Fourteen Alabama prisoners have earned theological degrees under a new seminary program in the state’s prison system.
The Alabama Department of Corrections says the first inmates graduated from seminary studies under the Birmingham Theological Seminary Prison Initiative Program.
The privately funded program allows inmates to take seminary classes taught at the Bibb County Correctional Facility. The program lasts two years.
Ten inmates earned certificates in biblical studies and four earned masters of arts in biblical studies.
Some graduates will serve as assistant instructors for the next class. Others will be assigned to correctional facilities to lead ministries, serve as mentors and assist in rehabilitative programs.
Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says he started the program after being impressed with results of a similar one in South Carolina.