Transitional Center/Helms Facility

The Metro Transitional Center and Helms Facility are two small correctional facilities located on adjacent grounds.

  • Metro Transitional Center (MTC) is a work-release center for female offenders.
  • Helms Facility houses critically/terminally ill male offenders and pregnant female offenders.

Site work

Students fulfill site hours on Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Students will provide pastoral care to inmates, help lead programs and assist the chaplain with worship and group leadership.

Fall 2018 Reflection Group

Wednesday 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Metro Transitional Center, led by Rev. Susan Bishop, Site Supervisor.

Spring 2019 Integrative Seminar

Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Metro, led by Rev. Susan Bishop and Dr. Elizabeth Bounds.

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in MTC/Helms Site will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501CE 1 in the fall semester (Tuesday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.), taught by Dr. Jennifer Winingder.

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Bounds will serve as the academic advisor for Transitional Center/Helms students and will join the group for the spring Integrative Seminar.

Site Mission

Metro Transitional Center (MTC) provides pastoral care and counseling, worship, and ministry for residents and staff. The ministry at MTC will focus on assisting the women with re-entry issues as they prepare to return to society.

Helms Facility provides pastoral care and counseling, worship, and ministry for offenders and staff. The ministry at Helms Facility will focus on pastoral care issues of life-threatening illnesses, and death and dying. The ministry also provides support and pastoral care to pregnant offenders, most of whom will be separated from their children soon after birth. Ministry in both facilities also provides pastoral care to staff.

About the Site

Metro Transitional Center (MTC) is a 229-bed female work release center for women who are within 6 to 24 months of release from prison.

Helms Facility is a co-ed correctional facility that houses all of the pregnant female offenders in the state of Georgia (20 to 40 on average). The site also houses up to 25 male offenders who are experiencing critical and life-threatening illnesses.

Demographics of female inmates in Georgia:
53% Caucasian
46.5% African American
5% Hispanic and/or Asian
80% or more have addiction and substance abuse issues
80% or more have physical, mental, sexual abuse issues
90% are mothers and/or grandmothers
The age range is between 13–80
The average age is between 25–35

Student Reflection

MDiv student Kristen Wright reflects on her Contextual Education I experience at Transitional Center/Helms Facility during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility

In addition to the required criminal background check Candler requires of all admitted students, this site requires a criminal background check administered by the Georgia Department of Corrections, a TB test, and a training session about security issues at the two facilities. Depending on the results of the background check, fingerprinting may also be required (The fingerprint process will cost less than $20). Students with a criminal conviction may not be eligible to work at this site.

This site is located on a MARTA bus route, but transportation may be time-consuming and/or complicated. Students who plan to rely on public transportation should consult the bus schedule for more information. Students at this site usually develop a carpool plan to assist those without cars.

This site would be challenging for students with mobility issues.


Transitional Center/Helms Facility
1303 Constitution Road
Atlanta, GA 30316 (Map)
Phone: 404.624.2380
Handicap Accessible: Y

Site Supervisor

The Rev. Chaplain Susan Bishop has been a Correctional Clinical Chaplain with the Georgia Department of Corrections since 1984. She is a Candler graduate, has a Masters degree in music education from Georgia State, and has been supervising Candler students since 1997. Susan is an ordained Southern Baptist clergywoman.
Phone: 706.776.4700