Angola inmates receive Seminary Degrees

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Leavell College of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Angola (NOBTS) Joan Horner Extension Center held its 2016 through 2018 commencement exercises at Louisiana State Penitentiary on Devember 20.

The college conferred 64 Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Christian Ministry. Additionally, there were 23 Graduate Certificates in Mentoring which will lead to a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. This Masters Degree Program began at Angola in 2017 and is the first such program offered through NOBTS in a prison setting. Louisiana State Penitentiary Warden Darrel Vannoy and the prison staff would like to congratulate these graduates on their accomplishment.

These men will be used in ministry through the Chaplains Department. Some will become missionaries and sent to Louisiana's other state prisons to assist the Chaplains Departments in those facilities.

Many of the NOBTS graduates serve as pastors of the offender-lead churches at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Others serve as ministers in the prison's hospital and other areas throughout the institution.

These graduates are also mentors and instructors in Corrections Re-Entry Court and numerous other moral rehabilitation programs at Angola. Since the inception of the seminary program in 1995, there has been a significant reduction in violence at the facility.

Leavell College of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary opened at Angola in 1995. Since then, there have been more than 300 college graduates. There are a number of the seminary graduates that have released from prison and are actively engaged in ministry through churches in their communities.

Currently, 12 states are modeling the Angola Seminary Program, all with great success.

Contributed by the La. Dept. of Corrections