As a project manager for an organization that provides entrepreneurial training in underserved and under-resourced communities, Lejia “Jia” Johnson oversaw an initiative that offered re-entry entrepreneurship training to returning citizens. This spring, she extended her assistance inside Cook County Department of Correction’s maximum security facility, co-teaching a pilot course, Introduction to Theological Reflection, which was designed by Dr. Jenny McBride, associate dean of Doctor of Ministry Programs and Continuing Education and assistant professor of Theology and Ethics.
“With reentry work, I am mindful of the many reentry barriers people face when trying to reintegrate back into their communities,” said Johnson, a master of arts in Public Ministry student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Through the cross-registration program that’s available to students who attend one of 12 schools that are part of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, Johnson was able to register for the McCormick class that gave her a unique opportunity to teach at a correctional facility. “In the jail setting, what was new for me, was being mindful of the many stressors… more