In 2011, Southwestern Seminary launched undergraduate classes in Texas’ maximum security Darrington Unit in Rosharon, Texas, southwest of Houston. The inaugural class of 33 inmates graduated May 9, 2015, with bachelor’s degrees in biblical studies. Most of these graduates now lead Bible studies and minister to other Darrington inmates, but six were selected to be transferred to other prisons as “field ministers.”

One such prison, the Estelle High Security Unit in Huntsville, Texas, is beginning to see the fruit of Southwestern graduate Michael Townsend’s Gospel witness. On Feb. 27, the Houston Chronicle published an article about the Estelle Unit and the men who have been baptized since Townsend was transferred from Darrington several months prior. In February, three inmates were baptized, including Davey Enriquez, who is serving a 99-year sentence.

The seminary program has received the support of state officials including Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. John Whitmire. “What I am witnessing here is amazing. We are seeing the Lord work, changing hearts and lives,” Whitmire told the Houston Chronicle. “This goes to show what can happen when you give people another chance.”

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