Go to seminary and start a flagship program! This is what Theological School alumna Margaret Quern Atkins T‘07 did. After studying religion and social justice at Drew and doing an internship at Vanderbilt on restorative justice, Margaret challenged her alma mater to help her start a co-learning program in New Jersey state prisons.
Since then, students and professors travel every semester to Northern State Correctional Facility in Newark or Edna Mahan Women’s Correctional Facility in Clinton to hold class. Theological school students and incarcerated men and women study theology, biblical studies, ethics, creative writing and history together as co-learners. As courses continue to be touted as the among the most transformative learning at Drew, Margaret has gone on to establish NJ-Step, a statewide effort to provide college-level courses to incarcerated people in New Jersey.