to their peers in the Georgia prison system under the direction of a chaplain, and ultimately return to their communities as prepared leaders.
For more information on the NOBTS program, please visit http://www.nobts.edu/leavellcollege/