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February, 2017

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Scholars Weigh In: HTI 20th Anniversary a Tremendous Success


The reviews are in and your Hispanic Theological Initiative’s 20th Anniversary Celebration last November at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio was a huge success with about 320 members of the HTI Familia on hand, representing more than 70 institutions, to celebrate and reflect on the legacy of HTI.
Not content to simply celebrate, HTI used the event and weekend, which coincided with the AAR/SBL meetings, to engage future scholars from the HYLA program in HTI’s work, gather board members and mentors to plan a successful 2017, inspire local Latino/a youth to higher education possibilities, and met with school leaders to promote membership. The future looks bright! Thank you to all who made this time in San Antonio a success!
Here are some reflections on the HTI 20th Anniversary Celebration:
Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez (2002-2003 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor) Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Werner R.H. Krause and Elizabeth Ringger Krause Endowed Chair for Hispanic Ministries, Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary:
“As I saw the growing number of people involved in the HTI family over the years, I thought to myself how the work of this consortium is poised to be—and it already is, and has been—a multigenerational and intergenerational endeavor. We see already many generations of scholars represented in the ranks of HTI, but also see how they work together across generations to mine the contributions of Latino/a thought for the academy and the church. This is a blessing that will be felt by many for many generations yet to come! What a joy!”
Dr. Matilde Moros (2011-2012 HTI Dissertation Scholar) Adjunct Faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University:
“What did you miss if you did not attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the HTI gathering in San Antonio, TX? Personally, I missed seeing you, if you were not physically present at the windy patio wine gathering, or the elaborate and beautifully decorated dinner hall, or the lively greetings ‘saludos y despedidas’ on November 18th. And, if you are a scholar, a supporter, a member of the consortium, and one of the clouds of witnesses, you were remembered, embraced and surrounded in the loveliest of “Presente”! We shouted for joy. We wept for those departed, and we celebrated those in the pipeline.
“Your HTI describes itself as ‘Creating and nurturing a community of Latina and Latino scholars.’ The news is that the community was not created ‘ex nihilo’ and it is already multiplied with 107 new PhD scholars since this initiative began 20 years ago. Hundreds of us gathered to HTI’s past, with the presence of scholars, who two decades ago were a tiny group, now a growing number of varied Latina/o theologians. We celebrated the present, with the voices of a newly-minted doctor, offering passionate testimony of how HTI has continued to support and give life to the most isolated of PhD students, the single mothers, the first generations, the invisible students out there.”
“HTI’s twentieth was a San Antonio feast, not only to hear glorious Spanish and all the border languages everywhere, or to eat delicacies of the border city, or to visit with other friends and colleagues at the AAR/SBL, but to nurture and be nurtured into the next twenty years and beyond.”
Dr. Javier Alanis (2001-2002 HTI Dissertation Scholar) Executive Director and Associate Academic Dean, Associate Professor of Theology, Culture, and Mission at Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest:
“Attending the HTI 20th anniversary dinner was a most memorable event. The highlight was the ‘song of the ancestors’ that we sang in gratitude for their witness of faith and upon whose shoulders we stand. Singing ‘Presente’ as we invoked their names and seeing their images upon the giant screens was a most moving experience. It reminded me of the ‘cloud of witnesses’ in the book of Hebrews, the saints who have gone before us in the journey to our eternal destination. We are their living story as we bear the fruit of their labor by the ministry of our service in the church and academy. We stand with them bearing witness to the goodness of the Holy One whose faithfulness we tasted in the bread and wine of our communion dinner. Somos un pueblo de Dios que pone mano a la obra del reino al trabajar y celebrar en conjunto. Gracias HTI for making our witness to the world one for the benefit of all! ¡A Diosito sea toda la Gloria!

