Read Hispanic Theological Initiative/Consortium's quarterly newsletter to celebrate our community's many achievements, and discover Latina/o resources to better serve the academy, the Church, and the world!

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June, 2016

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The Hispanic Theological Initiative was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). In honor of HTI’s 20th anniversary, the grant will benefit HTI’s initiatives aimed at inspiring Latina/o youth from vulnerable communities to pursue scholarship and educational activities, while also benefiting existing HTI programs related to mentoring, skills development, and information sharing. These aspects of HTI’s work will be front-and-center at HTI’s celebrations in November at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meetings in San Antonio.

Over the past twenty years, HTI has achieved tremendous results in the development of Latina/o scholars of theology and religion. It is a best practice award winning program in the larger landscape of education.  Over 110 doctoral students have graduated with HTI’s support, and HTI has maintained an unprecedented graduation rate of 97%, and a time to degree of 5.5 years, and a significant percentage (78%) of HTI-affiliated graduates are currently in teaching roles. HTI has helped to support the development of a more ecumenical, multi-ethnic, and interdisciplinary cohort of scholars in support of the academy, the church, and the world. With the support of the WKKF’s grant, HTI will be expanding its connections and collaborations to widen its impact on Latina/o youth in vulnerable communities.

WKKF is amongst the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, and has a particular focus on the development of programs, which support vulnerable young people through education and social advocacy. HTI is thrilled to partner with WKKF, as both organizations believe strongly in the need for young people to have opportunities for advancement through scholarship.

To that end, HTI is exploring ways in which the organization can further influence future generations. For instance, at this year’s 20th anniversary celebration, HTI will be welcoming young people from the local San Antonio neighborhood. This will be an excellent opportunity for the next generation to interact and be inspired by current scholars and mentors.

The $100,000 WKKF grant will bring important support to HTI’s mission, supporting existing efforts and getting the ball rolling on new developments and special events. However, to continue to grow and thrive, HTI continues to seek out ways to build lasting relationships. The initial connection between HTI and Kellogg was made by a member of our HTI community who saw a potential funding opportunity, and shared it with HTI.  HTI is always thankful for members of our community who seek out unique ways of supporting and giving back to HTI.

HTI thanks WKKF for their support and partnership and looks forward to continuing to support Latina/o scholars of religion and theology that will continue to make innovative, meaningful, and impactful contributions to vulnerable communities across this nation.


We are thrilled to announce that Dallas Theological Seminary has been accepted as a member of the HTI Consortium. We look forward to working with Dallas Theological Seminary, supporting their scholars, students, and administration, and learning from their experiences.

Located in Dallas, Texas, Dallas Theological Seminary supports over 2,200 students across eight locations and online. With a network of over 15,000 alumni the seminary has a global reach, and also has representation from members of over 70 denominational bodies.

Founded in 1924, The Seminary has an evangelical missional focus which equips students to serve the church in many unique ways. The PhD program, which was established in 1927, has a rich history of producing scholars who have shaped academia, the church, the mission field, and many other contexts.

The mission statement of Dallas Theological Seminary is “to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide”, and the Seminary does this by serving a diverse student body. The Seminary has a rich history of supporting Latina/o scholars and faculty, as well as building bridges to the Hispanic world and communities. The Seminary offers Spanish-language D.Min with a Hispanic Leadership track for Latina/o leaders and scholars. Furthermore, Dallas Theological Seminary supports a Hispanic Student Association and two master’s degrees in Spanish (Master of Arts - Christian Studies and Master of Biblical and Theological Studies).

Dallas Theological Seminary has already registered a student, Ramón Uribe (2016–2017 Second-Year Doctoral Scholar), and we all look forward to getting to know him as a colleague and friend.

We are delighted to welcome Dallas Theological Seminary!

In this edition of Journeys:


We welcome you to this issue of Journeys where you will be just as delighted to hear that HTI’s  “en conjunto” model has garnered the support of W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF).  At the end of March, HTI was awarded a $100,000 WKKF corporate gift to help support initiatives to vulnerable communities, and provide support for HTI’s 20th Anniversary celebratory fundraiser at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meetings, in November, titled “Honoring our Past, Celebrating our Present, and Envisioning our Future.”  We would love for you to join us!  This is an event that you don’t want to miss and soon we will be sending a more formal invitation. 

I am also thrilled to share with you that Dallas Theological Seminary has joined the HTI consortium. We welcome Dallas Theological Seminary to the HTI familia and look forward to partnering with them going forward.

