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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
June 24, 2015
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Hardee Correctional Institution to Host Florida Department of Corrections’ First Accredited Seminary

Bowling Green, FL – The Florida Department of Corrections, in collaboration with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), has established Florida’s first institutionally-based, accredited theological seminarian program.

The NOBTS extension program is a four-year course of study in which participating inmates will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry. Participating inmates will study Greek and Hebrew, form cellblock ministry teams and conduct peer ministry with other inmates. Potential students will be selected from the pool of interested inmates based upon various criteria.  

Secretary Julie Jones said, “The Department is delighted to partner with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in bringing educational opportunities to inmates in Florida. Through the theological seminarian program, inmates will transform their lives, and affect positive cultural and environmental changes within the facility.”

Program graduates will be equipped to lead church services, provide ministry in their dorms and perform grief counseling. 

The NOBTS program began at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana in 1995.

For more information on the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Extension Program at Hardee Correctional Institution, or Faith and Character Based Programs within the Florida Department of Corrections, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 488-0420 or through email at   



As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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