In this edition of Journeys:

Dearest Friends,
Since the 20th Anniversary Celebration last fall, we have been reflecting on the event’s success and thinking about how we can harness the love, excitement, and commitment you have bestowed upon your HTI. Your support is the foundation of the next 20 years of service to the Latina/o community of scholars who will come through and lead in academia and the church.
With all of the challenges facing our Latina/o and Hispanic communities, your HTI is in a special position to lead, empowering academia and the church, with you, and in support of your work, to ensure that the great work done by Latina/o scholars continues to be meaningful, groundbreaking and prolific. We take this role very seriously and are taking the necessary steps to ensure that we have a sound business plan, fundraising strategy, and outreach model.
We thank you for the faith you put in HTI, the support you have given, and the work you have produced, all of which make HTI the success it has been for 20 years and will be for many more decades. We will keep you informed as new initiatives within HTI develop and grow to make sure the 107 doctors who have come through this program continue to impact the world alongside the next 100 PhD scholars and beyond.
With immense gratitude, 

Joanne Rodríguez

HTI thanks Dr. Daniel Aleshire for his leadership and support for the past 20 years, and wishes him all the best as he retires from his position as Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). We also congratulate Dr. Frank Yamada as the new Executive Director of ATS. Welcome aboard! Your HTI looks forward to continued strong leadership and support from Dr. Yamada and ATS for the future.
Your HTI Steering Committee met earlier this month at Princeton Theological Seminary. While the meetings were highly productive, the Steering Committee welcomed two new members: Dr. M. Daniel "Danny" Carroll Rodas (HTI Mentor, Selection Committee Member, and Book Prize Reader), Blanchard Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, and Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo (2007-2008 HTI Dissertation Scholar), Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion at Williams College. Welcome Dr. Carroll and Dr. Hidalgo!

HTI also thanks Dr. Teresa Delgado and Dr. Efrain Agosto for their terms serving as Steering Committee Members. Your leadership and dedication to HTI contributes to our greater vision from the past 20 years and the next 20 years to come!

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is pleased to include Jorge Juan Rodríguez V among an accomplished group of doctoral scholars who have received support through the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI).

A PhD candidate in Modern Religious History, Mr. Rodríguez’ work investigates how religion has imposed and/or resisted colonization and coloniality through the lens of social theory. His current research centers in the Americas from the late 15th century to the present day with a particular focus on Puerto Rico. Mr. Rodríguez is receiving mentorship and guidance during his time as an HTI scholar from Dr. Daniel Ramirez (HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of American Religious History and Latin American Religious History at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to entering Union’s PhD program, Mr. Rodríguez worked in affordable housing, higher education administration, and diversity recruitment. He remains active in Union’s Latina/o Student Caucus and occasionally publishes articles on religion, race, and politics.
Union proudly enjoys a robust history supporting and collaborating with the HTI. Past HTI Scholars to graduate from Union include Dr. Teresa Delgado (‘01 – ‘02) and Dr. David Sánchez (‘06 – ‘07). Dr. Delgado currently serves as the Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Iona College where she is an Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics. After serving as the Director of the Institute of Faith and Public Life and Hispanic Leadership Programs at Princeton Theological Seminary, Rev. Salguero is President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. Dr. Sánchez is Associate Professor of Theological Studies and Director of American Cultures at Loyola Marymount University.
Union has been a part of HTI from the beginning, as Dr. Daisy L. Machado (Union, ’81) was the first director of HTI when it launched in 1996 on the campus of Emory University. “When I began that summer all I had was a 135-page proposal that had been approved by The Pew Charitable Trusts,” said Dr. Machado. “By April 1997, we had our first group of doctoral students who were interviewed by the selection committee for the first scholarships given out by the HTI.”
Dr. Machado, Professor of Church History at Union, also leads the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), an annual graduate-level intensive that gives theological students the opportunity to study and build community with Latina/o peers and professors. The HSP is designed primarily for Latina/o students enrolled in theological seminaries and university departments of theology or religion. Each summer, the HSP brings together nearly 70 participants from the United States and Puerto Rico, representing a wide variety of traditions, denominations, and theological perspectives. The 2017 HSP will take place from June 17 to July 1, 2017, at the North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.


Your HTI has a new member! On November 2016, HTI consortium welcomed its newest member, Wheaton College (Wheaton). Located in Wheaton, IL, it is private liberal arts college. Founded in 1860 by the abolitionist and preacher Jonathan Blanchard, the school maintains an affiliation with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. The college offers over 40 majors, special programs and certificates. The Wheaton College Graduate School was founded in 1937 to provide further theological training and ministry skills. The mission statement of Wheaton College Graduate School is "To form servant scholars and leaders through exceptional graduate programs for Christ and His Kingdom. The vision statement is: God transforming the world through scholars and practitioners rooted in Christ and equipped for global leadership."
As expressed by Dr. Margaret Diddams, Wheaton’s Provost and Professor of Psychology Developing, “becoming a member of HTI can serve as an important component for increasing campus diversity and will help Wheaton College become part of the national conversation on Latino/a education. We [Wheaton] know that involvement will enrich the Institution in multiple ways.

