Twenty-one inmates of Phillips State Prison in Gwinnett County can also call themselves graduates following a June 2 commencement where all earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministry through New Orleans Seminary’s Leavell College. The opportunity was afforded due to a partnership between Leavell College and the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC).
New Orleans Seminary has now held two graduation ceremonies at Phillips State Prison with 46 graduates. Participation in the program is voluntary and participants are selected through a process that involves approval from prison administration, chaplaincy, and security personnel as well as seminary faculty.
Other requirements for participants include a minimum of five years left to serve upon the completion of the program and no disciplinary reports for the previous year prior to enrollment, in addition to being willing to carry out ministry assignments at the GDC upon graduation.