We are so proud of our scholars and wider community - and I want to personally thank you for the role that you play in the success of our community. In just the past few months we have celebrated graduations, tenure appointments, new teaching positions, and many other career and personal milestones.  In fact, this year we have had the highest number of scholars - 39 - enrolled!

Thank you again for your “en conjunto” contributions and I trust that you will enjoy reading this issue. I look forward to seeing you at our anniversary banquet and wish you all an enjoyable summer season!



For several years, faculty in Baylor University’s department of religion were impressed by the Hispanic Theological Initiative’s track record in assisting Hispanic graduate students seeking a faith-based career of service to others.

In 2012, the department joined the consortium and admitted two outstanding students into the program, said Jim Nogalski, PhD, director of graduate studies for the religion department. 

“The Baptist General Convention of Texas has been looking for ways to increase the number of Latina/o leaders, in particular pastors and educators,” he said. “We learned that this program helped Hispanic students navigate the expectations of graduate school, and, just as importantly, helped to create networks of students and faculty, so they have an impressive placement record.

Latinos face “distinct challenges,” Nogalski said. “If they come from outside the United States, they come from very different educational systems and have to adapt very quickly to new sets of expectations. If they come from within the United States, they are often the first college graduates in their families and do not have a support system for learning how to hit the ground running. HTI helps both sets.”

 João Chaves and Yvette Garcia, Baylor students and 2016–2017 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholars have had the opportunity of attending the summer workshops led by Latina/o faculty at theological institutions across the country.

The students also are assigned a mentor who is not a Baylor faculty member, and that individual comes to campus once a year to speak with the student and to meet with the students' faculty and talk about the student's progress, Nogalski said. “HTI has a high rate of completion among their students, and the networks that they develop help the students to gain skills and provide contacts and friends who will likely help them professionally as well as personally.”

Chaves, a native of Brazil and graduate of Baylor’s Truett Seminary, also had taken religion classes at Baylor and was eager to return. Besides benefitting from Baylor’s financial assistance, he thought in return he could be beneficial to Baylor’s religion department as it seeks to better serve Latinos.

He praises HTI’s summer seminars, which have “a multinational element, workshops with people from all of Latin America. This broadens our perspectives, reminds us that not all Latinos are the same. Our countries are radically different as far as how religion is developing and being practiced.

“Some of us have gone from being the majority demographic group in our native countries to becoming the minority in the United States,” he said. “That’s something complex that HTI helps us navigate.”

Another plus, he said, is that HTI provides editors to aid students as they write their dissertations, which can be challenging because of language differences.
Yvette Garcia of San Antonio said that HTI has been “a tremendous asset.” “First, our annual gatherings provide me with the encouragement that I can complete my program,” said Garcia, who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has taught at Latin American Bible Institute. “Second, our meetings offer practical training that helps us now, but will also help in our careers, such as syllabus development, the use of social media and practical steps to publication. Finally, HTI connects us with mentors who meet with us during the year and have regular contact to help us and provide guidance.”

She said she eventually would like to teach in a seminary or Bible college. Chaves, who has taught Bible and religious history as an adjunct at San Antonio’s Baptist University of the Americans, said he hopes to pursue a career in higher education.


Dissertation Defense

HTI is thrilled to announce that a number of our scholars have recently defended their dissertations successfully. Congratulations to the following scholars!

Lauren Guerra Aguilar (2015–2016 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) at Graduate Theological Union. Her dissertation was titled, “Beautified by the Spirit: Community Murals as a Liberative Source for Constructive Pneumatology”.

Luis Menéndez-Antuña (2013–2014 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) at Vanderbilt University. Luis’s dissertation was titled, “Thinking Sex with the Great Whore (Rev. 17-18) Deviant Sexualities in the Context of Empire”.

Benjamin (Benji) Rolsky (2011–2012 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) at Drew University. Benji’s dissertation was titled, “Norman Lear and the Spiritual Politics of Religious Liberalism”.

Moises López (2013–2014 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) at Fuller Theological Seminary. Moises’ dissertation was titled, “An Old Testament Theology of Disability”. We are privileged to shared in the success of these talented scholars and look forward to seeing how their careers unfold.  The success of these scholars is just one of many wonderful examples of how you, a member of the HTI family, support the success and growth of Latina/o scholars of theology and religion.

In the past issue of Journeys we announced that Wendy Arce (2011–2012 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) had defended her dissertation at Graduate Theological Union. Wendy was invited by the academic dean and dean of students to be the graduate speaker at commencement. Her talk was titled, “Persevera y Venceras: an Abuelitas Imperative for a Future in Progress.” Wendy received a service recognition for five years of teaching from the University of San Francisco.

