The Rev. Dr. Charles Atkins, Jr. appointed as Director of the Master of Professional Studies program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility

New York, NY (April 16, 2020) – New York Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles Atkins, Jr. as the Director of the Master of Professional Studies program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Dr. Atkins joins the core faculty, bringing with him close to two decades of experience working in ministry, prisons, and the academy. 

Dr. Atkins is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish, and he brings experience in spiritual empowerment and the socio-economic development of people in Central America, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean.   

“We are elated by the addition of Dr. Charles Atkins to the NYTS family. He is a vibrant theological thinker and leader who brings to our faculty an exceptional set of talents”, said Dr. Tamara Henry. We look forward to the significant contributions he will make as a part of the NYTS community.”

Dr. Atkins served as an ordained minister and full-time Chaplain with the New Jersey Department of Corrections at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, where for over 20 years, he developed and maintained programs that teach incarcerated youth and young adults methods of overcoming inner and outer violence through the practical application of spiritual principles. Through this work, he also provided mentor training for faith-based groups interested in working with returning citizens.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Charles Atkins, Jr. to the NYTS team,” said President Dr. LaKeesha Walrond. “His experience as both an academician and practitioner is the perfect fit for our MPS students and our Seminary at-large. I look forward to working with him and eagerly anticipate his leadership and expertise in this role.

Dr. Atkins holds a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College, two master’s degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from the University of Montreal. His doctoral research focused on those necessary elements that make religious practices effective in leading a person to spiritual renewal of consciousness while incarcerated. His work centers on religious practice in incarcerated communities, and is summarized in his forthcoming book, The Word Confined: Bible Study in an American Prison. (Nova Science Publishers, 2020).


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