CRESAPTOWN, Md (AP):Although a new seminary programme will officially start at the Western Correctional Institution in Cresaptown later this year, the Pilgrim Theological Seminary School actually got underway in April and it appears to be well received, leading some prisoners to pledge to "do no harm" to anyone at the prison.
Currently, there are about 100 prisoners enrolled and the programme's director, Keith Smith, is expecting more to join in the fall.
Pilgrim offers study programmes for an associate's degree in Christian studies and a bachelor's degree in Christian leadership.
Although the seminary programmes are designed toward theological studies, each programme has general education college-level credits that can be transferred if a prisoner chooses to pursue education or employment upon his release.
There have been unintended consequences of the classes, too, prisoners have taken it upon themselves to institute what they call the "Do No Harm" promise, a vow an inmate makes that they will not harm anyone at WCI, whether they are an inmate or an employee, for the remainder of their incarceration.