Rev. Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue completed the Inside-Out Instructor Training Institute in January 2018, and soon after, began teaching Inside-Out courses at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia. Her most recent class combined from the jail and students from Virginia Theological Seminary. The course she taught combined practical theology and social ethics to equip faith leaders to engage in public policy discourse about criminal justice.
Rev. Dr. Fitchue had a long and illustrious career. She was ordained as an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She earned a seminary degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University. Before she began teaching at the Virginia Theological Seminary, she served as the president of Payne Theological Seminary, a historically black educational institution. She served as the first African American woman president serving one of the 200+ seminaries in the Association of Theological Schools.
Rev. Dr. Fitchue died on June 18, 2019 and funeral services were held at the historic Mother Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia on June 28th. Her family set up an education fund in her honor and The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program was one of the program recipients. You may make a donation to Inside-Out via the button on this page.
You can read more about the partnership Rev. Dr. Fitchue’s developed between the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Theological Seminary here.