Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice

51 Colonial Circle
St John's Grace Episcopal Church
Buffalo, NY 14222


Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice


Jesus the Liberator Seminary was founded by the Rev. Hugh Pratt and a host of college professors, ministers and justice advocates, and was established as a 501c3 nonprofit in 1995 in Buffalo, NY.  We are currently housed at St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church.

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 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).

Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice is a member of the Western New York Library Resources Council.


Written Timeline of Jesus the Liberator Seminary

Collection of annual reports and records for Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice 2007-2022

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The United States of America incarcerates and medicates people at a greater rate than any nation on earth.  This is the first response to real or perceived crimes and illnesses.  Bringing light to this situation is the intention of this book.  The authors have survived the prison and mental health systems and/or have worked to bring healing and liberation to people within this system and/or have worked to create a new way of addressing crime and illness.  Some of the authors have questioned the foundations of what is considered a crime or illness and/or have worked through crime and illness to create transforming insights and/or have documented nonviolent histories, methodologies and poetic, speculative insights based in the experience of their work.  Implicit within this is liberation from personal or social limitations. 

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This book is an attempt to expand the concepts of Prison Theology by integrating concepts of Relational Theology.  Relational Theology can be seen as an understanding that God is embraced by the dynamic between two or more; that is, between the supreme self within the self or between the self and other.  Divine relationship is healthy - the absence of relationship is static or absent life and therefore a form of death.

Event Flyer

Archives of Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice and its proceedings

Prison Theology Newsletter introduction

An online newsletter published through Jesus the Liberator’s Prison Theology website. Each week’s piece offers spiritual insight that connects modern concerns of incarceration in the American empire to biblical witness, philosophical accounts and interfaith statements in hopes to continue building a bridge of understanding.

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PRISON THEOLOGY is an attempt to build a knowledge base that can offer solutions to “crime and punishment”.  This theology was developed among multitudes of incarcerated people in the American empire.  People most affected by punishment are assisting in the spiritual liberation of people incarcerated, as well as, the society which incarcerates.  These solutions are rooted in experience.  We encourage each person to develop a theory of God, a theology, which is born out of their experience.  And so we view experiential knowledge as equal to scriptural and academic knowledge.  This threefold knowledge is applied to experiential solutions.  The primary experience we encounter is prison.  Therefore, we are articulating a “prison theology”.