Prison Theology is a project of Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice – a faith-based nonprofit organization located in Buffalo, NY.

Prison Theology

Our main emphasis is to form relationships with incarcerated people through nationwide correspondence. We work to provide spiritual development and religious instruction and to create an educational community by connecting college professors, theologians, clergy, activists and incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Prison Theology is a grounded and liberating set of ideas which has evolved through these connections.

Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice

“Building a bridge of understanding through theological education of prisoners and the community.”

Jesus the Liberator Seminary was founded by the Rev. Hugh Pratt and was established as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1995 in Buffalo, NY.

We heal and empower through spiritual guidance and facilitated education. We value humility, mercy, intelligence, wisdom born from experience and love which serves others. We come from a Christian tradition which values and respects all traditions. We are justice oriented and apply these values to the healing of society and to the uplift of the underserved and unheard. We encourage the articulation of a theology which upholds these values and helps to create a socially responsible ministry. We help to build up a people who serve with knowledge.

Originally Jesus the Liberator Seminary provided formal theological courses in prisons and within the community and offered a personalized course of study through correspondence. Members and friends of the organization also published three books: Prison Theology (2013), Dreamers, Romans and Prisons: Meditation on Crime, Illness, Healing and Liberation (2015) and More to this Confession: Relational Prison Theology (2020).

Rev. Douglas Gilbert was a long time chair of the board and bequeathed a large theological library. Original publications from the organization and over 1,000 donated books have been distributed to incarcerated people, prison chaplains and other nonprofit organizations in an effort to build community and to foster the evolution of the ideas.

The Reifler Enablement Fund of the Network of Religious Communities has provided some of the funds for Jesus the Liberator and we are supported through personal donations.

If you would like more information about the organization or would like to give a donation, please contact us at: Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice, St. John’s-Grace Church, 51 Colonial Circle, Buffalo, NY 14222 or

[Photo credit: Image by msandersmusic from Pixabay]

Board Members: (left to right) Matthew Hoslinger, Chris Barbera, Exec.Dir. & Academic Dean, Thomas Kreuder and Keith Kristich gathering in our library meeting space in Buffalo, NY.

Consultant: Gabrie’l J. Atchison