Passing Comprehensive Exams

We are thrilled to announce that the following individuals have passed their comprehensive exams!
  • João Chávez and Yvette García (2015–2016 Dissertation-Year Scholars), at Brite Divinity School
  • Leo Guardado (2015–2016 Dissertation-Year Scholar), at University of Notre Dame
Congratulations on this wonderful success and, on behalf of all of us at HTI, we wish you so much success as you transition to the dissertation phase of your academic life! We look forward to seeing the great things that you accomplish.

New appointments

Dr. Daniel Ramírez (2002–2003 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor) was recently appointed Associate Professor of American Religions at Claremont Graduate University. We are so proud of this achievement and look forward to seeing all that he accomplishes in this new role!

Congratulations to Dr. Melissa Pagán (2014–2015 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) on her appointment as Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Religious Studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles! Well deserved!

We’re also thrilled to announce that Dr. Benjamin Valentin (1999–2000 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor) was named Associate Professor of Latino/a Christianity at Yale Divinity School.

With much joy we can announce that Dr. Rubén Arjona-Mejía (2016–2017 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) has been named Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Iliff School of Theology. Congratulations on this success!

Dr. Lauren Guerra (2015–2016 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), was recently appointed as Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist University! Congratulations, Lauren!

Please also join us in congratulating Dr. Luis Menéndez Antuña (2013–2014 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), who has accepted a position with California Lutheran University/Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary as an Assistant Professor of New Testament! We are delighted by this news! ¡Felicidades, Luis!

And last but not least, let’s congratulate Dr. Gilberto Ruíz (2013–2014 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) on his appointment as Assistant Professor of Theology at Saint Anselm College. We wish Gilberto a smooth transition from Louisiana to New Hampshire!

Tenured Status

We’re also overjoyed to share that Dr. Mayra Rivera (2004–2005 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of Theology and Latina/o Studies at Harvard Divinity School,  had her tenure approved. We’re so excited to see how her career develops and are thrilled that we had the opportunity to play a part.

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Ernesto Valiente (2007–2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, was approved for tenure at Boston College! A well deserved honor!


Another recipient of a grant is Dr. María Teresa Dávila (2004–2005 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Andover Newton Theological School. Dr. Dávila received the 2016 First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars by the Louisville Institute. Her project is titled “Living the Option for the Poor”. Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars assists junior, non-tenured religion scholars of color to complete a major research project on an issue in North American Christianity related to the priorities of the Louisville Institute.

Dr. Neomi DeAnda (2009–2010 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at University of Dayton, and Dr. Jeremy Cruz (2010–2011 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, were recipients of an “Early Career Religion Faculty at Colleges and Universities” workshop grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. Neomi also received a peer-mentoring grant through Wabash. She has received this grant along with Dr. Jacqueline M. Hidalgo (2007–2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion at Williams College, and Dr. Peter Anthony Mena (2012–2014 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Assistant Professor of History of Christianity at Phillips Theological Seminary. Their collaboration through this grant will be focused on publishing, pedagogy, and thriving in academia as women and queer Latinx scholars of religion.

Peter also received the “Early Career Theological School Faculty” workshop grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.  
Congratulations to all of those who were honored!

Dr. Christopher Tirres (2003–2004 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor) Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University, has been awarded a prestigious DePaul Fellowship for Community Based Research Projects. He will be collaborating with the Interfaith Committee for Detailed Immigrants (ICDI) on his work. Congratulations!        

Hailed as “a pioneer and leader in the field of Latina/o theology,” Dr. Orlando Espin (HTI Mentor, Selection Committee Member, and Book Prize Reader), Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of San Diego, was named the recipient of this year’s John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) at the organization’s annual conference in Puerto Rico.

In granting the honor, the CTSA noted that Espin “has played a central part in promoting the highest scholarly standards for Hispanic/Latino theology,” and that he is “someone who is inspired to experiment, in collaboration with others, with creating a theological which the work of theology belongs to and arises from the community.”

In accepting the award, Espin noted that theology should not be disconnected from the church, stating, “Theologians cannot forget the faith and life and struggles of the real church.”

We are thrilled that Orlando has been recognized in this way and are even prouder to have him within the HTI family.

