First in the Theological Education in Prisons Series
This presentation examines the role academic theology programs in jails and prisons may play in the work of resisting the carceral system. Certificate and degree programs in theological studies, often sponsored by seminaries and divinity schools, are part of a larger national movement that sees higher education in prison as a vital resource in the work of advocacy and resistance. The presentation will briefly examine the role Christian education has played historically and today to bolster the prison and, in contrast, will outline four characteristics of programs that are in the service of liberation. While doing so, the presentation will lift up the voices of incarcerated students, sharing the theological insights of women matriculating through an academic theology certificate program in Georgia, which served as a model for a similar program created at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.