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Continuing Education

Prison Inside/Outside Cohort Overview

In conjunction with the online Certificate in Theology and Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary offers a cohort that meets weekly inside Garden State Youth Correctional Facility. The cohort is comprised of “Inside” and “Outside” students. Inside participants are incarcerated Christian lay leaders and are active in a variety of ministries. Outside, or community, participants will have demonstrated leadership skills in their own ministries as well.

What does participation in the Inside/Outside cohort involve?

Outside students agree to meet weekly, for 19 weeks, plus holiday breaks, at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility. Rather than interact online, student work is written in hard copy, and peer reviewed so that inside students comment on outside student work, and vice versa.

When does the cohort meet?

Sessions are held on Fridays from 5 – 8 p.m. at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Bordentown, NJ. Teaching fellows and outside students will arrive at 4:30 p.m. to go through security together, and will be leaving the facility by 8:30 p.m. Continuing Education has worked in close collaboration with the chaplain supervisor to select a time that best promotes our inside students’ involvement in their ministries and other educational programs of which they are a part.

What do I need to do to be enrolled as an outside participant in this cohort?

All prospective Certificate students need to be accepted via our online application process. If accepted, you will be required to complete a clearance paperwork for the New Jersey Department of Corrections and submit to a background check before being accepted into the theology certificate inside cohort.


Dates & Application

2019–2020 Program Details

  • $400
  • 19 weeks of study
  • Friday evenings
  • Breaks at the Holidays
  • Starts October 11, 2019
  • Ends March 13, 2020
  • Contextual Learning

Application Process

  • Submit an online application by August 31, 2019
  • Come to campus for a face-to-face interview
  • If accepted, complete NJDOC clearance paperwork
  • If all clear, register and pay the $400 fee
  • Take part in a training session
Apply Now

Faculty & Courses

The prison cohort engages the same courses and faculty as the online program. The faculty go inside and teach in person at least once during their 3-week course.


Dennis Olson

Dennis T. Olson
Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament, Chair of the Department of Biblical Studies

OLD TESTAMENT RESOURCES FOR FAITH AND LIFE // 4 weeks

This course explores the question, “Does the Old Testament have any bearing on how we live today?” Dr. Olson will guide students through Old Testament stories of suffering and revenge and engage modern researchers and theologians, in hopes of reshaping the way we view the Old Testament in modern life.


Eric Barreto

Eric D. Barreto
Frederick and Margaret L. Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament

NEW TESTAMENT: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE // 4 weeks

In this course, students will discover why the Gospel of Luke is worth studying today. Dr. Barreto will lead students on a journey through the gospel of Luke, carefully noting how Luke’s unique story of the Jesus, who heals and saves, transforms how we see the world and act in it.


Ellen Charry

Ellen T. Charry
Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Systematic Theology Emerita

THEOLOGY FOR FAITH AND LIFE // 4 weeks

This course aims to help people know, love, and enjoy God better so that they and the societies to which they contribute may flourish. Studies will touch on topics such as trinitarian heresies and orthodoxy, how evil comes into the world, Christ’s divinity, and the work of the Spirit. Students will learn that theology is not just an academic discipline—it is for faith and life.


Raimundo Barreto

Raimundo César Barreto Jr.
Assistant Professor of World Christianity

WORLD CHRISTIANITY // 4 weeks

In this course, students will explore the question, “How do we make sense of our faith in light of different expressions of Christianity around the world?” Students will gain insight into the development of a pluricentric contemporary world Christianity. Dr. Barreto will highlight the perspectives and contributions offered by Christians from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and their Diasporas. The course covers historic, demographic, cultural and theological themes, which have contributed to shape Christianity in these different regions.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors because it’s one of the last places in our society where people will actually listen, perhaps to things they may not agree with.”