On Saturday, 4 June, the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico  bestowed upon Dr. Luis N. Rivera-Pagán (HTI Mentor and Book Prize Reader), an honorary doctorate in divine letters. Dr. Rivera-Pagán is the Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, among them "A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas" (1992), "Mito exilio y demonios: literatura y teología en América Latina" (1996), and "Ensayos teológicos desde el Caribe" (2013), and the editor of "God, in Your Grace . . . Official Report of the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches" (2007). Congratulations, Luis, on this well deserved recognition!


A series of events hosted by the University of Dayton and coordinated by Dr. Neomi DeAnda (2009–2010 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and Michael Romero, her graduate assistant, as part of the #LA500 “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. This grant is promote the PBS Latino American series during the 2015-2016 academic year to celebrate the history and culture of the largest minority group in the United States, Latina/o Americans.
The series, which was held from February 9-11, 2016, including a screening of “Strangers in Our Own Land of the Latino American series”, as well as a lunch which brought together scholars Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo (2007–2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion at Williams College, Dr. Néstor Medina (2006–2007 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and 2012 HTI Book Prize Award Winner), Dr. Neomi DeAnda, and Dr. Edwin Aponte (1997–1998 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Executive Director at The Louisville Institute, to engage staff from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Latino Engagement Group of Campus Ministry to discuss possible future directions for making the University of Dayton a more welcoming environment for Latino/a students. In addition, an information session was held about the Louisville Institute with Dr. Edwin Aponte, and a scholarly panel was opened up to the public.

That panel was titled “Exploring Latino/a Religious Histories: What Difference Does it Make in our Religious Studies?” and it served to more deeply engage the limited historical narratives presented in the Latino American series. The panel was moderated by Michael Romero. The panelists included Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo, Dr. Néstor Medina, and Dr. Neomi DeAnda.

Dr. Gregory Cuellar (2005–2006 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor) Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, recently presented a paper titled “Making Present the Biblical Exile in Refugee Trauma Art on the Texas-Mexico Border,”  at an international symposium held at the Trinity Centre for Biblical Studies at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). The symposium, titled “In Whatever Tribe the Stranger Settles”,  explored the ways in which biblical tradition shed light on and are illuminated by contemporary issues pertaining to migration.

Following his time in Dublin, Gregory travelled to Oxford, England, to complete research for a paper he was invited to present at an upcoming conference titled, “Ethnicity/Race/Religion: Identities, Ideologies, and Intersections in Biblical Texts and Interpretation”. That conference, which will be held 9-11 August 2016 at the University of Exeter (UK), will see Gregory presenting his paper “S.R. Driver and Higher Criticism: Mapping ‘the Differences of Race’ in Genesis.” Below is a picture of his travels. Congratulations on this success!

We are also thrilled to share that Rafael Reyes III (2016–2017 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) of Claremont School of Theology recently presented at The American Philosophical Association’s Pacific Conference.  His paper was titled, “Signs of the Beautiful: Notions of Value Between Ecstatic Naturalism and Process Theology”.
Lis Valle (2016–2017 HTI Comprehensive Exams-Year Scholar) of Vanderbilt Divinity School shared with us that her paper Toward Postcolonial Liturgical Preaching: Drawing on the Pre-Columbian Religion of the Taíno, which was published last summer by the peer-reviewed online journal Homiletic, is being republished. The paper will be published in the online journal of The Asian American Theological Forum. See AATF (VOL. 3 NO. 1), Congratulations!


Every year the Boston University School of Theology’s (BU) Hispanic/Latino Student Association celebrated Raices Latinas Week. It is a week packed with events which celebrate the cultures of our Latina/o communities and the themes they wish to share with the broader School of Theology community.

This past March 22, as one of the events, Dr. Rady Roldan-Figueroa (2002-2003 HTI Comprehensive Exams-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of the History of Christianity at BU, gave a lecture entitled Theology and Anarchy in the Music of Calle 13, to which Dr. Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano (2016-2017 HTI Comprehensive Exams-Year Scholar), also at BU, served as respondent. Dr. Roldan-Figueroa gave a brief summary of Christian Anarchy. He then focused his reflections by ingeniously applying this framework to analyze the life of Luisa Capetillo. Capetillo was a Puerto Rican writer, labor leader and women’s rights activist in the early 20th Century whose work he linked to the Puerto Rican music band Calle 13 in the presentation. Dr. Roldan-Figueroa highlighted the critique of organized religion and anti-clericalism as parallels between Capetillo and Calle 13 and aimed towards a constructive piece of Christian Anarchism in the 21st Century. The lecture prompted great questions and participation from the public. Themes of social movements, hope and social (re)construction arise in the midst of conversations leaving those in attendance with the certainty de que hay mucha tela pa’ cortar.