Dr. M. Daniel "Danny" Carroll Rodas (HTI Mentor, Selection Committee Member, and Book Prize Reader), currently serves at Wheaton as Blanchard Professor of Old Testament.
Passing Comprehensive Exams:
Erica Ramirez (2016-2017 HTI Dissertation Scholar), PhD candidate at Drew Theological School, recently passed her comprehensive exams. Congratulations, Erica!

New appointments:

Dr. Salvador Leavitt-Alcantara (2007-2008 HTI Dissertation Scholar) has been appointed as the Inpatient Children and Adolescent Psychiatry Chaplain at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Congratulations!

Antonio “Tony” Alonso (2016-2017 HTI Dissertation Scholar), PhD Candidate in Religion at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, has accepted a position in the Candler faculty as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Practice of Theology and Culture, and Director of Catholic Studies. According to Dean Jan Love, This appointment is directly in response to work done in the Strategic Planning Committee to imagine a Catholic Studies Program. Tony’s expertise will be crucial in designing such a program and helping to shepherd it through faculty governance. In addition, Tony brings a much-needed additional Latino/a presence on the faculty.” Congratulations, Tony!
Congratulations also to Dr. Thomas “Tom” Flores (2005-2006 HTI Dissertation Scholar), Assistant Professor of Positive Human Development and Social Change (PHDSC) at Life University, who was recently appointed as director over the Concentration in “Peace Studies and Sustainable Human Flourishing” within the PHDSC Bachelor’s degree at Life University, which he also coordinates.
Dr. Armando J. Rodriguez, Jr. (2003-2004 HTI Dissertation Scholar) has been appointed Senior Pastor of First UMC in Bartow, FL. Dr. Rodriguez will also serve as part of the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary adjunct faculty, teaching classes in the summers.
¡En hora buena!
Dr. Rubén Rosario Rodríguez (2003-2004 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Mev Puleo Scholarship Program at Saint Louis University, was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Society of Christian Ethics at the society's annual meeting in New Orleans (Jan 5 - 8, 2017).
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary recently appointed Rev. Dr. Pablo A. Jimenez as the new Associate Dean of Hispanic Ministries Program which currently trains nearly 400 students around the world. “We look forward to continuing the important work pioneered by Dr. Eldin Villafane and Dr. Alvin Padilla (HTI Mentor) that has been making a global impact for decades, and anticipate the future as the Hispanic Ministries Program becomes part of the Ockenga Institute’s global outreach efforts,” said Dr. David Currie, Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Ockenga Institute at Gordon-Conwell.

 Dr. Luis Leon (2000-2001 HTI Postdoctoral Scholar), Professor of Religious Studies at University of Denver, has been awarded a grant from the Louisville Institute to study Pentecostal males converting from Catholicism. According to Dr. Leon’s project description: “Despite the fact that it is impossible to know the exact number of Latinas and Latinos who convert from Catholicism to Pentecostalism in the United States each year, studies show that such a shift is occurring. As a result of this movement, sociologists and historians are asking about the motivations for and conditions under which Latinas and Latinos are converting. While there has been significant, though not sufficient, work done on Latina women who convert, particularly in Latin America, there is little work done on the conversion of Latino men. I want to explore a parallel possibility, that of men converting because of the affective, emotional bonds they form with each other both during and after conversion. Such findings challenge baleful stereotypes of machismo.”
To read more about Dr. Leon’s grant, or to apply for your own research project from the Louisville Institute, click here.

