Houston, TX

The story of Brandon Warren: From inmate to achieving University of St. Thomas' doctorate in education

Marisol Gallagher

Brandon WarrenUniversity of St. Thomas Houston Newsroom

HOUSTON — “Transformation” isn’t merely a buzzword or jargon. Here’s a real-life example— Meet Brandon Warren, Ed.D. Warren has been an adjunct professor since 2011, living his passion of changing the lives of the incarcerated through education and helping ex-inmates successfully re-enter society. He is one in a million who experienced a remarkable transformation in his life journey.

Living with an abusive and alcoholic stepfather who “was always looking for work or getting run out of town”, Warren grew up as a troubled, tough, even violent adolescent. He ran the streets and joined a gang. He had his first experience behind bars in 1996 at the age of 16, and he would be remanded to prison twice more before he was 20.

Warren recalled his third incarceration in 2000. At that time, he came to an epiphany that he was on a dead-end — that he was risking death and imprisonment for people who didn’t love him — and it made no sense. He prayed about it and decided to spend his time while getting an education.

He completed his GED and thanks to college-in-prison programs and grant money for people in his situation. He proceeded to earn an A.A. in Humanities from Lee College in Baytown.

He returned to school after being released from prison in 2004. In 2009, Warren earned his B.S. in Biblical Counseling from the College for Biblical Studies and his Master of Divinity degree in 2015 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked as an administrative assistant and then became an adjunct professor while pursuing his first graduate degree.

Working on his calling to teach in prisons, he sought the right doctoral program in education to round out his credentials. Warren receives credit and respect from esteemed people he met in his journeys, such as UST’s Dr. Andres Garcia, Warren’s professor, and U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona.

You can learn more about his personal story and the multiple criminal justice issues near and dear to his heart by visiting his YouTube Video blog and Facebook page below:



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