In addition, Dr. Christian De La Rosa (2011-2012 HTI Dissertation Scholar and HTI Mentor), Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice and Director of Contextual Education and Community Partnerships at BU, preached at a service of worship during the week.
Congratulations to all involved in this meaningful week!

We are excited to announce that member school Princeton Theological Seminary has recently hired Dr. Margarita A. Mooney as Associate Professor of Congregational Studies. Dr. Mooney was formerly an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology at Yale University. Completing her B.A. in Psychology at Yale, she earned her M.A and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. Dr. Mooney subsequently taught at Princeton and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before returning to Yale as associate research scientist. She is currently the Co-Principal Director with Philip Gorski of the Human Flourishing and Critical Realism in the Social Sciences Project, funded by a $2.1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Dr. Mooney remarked, “Growing up in a Cuban-American family, I saw how important our church community was to education, family life and welcoming newcomers from other countries,” Dr. Mooney explains. Now as a sociologist of religion, she scientifically explores how religious beliefs and congregations facilitate immigrant integration, and how religious beliefs and practices contribute to congregants’ health and wellbeing. She is the author or co-author of some 20 articles. Her second book, Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (2009, University of California Press), was based on 16 months of ethnographic field work with Haitian communities in Miami, Montreal, and Paris. A practicing Catholic who co-leads an ecumenical fellowship of professional women, Dr. Mooney’s current research for her forthcoming volume, Struggles of Triumph and Tragedy: Human Vulnerability and Existential Security, mines the National Study of Youth and Religion and combines both quantitative and qualitative research data in exploring the relationship between religion, moral meaning, and resilience.

Welcome, Dr. Mooney!


ACHTUS Colloquium

Photo attribution and copyright – Patty Jiménez

The 28th Annual Colloquium of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 5-8, in the shadow of the economic crisis -- and a concomitant crisis of sovereignty -- besetting el pueblo puertorriqueño. Under the title, "Who Do Ustedes Say That I Am? (Mark 8:29)," the colloquium engaged questions of Latina/o-Catholic religious and cultural identity, touching themes of mission, religious commitments inflected by gender and sexuality, migration, and responses to the growing phenomenon of state-sanctioned violence in the Américas.

The colloquium was highlighted by the participation of very special guests, including the renowned intercultural philosopher, Raúl Fornet-Betancourt, and the Salvadoran christologian, Jon Sobrino, who was presented with the Virgilio Elizondo award for his outstanding and globally significant contributions to the development of liberation theology. Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez was also slated to participate in the meeting, but was forced to withdraw for reasons of health. The colloquium nevertheless enjoyed his presence via Skype connection on Wednesday, June 8, as ACHTUS sang greetings to mark his 88th birthday. The colloquium was closed with the profound reflections of Dr. María Clara Bíngemer, who offered gestures toward "a theopoetics of identity." Rooted in a transcendent reflection that seeks to de-reify theology, she said, "theology is not so much called to speak about spirituality, but to be a spiritual discourse."

The colloquium was marked by other remarkable events. The membership elected Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo (2007–2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion at Williams College, as vice president of the organization. When she assumes duties as ACHTUS President in June 2018, she will have become the fourth consecutive woman to preside over ACHTUS -- after Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid (HTI Mentor) Associate Professor of Theology and Latino/Latina Ministry at Boston College (2015-2016), Dr. Elsie Miranda of Barry University (2016-2017) and Dr. María Teresa Dávila (2004–2005 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Advisor to the Master of Arts Programs at Andover-Newton Theological School (2017-2018).

Also at this colloquium, the ACHTUS Board announced the appointment of Dr. Jorge Aquino, (2005–2006 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of San Francisco, as editor-in-chief of ACHTUS's peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Hispanic / Latino Theology. The JHLT was placed in editorial hiatus, pending a much-needed reconstruction of its online platform. Dr. Aquino, who served as ACHTUS President from 2014 to 2015, is appointed to a two-year interim term to oversee the journal's online reconstruction and relaunch. He told the membership that he anticipates re-opening the peer-review process and publishing new editorial work before the close of 2016. Once the platform is reconstructed, the JHLT will officially become an open-source journal -- meaning its content will be openly available, searchable, and citable by scholars around the world. The Board opted for the open-source model with high expectations that this approach will make U.S. Latino/a theology more visible and relevant. (Those wishing more information about the JHLT are invited to contact Dr. Aquino at


Liberation Through Reconciliation: Jon Sobrino's Christological Spirituality 1st Edition
by O. Ernesto Valiente (2007-2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Fordham University Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 082326887X
ISBN-13: 978-0823268870

In the past one hundred years alone, more than 200 million people have been killed as a consequence of systematic repression, political revolutions, or ethnic or religious war. The legacy of such violence lingers long after the immediate conflict. Drawing on the author's experiences of his native El Salvador, Liberation through Reconciliation builds on Jon Sobrino's thought to construct a Christian spirituality and theology of reconciliation that overcomes conflict by attending to the demands of truth, justice, and forgiveness.