On Jan. 25, Dr. Rubén Rosario Rodríguez (2003-2004 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Mev Puleo Scholarship Program at Saint Louis University, delivered the 12th Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions at Concordia Seminary, St Louis - Center for Hispanic Studies, titled “Luther and Calvin on the Cosmopolitan Church (Lutero y Calvino sobre la Iglesia Cosmopolita).”
Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez offered this reflection on the event: “In a challenging presentation on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Dr. Rosario Rodríguez looked into the liberating dimensions of Luther’s—and especially Calvin’s—ecclesiology in their own day and drew lessons for the church in the United States today. In particular, our distinguished lecturer suggested that Calvin’s experience as a refugee shaped significantly his view of the church’s call to practice hospitality towards strangers in society. He also showed how in Geneva, Calvin’s view of the diaconate as a divinely-ordained office and his support of institutions of assistance to refugees and the poor remain an example for us of the need for the church’s ongoing commitment to vulnerable neighbors in our midst. At a time in the nation when there is so much ambiguity about welcoming refugees to our shores and the goal of comprehensive immigration reform remains elusive, Dr. Rodriguez’s presentation offered vital historical and theological resources for the church’s reflection and action.”

HTI Scholars and Mentors Participate in National Scholars Campaign

HTI Scholars and mentors were asked to write one of the 100 letters being delivered to various political offices in Washington as part of the American Values, Religious Voices campaign. Nine of the 100 scholars selected to write a letter during the first 100 days of the new Presidential administration are from your HTI familia! They are: Dr. Eric Barreto, Dr. Jeremy V. Cruz, Dr. Maria Teresa Dávila, Dr. Neomi De Anda, Dr. Teresa Delgado, Dr. Miguel Diaz, Dr. Jacqueline M. Hidalgo, Dr. Carmen Nanko-Fernández, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Ruiz.
As stated on its website, “The American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters.” is a national nonpartisan campaign that brings together scholars from a diverse range of religious traditions to articulate core American values that have grounded our nation in the past and should guide us forward at this time of transition. For the first 100 days of the new administration, we will send a one-page letter to President Trump, Vice President Pence, Cabinet Secretaries, and Members of the House and the Senate. The letters offer insight and inspiration drawn from the collective wisdom of our faith communities and their sacred texts.”

In preparation to the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH) extraordinary assembly that will take place in April, we share this reflection by Grace Vargas (2016-2017 HTI Second-Year Scholar), PhD Candidate in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University.
“Thanks to the support of the Hispanic/Latina/o Ministries Program at Perkins School of Theology, I attended the biennial meeting and 25th anniversary of Asociación para La Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH) which took place in October at Princeton Theological Seminary. It was my first time attending an AETH event and I really enjoyed learning about the organization during this milestone gathering. The theme was ‘Escuchando la vision’ (Listening to the vision), and it was centered on Acts 2:17 and its proclamation concerning the role of our youth in the future of the church. Rev. Dr. Justo González (HTI Founding Director) kicked off the event with a powerful sermon on what it means to ‘pass the torch.’ Drawing on the leadership transition from Moses to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31, Dr. Gonzalez stressed the importance of the newer generation learning from the old and that although the leadership may change, the constant is God and God’s message to, and purpose for, the world.
“AETH’s members spent the next few days learning together and sharing ideas on how to best engage and empower the next generation of Christian leaders. Workshops covered topics ranging from millennials on social media & technology to biblical interpretation to theology. It was a rich time where both opportunities and challenges were openly discussed. A wide variety of leaders and scholars from all over the country who work with millennials (including Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Dr. Paul Barton, and Rev. Elizabeth Tamez Méndez) were on hand to offer insights and encouragement. One of the sessions in particular, titled ‘Biblia y nuevas generaciones: Exégesis y teología’ (Bible and New Generations: Exegesis and Theology), impressed me with deep theological reflection from lay leaders who shared from their work among young people in the church. So many demonstrated such a sophisticated and compassionate analysis of how the newer generations are interpreting the Bible and talking about God’s work in the world. As a first-timer at an AETH gathering, and a borderline millennial myself, the conference felt energizing and hopeful. There was also much to be grateful for as long-time AETH leaders received recognition for the decades of service they have dedicated to theological education in our comunidades.”

Our 95 Theses: 500 Years After the Reformation
ed. Alberto L. Garcia (Professor Emeritus of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin) and Justo L. González (HTI Founding Director)
Paperback/Kindle: 239 pages.
Publisher: Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana, (December 21, 2016)
Kindle Publisher: Bestsellers Media
Language: Spanish & English editions (Kindle: Spanish)
Just as in the days of Luther, we are living in a world undergoing enormous changes in the social, political, economic, religious, cultural and technological arenas. As in the times of the monk from Wittenberg, these changes also challenge and force the Church to rethink and transform itself. In a very particular way, this book is an invitation to the Church in general and to the Hispanic Church in particular not to forget thesis 55 raised by the authors: “We are not helpless victims, but God’s people called to the instrument of his grace, justice, and reconciliation.”

