Georgia Department of Corrections
Brian Owens, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (478) 992-5248
STATE OF GEORGIA
For Immediate Release
Forsyth – The Georgia Department of Corrections, in conjunction with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), will host an opening ceremony on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at Phillips State Prison. The ceremony will begin at 10:00am. The facility is located at 2989 West Rock Quarry Road, Buford, GA 30519.
Twenty-eight offenders will begin studies to receive an Associates and Bachelors degree in Christian Ministry. In December 2010, twenty-five students graduated from the program and now assist with the Department’s Faith and Character Based Program and serve as Chaplains Assistants.
“This program is a unique opportunity for offenders to earn a degree and serve within their prison,” said Commissioner Brian Owens. “The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary gives them valuable tools to better prepare for life outside of prison,” added Owens.
The Leavell College of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary program began at Phillips State Prison in April 2008. It is modeled after programs at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana and Parchman State Prison in Mississippi. The Extension Center offers inmates a two-year, seventy-six semester hour Associate’s degree in Christian Ministry and a four-year, 126 semester hour Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministry. These fully accredited college degrees are designed to provide a broad foundation for ministry within the prison system and are based upon eight core competencies: Biblical Exposition, Christian Heritage, Servant Leadership, Interpersonal Relationships, Spiritual and Character Formation, Disciple Making, Worship Leadership and Life Skills. In addition to earning a degree, inmates will minister within the Georgia prison system under the direction of a Chaplain.The Department of Corrections is the fourth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 160,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 14,000 employees.