The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures - Forthcoming
by Justo L. González (former HTI Executive Director)
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: IVP Academic (November 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 083085150X
ISBN-13: 978-0830851508

Few thinkers have been as influential as Augustine of Hippo. His writings, such as Confessions and City of God, have left an indelible mark on Western Christianity. He has become so synonymous with Christianity in the West that we easily forget he was a man of two cultures: African and Greco-Roman. The mixture of African Christianity and Greco-Roman rhetoric and philosophy gave his theology and ministry a unique potency in the cultural ferment of the late Roman empire. Augustine experienced what Latino/a theology calls mestizaje, which means being of a mixed background. Cuban American historian and theologian Justo González looks at the life and legacy of Augustine from the perspective of his own Latino heritage and finds in the bishop of Hippo a remarkable resource for the church today. The mestizo Augustine can serve as a lens by which to see afresh not only the history of Christianity but also our own culturally diverse world.


Teaching Global Theologies: Power and Praxis
by Cecilia González-Andrieu, Kwok Pui Lan, Dwight Hopkins
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1481302852

The contributors to Teaching Global Theologies are Catholic, mainline Protestant, and evangelical scholars from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, each with sustained connections with other parts of the world. Teaching Global Theologies capitalizes on this diversity to uncover neglected sources for a global theology even as it does so in constructive conversation with the long tradition of Christian thought. Bringing missing voices and neglected theological sources into conversation with the historical tradition enriches that tradition even as it uncovers questions of power, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Teachers are offered successful pedagogies for bringing these questions into the classroom and best practices to promote students' global consciousness, shape them as ecclesial leaders, and form them as global citizens.


Francis, Bishop of Rome
by Allan Figueroa Deck, SJHardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Paulist Press (January 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0809106221
ISBN-13: 978-0809106226

To say that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Latin American and Jesuit to occupy the chair of Peter is to assert the most important facts about him. Francis, Bishop of Rome focuses on the most revelatory features of his life and times, highlighting key facets of Pope Francis rich background using primary Spanish-language sources that include interviews with key players from his formative years in religious life and pastoral ministry. The picture emerging is one of a complex human being, a work in progress, and an intrepid reformer focused on moving the Church into the third millennium in ways that few would have ever imagined. While making history, moreover, he seems to be actually having fun doing it.


Romero & Grande: Companions on the Journey
by Ana María Pineda
200 pages
Publisher: Lectio Publishing LLC
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194390104X
ISBN-13: 978-1943901043

On May 23, 2015, Pope Francis beatified Salvadoran martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero who was murdered while presiding at Mass in 1980. Three years before his murder, Rutilio Grande, Jesuit priest and friend of the Archbishop, had been murdered for the same offense--speaking up for the poor and vulnerable. Until this book, the stories about these men have grown elusive and vague. Now, Salvadoran native Ana Maria Pineda once again catapults these martyrs into our collective consciences through a story that is both significantly personal and painstakingly researched during multiple trips to her homeland where she discovered surprising facts very "close to home." 


Turning to the Heavens and the Earth: Theological Reflections on a Cosmological Conversion: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth A. Johnson
by Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Julia Brumbaugh, Mary Catherine Hilkert
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Michael Glazier
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0814687725
ISBN-13: 978-0814687727

The Earth needs our attention—the best of our intellectual, ethical, and spiritual wisdom and action. In this collection, written in honor of Elizabeth A. Johnson, scholars from the United States and around the world contribute their insights on how theology today can and must turn to the world in new ways in light of contemporary science and our ecological crisis. The essays in this collection advance theological visions for the human task of healing our destructive relationship with the earth and envision hope for our planet’s future.