Crossing Bridges
by Harold J. Recinos (1997-1999 HTI Mentor), Professor of Church and Society at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Berkeley Press (August 20, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1888205636
ISBN-13: 978-1888205633
Harold Recinos’ Puerto Rican mother and Guatemalan father came to the United States motivated least by the American dream, than a desperate flight from a life of misery and despair. Their story like that of so many Latino families new to the United States was one of social exclusion and permanent poverty. Crossing Bridges is for Recinos a way to give voice to the overlooked world of Latino men, women and children at the edges of society. The poems in this collection are Recinos’ graffiti on the wall of public culture and his way of embracing those who are made invisible and treated unworthy of being heard and touched. Crossing Bridges is an act of remembrance grounded in ethnic identity that seeks to dignify the loathed humanity of the barrio and communicate a deeper understanding of forgotten places.

Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood
by Patrick B. Reyes, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE).
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Chalice Press (January 03, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0827225318
ISBN-13: 978-0827225312
When the screams of innocents dying engulf you, how do you hear God's voice? Will God and God's people call you to life when your breath is being strangled out of you? For people of color living each day surrounded by violence, for whom survival is not a given, vocational discernment is more than "finding your purpose" - it's a matter of life and death. Patrick Reyes shares his story of how the community around him - his grandmother, robed clergy, educators, friends, and neighbors - saved him from gang life, abuse, and the economic and racial oppression that threatened to kill him before he ever reached adulthood. A story balancing the tension between pain and healing, Nobody Cries When We Die takes you to the places that make American society flinch, redefines what you are called to do with your life, and gives you strength to save lives and lead in your own community.
AETH Asamblea Extraordinaria
Abril 28-30, 2017
Orlando, FL
AETH will hold another special conference assembly in Orlando, FL on April 28-30. This assembly will be the occasion to officially launch the AETH 2017-2020 work plan whose main goal is to impact the quality and development of Hispanic leadership in theological education. This launch involves the involvement and participation of the AETH members in the programs and service plans of the organization. 

For more information, click here.
To register, click here.

ACHTUS Colloquium 2017
June 4-7, 2017
Albuquerque, NM
Registration for the Joint-Colloquium of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States and the Black Catholic Theological Symposium is now open. This year's theme is, "To Set the Captives Free"!! The colloquium will bring participants together to look at how mass detention and incarceration of black and brown persons impact our communities.  For more information and registration visit ACHTUS website.


The 2017 Hispanic Summer Program 
The next Hispanic Summer Program will take place from June 17 to July 1, 2017 at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. 
This year's courses are below: 

Latina Feminist Ethics and Contemporary Social Activism

Dr. Teresa Delgado (HTI Mentor, 2000-2001 HTI Dissertation Scholar, and HTI Steering Committee Member) Iona College
This course will explore the implications of Latina feminist ethics, in conversation with womanist and feminist ethics, with particular focus on the Latina/o religious community. Through an examination of the various ways Latina feminist ethicists have contributed to the tapestry of liberation theologies, this course will reflect on the impact of these contributions to social justice movements and social activism. We will explore Latina/o ethnic identity formation; consider the impact of transnational and diasporic identities; and engage with the formative writings of Ada María Isasi-Díaz, María Pilar Aquino, as well as Gloria Anzaldúa and others. Students will be encouraged to consider: What is distinctive about Latina feminist ethics? How does this ethical expression—of living out one’s faith commitment in the world—make a difference in a Latina/o religious context? How does this feminist ethic impact contemporary social activism and vice versa?
Gender Studies:
Theological Explorations of Gender and Sexuality in Latinx Communities

Dr. Matilde Moros (2011-2012 HTI Dissertation Scholar) - Virginia Commonwealth University
This course will survey theories and methods that are both theologically and culturally challenging to what Benedict Anderson coined as our “imagined communities,” particularly with regard to our Hispanic/Latino/a gender and sexual status quo. This exploration of how social and theological constructs have historically developed beginning in Latin America and moving into today’s U.S. reality demands a transnational approach to our Latinx worldview. Some key concepts for this course have been developed in the work of Peter Wade, Marcella Althaus-Reid and Gloria Anzaldúa. Special attention will be given to “testimonio” of lived experience as a disruptive challenge to status quo in the realm of normativity. Students will be expected to move from theories and methods to their own work of testimonio in a final project that reflects a social ethic of engagement and contextual theology and pastoral care.

