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First Female Offenders in Georgia Receive Degree through 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 Whitworth Women’s Facility (WF), hosted a commencement ceremony honoring ten female offenders on Friday, May 21, 2021. This ceremony celebrated the first female offenders in the GDC to receive an associate degree in Christian Ministry through the Leavell College NOBTS program.

“I am proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment these offenders have shown toward meeting their goals and graduating with their Associate Degrees,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We appreciate our partnership with NOBTS and Heartbound Ministries in assisting offenders with positive change within themselves and the walls of the facilities.”

The NOBTS, Leavell College Extension Center at Whitworth WF began in 2019, offering offenders a two-year, 76-semester hour associate degree in Christian Ministry.  The first class of graduates will now begin the 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. They 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, the offenders serve as ministers to their peers within 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

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