The Catholic Theological Society of America [CTSA] gathered also in Puerto Rico for its Seventy-First annual convention. The convention took place June 9-12, 2016. The presence of the Hispanic Theological Initiative community was felt. Led by the conference theme of  Justice & Mercy, several HTI scholars and mentors participated in different capacities. Dr. Michael E. Lee (2003-2004 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor), Associate Professor of Theology, Latin American and Latino Studies at Fordham University, served as a respondent to the first plenary address and gave prophetic insight into Puerto Rico’s precarious economic and political situation.  Dr. Rebecca Berru Davis (2010-2011 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), The Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at St. John’s School of Theology, presented her work, “Cultivating Virtues of Mercy and Justice through an Encounter with Art: Latin American and Latino/a Perspectives” during the Latino Consultation. Oblate School of Theology’s Dr. Victor Carmona (2010-2011 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Oblate School of Theology, presented his work on, Mercy, Justice, and the Duty to Admit Central American and Syrian Refugees in the Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery group.

HTI mentors Dr. Teresa Delgado (2001–2002 HTI Dissertation Fellow, Mentor, Selection Committee Member, and Steering Committee Member), Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics and Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Iona College; and Dr. Luis Rivera-Pagán (HTI Mentor and Book Prize Reader), Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, participated in the panel Theological Voices of Puerto Rico: A People, an Island, Their Hopes, and Their Challenge. This powerful panel exposed the continued marginalization of the Puerto Rican people in diaspora and on the island. Dr. Elaine Padilla (2009-2010 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Assistant Professor of Constructive Theology at New York Theological Seminary, served as a panelist for the book launch session on World Christianity and Global Theologizing: Essays in Honor of Peter C. Phan on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday. Dr. Jeremy Cruz (2010 - 2011 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at St. John’s University in Queens, New York; presented his work on, Traversing Merciless American Borders: Transnational Dialogue Between Colonized and Diasporic Peoples in the North American Moral Theology in a Global Church group. Finally, the panel Decolonizing Theology: Puerto Rico as Locus, Source y Context en Teologías Latina/os included Dr. Neomi DeAnda (2009 - 2010 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at University of Dayton, who spoke on, Problematizing the Cultural Move from Sacred to Secular: A Focus on Nuestra Señora de Belén in Puerto Rico. Dr. María Teresa Dávila (2004–2005 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar and HTI Mentor) Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Advisor to the Master of Arts Programs at Andover-Newton Theological School, provided extensive support throughout the CTSA meeting serving as a moderator, organizer, and local contact.  The meeting reflected the creative and innovative scholarship of US Latina/o theologians as well as a consistent commitment to faith and justice.

Yara González Justiniano (2016-17 HTI Comprehensive-Exams Scholar), Boston University Divinity School;  Dr. Lauren Guerra (2015-2016 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist University; and Dr. Teresa Delgado at the event. It’s always wonderful to see our community working together!


Hispanic Summer Program

The 2016 session of the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), sponsored by the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX, marks the 27th session of the HSP, two successful weeks of theological education, worship, community building and self-discovery within a Latino context.  This event takes place from June 18th-July 2nd, 2016. Among the professors, are some of HTI scholars and mentors: 
  • Dr. Gregory Cuéllar, (2005–2006 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar) Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo, (2007–2008 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Williams College
  • Dr. Orlando Espín, (HTI Mentor, Selection Committee member, and Book Prize reader), University of San Diego
  • Dr. Edwin Aponte (1997–1998 HTI Dissertation-Year Scholar), Louisville Institute

In this session, HSP celebrates also the 13th Annual Through Hispanic Eyes workshop for non-Latino faculty, deans, and staff.  This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to talk about and examine the varied realities of the Latino community and the challenges and possibilities these bring to theological education.  It is open to presidents, deans, faculty and student services staff at the HSP sponsoring institutions.

AETH Biennial Assembly
“LISTENING TO THE VISION: “I will pour out my Spirit… your young people will see visions,” Acts 2:17″

Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH) will celebrate its 2016 Biennial Assembly on October 12-14 at Princeton Theological Seminary, followed by the Justo González Lecture Series. The AETH Assembly is made up of all its individual and institutional members. It convenes every two years and has the power to establish policy, guidelines, and programs.  

This is a crucial year in the history of AETH as it marks its 25th anniversary. The Biennial meeting will offer the context for such celebration, as well as the occasion to listen to the new generation of Hispanic leaders and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities the Hispanic church has for ministering to an increasing culturally and ethnically diverse young and adult population in the United States.

More information will be available soon at

Hispanic Theological Initiative: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating the Present, and Envisioning the Future  
Over the past twenty years, you have worked “en conjunto” to strengthen the Latina/o voices in academic circles in religion and theology and in the church.  Your commitment to this common cause has given fruit through more than 100 exceptional Hispanic educators and writers who are influencing the academy, the church, and the world!    

You made this possible!

