Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)


Pastoral Ministry


Eilish Ryan


The location for my Pastoral Project will be the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) John B. Connally Unit, located two miles south of the town of Kenedy on Hwy 181 in Karnes County, Texas. The Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service Life Long Learning (ACTS-L3) - Journeyman program will provide a learning experience for those participants seeking a faith-based approach to personal development. The beliefs of the Catholic Church and lay faithful will be the basis for learning objectives. The planned curriculum intends to increase awareness of the vocation of lay people in all temporal affairs to our incarcerated communities.

Participants will be adult males with a mean age of 37 and education level of ninth grade. They are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, but predominantly of Hispanic and African-American origin. The Connally Unit is a maximum security prison with a large population incarcerated for over 10 years. Many offenders (prisoners) have no opportunity for parole in the near future. The primary purpose of this program will be to influence a positive change of lifestyle through behavior modifcation in support of TDCJ's mission: "The mission of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to provide public safety, promote positive change in offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society and assist victims of crime" (TDCJ, 2013).

Participants will volunteer to engage in fellowship, self discovery and social reentry preparedness. Activities will assimilate a doorway or threshold of change by reexamining the decisions and actions which consequently led to incarceration. Several resources are employed leading to a Journeyman style of self-directed and classroom discovery learning experiences with practical application exercise to encourage Life Long Learning. The program strives to create an active community with a positive influence. The curriculum design encompasses a combination of the Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate approach to training and education development process and the Understanding by Design models. Each Module will contain several lessons, which are self paced and volunteer or peer facilitated. Small group instruction and individual face to face will be the primary delivery method.

The ultimate goal of the program is to instill a faith-based lifestyle through which participants seek to better themselves and the community. This is accomplished by active participation in the preparation for re-entry into general society or continued growth and positive contribution toward the incarcerated community.