There is much that occurs beyond the walls of Georgia prisons – both good and bad – but the most recent news is just impressive.

On August 4, Walker State Prison (SP) honored two offenders at the Covington Theological Seminary graduation,  hosted at the facility located in Rock Springs, Ga. Brett Sullivan, President of Covington Theological Seminary, awarded one offender with an associate degree in Sacred Literature and awarded a second offender with a Master of Ministry degree.

“This landmark ceremony is the first seminary graduation hosted at Georgia’s first Faith & Character Based facility,” said Commissioner Dozier. “We are proud of the two men who received their degree, and are grateful to our partnership with Covington Theological Seminary, our dedicated staff, and our many volunteers, for making this opportunity possible.”

Walker SP Warden, Pamela Ballinger, congratulated the graduates and challenged them to “use the training you have received to help others.  It is a gift from God that requires you to pay it forward.” Special guest Georgia House Representative John Deffenbaugh was on hand to observe the ceremony, along with family members, volunteers from the Kairos community, Brainerd Baptist Church, Oakwood Baptist Church, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, and the Community Mentoring Ministry, and Walker SP staff.

Covington Theologyical Seminary, located in Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., offers a variety of undergraduate, Master and Doctorate degree programs. The mission of the Seminary is to meet potential students where they are in their calling and ministry motivations and to design a quality and affordable program of study that addresses their individual goals and needs. For more:

Walker SP became the first and only male Faith and Character Based prison in the state of Georgia in 2011. Offenders accepted into the program spend two years studying the following components: Motivation for Change, Moral Reconation Therapy, Thinking for a Change, Behavior Stabilization, Effective Communication, and the four-phase Faith and Character based concept (Foundation, Recovery, Transformation & Transition).


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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’

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