And that is why on the evening of November 18, 2016 we want YOU to be in San Antonio at the Oblate School of Theology Whitley Theological Center! There you will gather with more than 350 individuals from our member schools, partnering institutions, HTI alumni, HTI mentors, publishing houses, and church leaders to Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, and Envision the Future. Your presence at this event will be a testimony of your commitment to building better leaders for the academy, who can articulate and shape current and future trends in theological and religious education. So SAVE the DATE and wait in anticipation for more news regarding our time together!

If you can’t wait please contact us at 609-252-1732 or via email at

La Comunidad
La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion and the Latina/o Society, Culture and Religion Group will hold their annual meeting during the AAR/SBL annual meetings in San Antonio, TX, on Sunday, November 20, 2016, from 9:00 until 11:30 am. The theme of this year’s meeting is: Religion, Revolutionary Love and Women of the US Southwest: Honoring the Legacy of Las Hermanas.

To join La Comunidad or renew your membership, visit:


Not only is it important for people to be able to articulate their faith, but just as important is how to live it out.  Education on all fronts is vitally important, and so as the Latina/o community continues to grow in the United States, government agencies like the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) are responding pro-actively by introducing online information about its many services.  Infόrmate, meaning Inform Yourself, is a monthly online newsletter produced by ACF to inform individuals and leaders of churches and nonprofits about job training, child care, Head Start, temporary assistance for families struggling to get back on their feet, and other vital human services. One of ACF’s main goals is to be more inclusive of and responsive to the needs of the Latino community.
Access current and past issues of Infórmate visit, and do not forget to share the link with your community.


Claremont McKenna College
Visiting Professor, Religious Studies - Non Tenure-track

Claremont McKenna College invites applications for a visiting faculty appointment in religious studies for the 2016-2017 academic year in the field(s) of US Latino, African American, and/or US Religion and Race, with the possibility of extending the position to a second year. The teaching load is five courses per year. Applicants should have completed the PhD by the time of appointment in July 2016. Given the institution’s commitment to cultivating an inclusive educational environment, Claremont  seeks candidates who will excel at teaching students who are broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and political viewpoint. Applications should contain CV, cover letter, three letters of recommendation, and evidence of teaching effectiveness. For more information visit


We offer up prayers of joy and thanksgiving for Rafael Reyes and his wife Vanessa Rios-Reyes on the birth of their son, Julian Xavier Reyes, born on May 26, 2016.


Let’s continue praying for our brother, Fr. Virgilio Elizondo (HTI Advisory Committee member), one of HTI’s visionaries. His sudden passing made a tremendous impact in our community, as he touched the lives of so many with his kind and caring spirit.

Please join us in praying for the mother of Alberto Garcia who passed away on 30 March. A woman of faith, Alberto’s mother was surrounded by the prayers and songs of loved ones. Alberto would like to extend his thanks to all of those who supported him during this difficult time, especially his cousins.

It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of Roberto Mata’s mother. We would ask for your thoughts and prayers for Roberto and his family as they heal and celebrate the life of such an inspirational woman.

Finally, HTI would like to join the nation and world in praying for all of those impacted by the recent act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida. We pray for all of those killed and injured, as well as their families, friends, and extended community. May the light overcome the darkness of this event, leading us towards reconciliation, love, and peace.


The Hispanic Theological Initiative is a valuable venue to attract candidates for open positions at academic institutions, church related organizations, and nonprofit organizations, among others. The following policy and procedures have been adopted to provide guidance regarding job postings:

Positions will be active on the HTI/HTIC 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.

The job posting will be displayed and used in the exact manner in which it is submitted. Before submitting, please verify that all information is accurate and correct. Once submitted, HTI/HTIC is not responsible for any errors in the posting.  Accuracy is the responsibility of the employer posting the position.

The cost to list a position on the HTI website, Facebook, and newsletter is $150 for non-member schools, and $100 for schools with HTI/HTIC Scholar as faculty.  HTIC member schools job postings are free of charge. Postings reach a community of over 2,000 individuals, including doctoral students, HTI alumni, administrators, clergy, and other interested parties.  To list an open position, please visit:


As always, we ask all of our community members to keep us posted of any news items you would like to have considered for inclusion in our newsletter by emailing us at htia/ Remember to include pertinent information, such as website or email addresses, as well as any photographs (preferably in .jpeg format).  The deadline for receiving submission is the 20th of each month. Keep in mind that each submission should be no more than two paragraphs long, and remember to help us maintain our newsletter.


If you prefer to mail your contribution, please click here.


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