Thirteen Tennessee inmates will receive degrees from Lipscomb University during a graduation ceremony.
The state Department of Correction says the graduation for the Lipscomb Initiative for Education will take place Thursday at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center.
Two women will graduate with associate’s degrees of arts, three with professional studies bachelor’s degrees and eight with their master’s of arts in Christian ministry.
Additionally, five outside students who studied alongside graduate students inside the prison for four years will receive master’s degrees in Christian ministry.
The inmates were taught face-to-face by university professors and studied side-by-side with traditional Lipscomb undergraduates at the prison once a week.
Many of the graduating women have been studying for a decade. For four of the master’s candidates, it has been 15 years.
This marks the fifth group of inmates to receive degrees through the program since its inception in 2007.