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Georgia Department of Corrections
Homer Bryson, Commissioner

Director of Public Affairs
Joan Heath

Contact: Susan Megahee
(478) 992-5248


For Immediate Release

Offenders Graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary - Bachelor of Arts degrees in Christian Ministry Earned

Forsyth - The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), in partnership with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) hosted a commencement celebration honoring 21 graduates from the NOBTS program on June 2 at Phillips State Prison in Buford, Ga. All graduates earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministry from NOBTS through Leavell College.

"I am very thankful for the NOBTS ministry and teachers that have worked diligently with our inmates," said GDC Commissioner Homer Bryson. "The impact of this ministry is not only seen in the transformational behaviors of the inmates, but also within the walls of the facility resulting in a reduction of violence."

NOBTS, has held two graduation ceremonies at GDC since its partnership began in 2007, honoring a total of 46 offenders with a Bachelor�s degree in Christian Ministry. Participation in the program is voluntary and participants are selected through a process that involves approval from prison administration, chaplaincy and security personnel, in addition to the NOBTS faculty. Participants must have a minimum of five years left to serve upon the completion of the program and not have any disciplinary reports for 12 months prior to enrollment, and must be willing to carry out ministry assignments at the GDC upon graduation. To maintain accreditation, all classes are taught and graded at a college level with course instruction consisting of class and study for eight hours daily.

The program, which is funded solely through the Southern Baptist Convention and NOBTS, covers eight core competencies: Biblical Exposition, Christian Heritage, Servant Leadership, Interpersonal Relationships, Spiritual and Character Formation, Disciple Making, Worship Leadership and Life Skills. The classes include: Marriage and Family Counseling, Introduction to Preaching, Church History and Evangelism. Graduates of the program have been assigned to 22 prisons throughout the GDC system to assist and participate in Faith and Character Based opportunities within the inmate population.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 55,000 state prisoners and over 160,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 12,000 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5247 or visit


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