Indigenous Encounters with Christianity in the Americas

 Dr. Angela Tarango - Trinity University
This class will take an ethno-historical approach to Native-Christian interactions, missions, and the development of indigenous Christianities within the history of religion in the Americas (Latin America, Mexico, the United States and Canada.) We will consider case studies that explore a broad swath of Christian interactions with indigenous peoples including Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Catholic and new hybrid religions such as Christian members of the Native American Church (peyote.) The goal of the course will be to deepen our understanding of the way that Native peoples have chosen to engage Christianity on their own terms, fought the historic ethnocentrism, paternalism and racism that is embedded in many Christian churches, and developed their own forms of the indigenous gospel.

New Testament:
Jesús el fronterizo: John from the Borderlands
Dr. Leticia Guardiola-Saenz (1998-1999 HTI Dissertation Scholar) - Seattle University
In no other gospel have the heavenly borders moved so close to earth as they have in John. From the beginning, John defies the traditional parameters by which the world and human beings could be perceived and defined. In this course we will study this complex storytelling of a cosmic Word translating itself into an earthly narrative—both as a symbolic map guiding the Johannine community into its own self-definition, and as a model for survival to those who find themselves trapped by limiting, oppressive, and obsolete religious, political and social structures that fail to recognize the boundless nature of the human spirit created in the image of the divine. Using border theory and decolonial lenses we will study the Johannine representation of Jesus as a “fronterizo irreverente,” averse to rules and authorities that oppose life, defiant of unjust boundaries and inhabitant of interstices, a hybrid being who seeks new spaces and ways of being, stealthily escaping the traps of the empire, in search of alternative realities.

Preaching and Worship Colloquy (limited to 5 students):
Preaching and Immigration

Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes - Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
The book The Figure of the Migrant by Thomas Nail will be the springboard for our discussions about immigration and immigrants globally and especially in the U.S. We will engage with notions of economy, public spaces, private property, refuge camps, war zones, and borderless places. From these realities we will engage worship and preaching sources and elaborate a liturgical theological vision of God’s glory within human movement.

Religion and Culture:
Latino Religious Expressions

Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, S.J. (1997-1998 HTI Postdoctoral Scholar) - Jesuit School of Theology and Santa Clara University
What role does religion play in Hispanic culture? What are the many ways that such beliefs are manifested? How do the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, literature and art all contribute to a better understanding of how Latinas and Latinos experience the Sacred? This course provides an opportunity for students to explore such areas as popular religion, the historical roots of religious expressions, how religion appears in contemporary movies, art and music, and also to learn about various perspectives. Although the focus is primarily Mexican and Mexican American, an attempt will be made to include examples from other Latino cultures. Aside from lectures and readings, the class features films, slides, and class discussions. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not a requirement.

Liberation Theologies in the United States

Dr. Benjamín Valentín (1999-2000 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor) - Yale Divinity School
The term “liberation theology” usually brings to mind Latin America, but the United States has also been the birthplace of a great number of impressive liberation theologies. This course will examine the rise of the liberation theology movement in the Americas, with attention given to the distinctive emphases, epistemologies, and theological methodologies promoted by this movement within theology. It will then move on to explore the emergence and development of four particular expressions of and case studies for liberation theology in the United States: African American/Black Theology; Feminist Theology; Hispanic/Latino(a) Theology; and GLBTQ Theology. We will consider the implications of these on theological reflection, church ministry, religious practice, and activism.
Applications will be available the first week of December on
From the SMU Perkins Hispanic/Latin@ Ministries Program:

