Hispanic Church Studies at Seminary of the Southwest
Seminary of the Southwest is historically and uniquely situated, both geographically and culturally, to be the lead Episcopal seminary that prepares future clergy and lay leaders for ministry with Latinos/as in the United States.
Although Latino/a ministry largely focuses on preparing spiritual leaders for working among immigrant, Spanish-speaking congregations, it increasingly includes developing a competency to pastor native-born, bilingual and English-dominant Latinos/as who are now dominant in the Southwest, as well as in most major urban centers in this country.
Hispanic Church Studies at Southwest aims to expose you to this vibrant, socio-demographic context. You will gain cultural competency while acquiring basic skills and sensibilities every priest and layperson needs for the practice of ministry in communities with a rising Hispanic population.
The faculty at Southwest believe that exposure to the Latino/a context is important; therefore, the January “Encuentro: Mission in Latino Contexts,” an intensive and broad exposure to the Latino world, especially as exists in the Trans-Mexico border is a requirement for all MDiv students.
If you elect to enroll in the Hispanic Church Studies Concentration
• Students choosing the Hispanic Church Studies Concentration (HCSC) select three 3-credit hour electives from the Concentration curriculum in addition to the required courses.
• HCSC students’ field education assignment will take place in a Spanish-speaking congregation or with dual language congregations involved in Latino/a ministry if the student has at least an intermediate level of fluency in Spanish.
• HCSC students are encouraged to participate in Latino/a cultural events and related activities, such as planning and implementing the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, planning a Spanish-language liturgy when appropriate, and applying for grants to undertake a travel project related to mission and evangelism in a Latin American country or Latino/a setting.
• Southwest offers a Spanish language course on campus designed to give you comfort with Spanish liturgies or with Spanish speakers in pastoral settings.
Faculty for Hispanic Church Studies
- The Rev. Jay Alanis, PhD,executive director of Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
- Dr. Horatio Peña, senior instructor
- The Rev. Al Rodriguez, interim director of Hispanic Church Studies
Library resources at Southwest
• La Colección Hispana includes theological, Biblical, and liturgical books in Spanish, plus holdings from other seminaries.
• Winterbotham Collection preserves historical works in Spanish from 18th-20th centuries.
• Hispanic and Spanish-language scholarly journals in theology and religion are available.
• Students receive borrowing privileges at the Benson Latin American Studies library in Austin, one of the largest Latin American Studies libraries in the world.
• Language immersion in Latin America is available for credit.
• The Panama Project. The Seminary Council on Mission (SCOM) an organ of the Council of Deans of Episcopal Seminaries, selects up to four students each year to attend a four-week immersion program in the Episcopal Diocese of Panama each June.
• Hispanic Summer Program (Programa Hispano de Verano) offers two weeks of for-credit courses from Hispanic perspectives. A consortium of seminaries funds the program, and the site rotates each year. Successful completion of the Hispanic Summer Program course can count towards the Hispanic Church Studies Concentration. Ten percent of the Hispanic Summer Program student body consists of non-Hispanic students.
• Students may apply for two different grants that will allow them to learn about the church in mission in Latin America or in Hispanic communities in the United States: The Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM) grant and the Evangelical Education Society of the Episcopal Church (EES) grant.
• The seminary co-sponsors a day-long “Crossing the Border Conference” on a Saturday once a semester with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Lutheran Seminary Program In the Southwest. The conference is in Spanish and free of charge for students. Participants come from a variety of denominations to hear Hispanic theological educators teach on theological and pastoral issues relevant to the Hispanic community.
• The Episcopal Church’s office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries sponsors “Nuevo Amanecer Conference,” a denomination-wide conference on Hispanic ministry at Kanuga Conference in late August every other year. The seminary provides financial support for students enrolled in the concentration to attend the conference.
• In the year that the “Nuevo Amanecer Conference” does not occur, Seminary of the Southwest sponsors a denomination-wide conference on Hispanic ministry, “Nuevos Horizontes” on the seminary campus. The conference is bilingual and free of charge for students.
• When possible, students receive financial support to attend other conferences, workshops and seminars that occur throughout the year.
Contact information For more information on Hispanic Church studies at Southwest, contact the Admissions Office at 512.472.4133 or email@example.com
Further details on Hispanic Church Studies can be found on pages 39 – 41 of the Catalog.