This first-of-its-kind program in the United States breaks new ground in bringing religious and spiritual resources to bear on one of the nation’s most complex and serious problems. Crime is among the most critical issues facing the United States. Currently, approximately two and a half million people are incarcerated in state and federal prisons in the United States, and research demonstrates a dire need for new paradigms for treatment, rehabilitation, and re-entry into society.
Prison ministry has been a strong expression of and commitment in the Christian tradition (Matt. 25, 31-46), and historically religious institutions have played prominent roles in the prevention and control of delinquency and crime, especially in the first half of the 20th century. Research shows that inmates involved in faith-based programs are significantly less likely to be rearrested during follow-up periods than inmates not involved in such programs.
Situated in a community with a reputation for its strong religious traditions and identity, and also in a city challenged by its crime and incarceration rates, New Orleans provides great opportunities for collaboration between the criminal justice system and faith-based organizations.By bridging the domains of religion and ministry with criminal justice, graduates will have a unique background for forming creative alliances and coalitions with churches and justice institutions, as well as doing the empirical studies necessary for the acquisition state and federal funding for faith-based rehabilitation programs.
The total number of credit hours for the dual degree is 55 credits of graduate work. If students take each program separately, the required number of hours would be 67 credits. Pursuing the dual degree provides the student with the reduction of 11 credits. All courses are 3 credit hours.