MARCHA: the Hispanic/Latino Caucus within the United Methodist Church
MARCHA 2017 Annual Assembly
The 2017 Annual Assembly of MARCHA will take place Aug. 10-13, 2017, in Dallas. The vision of MARCHA is to be an instrument of advocacy and support for the Hispanic/Latino Methodist people to ensure that the contributions and cultural values of the Hispanic/Latino people are received and appreciated in the Church and society. MARCHA seeks to advocate for Hispanic/Latino people inside and outside the Church, training for the needs of members and local churches, and solidarity with the peoples of Latin America, Caribbean, and other peoples.
If you have any question or concerns please contact Raúl Alegría at, (828) 316-9077 or (615) 628-7129 (Google Voice).
USFCA to offer Master in Migration Studies
The University of San Francisco is pleased to offer a new Master of Arts program in Migration Studies. The program’s online brochure states: “Located in the heart of two of the world’s great areas of migration—the United States and Latin America—students in the program benefit from a comprehensive, rigorous graduate program at two prestigious universities. The Migration Studies Program is a degree offered by the University of San Francisco (USF), with the cooperation of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. The Master in Migration Studies is a four semester, 34-unit, full-time program. The program consists of seven required courses, three special topics courses, and four research seminars. The final requirement is a publishable article.” Students spend their second semester in Mexico City, and USFCA is able to place students in fieldwork and internships in many parts of the world, including on the US/Mexico border, the US/Guatemala border, along the route of "la bestia," and throughout Central America.
More information can be found on the program’s website.
Graduate Theological Union
Director of Library Services
GTU invites candidates and nominations for the position of Director of Library Services of the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library to begin September 1, 2017. The Director is the Executive Officer of the premier theological library in the Western United States with more than 500,000 volumes, 1,160 periodical subscriptions, 295,000 non-print materials, and 500 special collections/archives; 6,000-7,000 new volumes are added per year. The Library provides services to the largest and most diverse partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States with more than 1,000 graduate students across the consortium partnership, [nearly 300 of which are enrolled in GTU doctoral or common master's programs].
The GTU seeks a collaborative, visionary and innovative director capable of leading the GTU library staff and constituents into the new era and evolving role of librarianship and academic research library services. Candidates holding the MLS/MLIS degree from an ALA accredited institution with an additional advanced degree in a research related field or theology are desired. Five years of administrative experience in academic libraries is preferred. A successful record in change leadership, user experience design and technology management will also be considered. Significant interest in theology or religion, and multicultural engagement are essential. The successful candidate will have a combination of academic library administrative background skills, a proven record of building strategic programs and partnerships across organizational boundaries. The GTU is an ecumenical and interreligious consortium of eight seminaries (Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist); multiple interreligious centers and programs (Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Jewish, Mormon, Orthodox Christian, Sikh, Swedenborgian), other academic centers (Center for the Arts and Religion, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences), and affiliates (New College Berkeley, School for Applied Theology), and additional certificate programs (Asian and Oceanic Cultures and Faith Traditions, Black Church and Africana Religious Studies, Women’s Studies in Religion). The GTU offers PhD, ThD, and MA degrees with a 53-member Core Doctoral Faculty drawn largely from member schools. Other professional degree programs (including DMin, STM, ThM, and MDiv) are administered by member schools.
The GTU is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Candidates who will contribute to the cultural diversity of the GTU leadership team and who value cultural, ethnic, and racial differences are strongly encouraged to apply. A complete job description can be found at A letter of interest, CV, and names of three references should be submitted to Director of Library Services Search, Office of the President, Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709 or by email to the Assistant to the Library Director ( Review of applications will begin on March 15, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.
Vanderbilt Divinity School
Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Theology and Racial Justice
Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Vanderbilt Divinity School Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative is now accepting applications for its three-year position of postdoctoral fellow. This is a unique postdoctoral training opportunity to work with the Collaborative whose chief aim is to harness the power of public theology to engage a wide public in examining and critiquing existing social practices and cultural understandings through the lens of our respective religious insights with the ultimate goal of fostering multiracial interreligious networks that are dedicated to working toward imagining and building a just society for all via education, media, and activism.
The postdoctoral fellow associated with the Collaborative will work under the guidance of Dean Emilie Townes, the director of the Collaborative, and will manage the Collaborative’s day-to-day operations as its associate director as well as conduct research in public theology and racial justice and may produce a published work or other related research. In addition, the postdoctoral fellow will manage the Collaborative Fellows program available to students in Vanderbilt University’s professional schools and in the Graduate Department of Religion.
Applicants should meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Possess a PhD in religious studies, sociology of religion, or other doctoral degree in a related discipline or must be enrolled in an accredited doctoral degree program and will fulfill all degree requirements by June 2017.
  • Have completed a PhD within the last five years.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States at the time of application.
  • Have robust working knowledge of public theology.
  • Have robust working knowledge of the issues surrounding racial justice.
  • Develop/construct educational forums for interested parties
  • Do outreach to the local community to solicit corporate sponsors and institute participants.
  • Have expertise in social change movements with specific focus on the dynamics of public theology and racial justice.
  • Have experience in grassroots organizing and coalition building.
  • Has and/or will establish and deepen connections with national organizations and individuals dedicated to racial justice.
  • Able to work trans-institutionally within Vanderbilt University and the Divinity School.
  • Have familiarity with and ascribe to Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Purpose Statement and its Statement of Commitments, its culture, faculty members, the student experience, and history.
 To be considered for this position, the following material must be received by the application deadline of March 1, 2017.
  1. Cover letter (provide an explanation of your interest in the Collaborative postdoctoral fellowship and your professional goals and research interests
  2. Resume or CV
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. A writing sample
  5. Proof of citizenship (photocopy of birth certificate or passport)
  6. Official transcript and/or proof of academic good standing (transcript of highest degree conferred; proof of academic good standing on official letterhead and signed by graduate program director, advisor, or equivalent)
Vanderbilt is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Appointment to this position is contingent upon completion of a background check process and a determination that the results are satisfactory to Vanderbilt.
The start date for the position is August 14, 2017 and conclude on August 14, 2020. To be considered, fellows must submit application via email file attachment only to Ms. Marie McEntire at:
This position is a three-year full-time postdoctoral fellowship. The Collaborative offers a competitive salary with fringe benefits for the three years of the grant. The salary is adjusted yearly in accordance with the budget of the grant.
Western Theological Seminary
Faculty Fellow Program
Western Theological Seminary (WTS), Holland, Michigan, is an evangelical and ecumenical community of faith and learning in the Reformed tradition that serves the church of Jesus Christ by preparing Christians called by God to lead the church in mission.
WTS is actively pursuing diversity in its faculty and has established a Faculty Fellow program designed to encourage applications from ABD racial-ethnic minority scholars. One-half teaching load is assigned to provide time to complete Ph.D. dissertation. Competitive salary and benefits, as well as housing assistance provided. Dr. Alvin Padilla, academic dean and vice president of academic affairs, leads the WTS faculty.
If mutually agreed, the fellowship may be extended to a second year appointment. If curricular needs exist, the Faculty Fellow may apply for a regular, full-time faculty appointment and will be given full consideration among other applicants. If this possibility does not exist, the Faculty Fellow will be equipped to enter the academic job market with a completed degree and some teaching experience.
The Faculty Fellow should be committed to the historic Christian faith, adhere to Reformed theological tradition, and embrace the mission, identity, and vision of Western Theological Seminary. The school is committed to racial-ethnic initiatives. Please note: applicant must be authorized to work in the United States.
To apply, please send cover letter, curriculum vitae, and list of three references to Rayetta Perez, director of human resources, WTS, 101 East 13th Street, Holland, MI 49423;

Congratulations to Martin Rodríguez (2016-2017 HTI Second-Year Doctoral Scholar), his wife Erin, and their daughter Luciana, on the arrival of Micah, who was born last summer. The last we heard, Luciana was doing great on her new role as the big sister!
On January 10, 2016, Melisa Ortiz Berry (2016-2017 HTI Dissertation Scholar), Adjunct Professor in the Department of Theology at Azusa Pacific University and PhD Candidate in Religion at Claremont Graduate University, and her husband James Berry, welcomed twin girls Caroline and Josie Congratulations!

Join us in prayer for all of our brothers and sisters who have been ill and/or recently had loved ones pass on to be with God. Among them:
Dr. Ernesto Valiente as he continues recovers from open heart surgery, which took place in December.
Dr. Santiago Piñon and his family. Santiago’s mother-in-law, Carmen D. Flores, passed away in Chicago in late December.
And also in December, Dr. Neomi DeAnda's mother-in-law, Barbara Rosenau, passed away.
May we grieve with them when they ache and rejoice when they live out the amazing legacies of the ancestors.

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Positions will be active on the HTI website ( for a period of three (3) months unless we are notified to change the status to closed/filled. Upon notification, the job posting will be removed from the website.
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