Mission & Vision
What the Hispanic Summer Program set out to achieve from
its inception in 1988 was to supplement and enrich the theological and
ministerial education being offered in seminaries and universities, with
academic courses and other activities directly addressing Hispanic history,
ministry, and theology. As an ecumenical program it seeks to heal the
divisions in the Latina/o community fueled by denominational and theological
differences. As a Hispanic program, the HSP tries to find ways
to restore connections and build bridges between Hispanics and non-Hispanics – among
others by enhancing the awareness and appreciation that non-Hispanic scholars,
ministers, and administrators have of Latina/o contributions to the
past, present, and future of our churches and our nation.
HSP strives to achieve these objectives:
- To provide a Hispanic environment as an
alternative educational experience in theology and religion primarily, but
by no means exclusively, for Latina/o students from seminaries,
universities, and other programs of higher education where there
is a dearth of Hispanic faculty.
- To influence the system of theological
education in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, so that
it finds new ways of both benefiting from, and responding to,
the opportunities offered by the burgeoning Latina/o community,
by its scholars, ministers, and leaders.
- To create spaces for the
theological and ministerial education of Hispanic women in particular,
and of minority students in general.
- To promote ecumenical understanding
and collaboration among current and future Hispanic leaders of
different denominations and theological traditions – as well
as between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students, faculty, ministers,
and administrators in the churches and in academia.
The Hispanic Summer Program was born, and continues to thrive, with certain
traits that have been considered essential from the outset:
- It must be academically sound. Every
credits are awarded by an ATS-accredited institution, which also
appoints the HSP faculty as adjuncts for the summer, and approves
the courses for credit. The student body is composed primarily
of regularly enrolled students in ATS-accredited institutions (in
M. Div., D. Min., and other programs), although there are always
a number of participants pursuing continuing education, Ph.D. students
who desire an opportunity to work with a particular professor,
teachers in Bible colleges and Bible Institutes, etc. Our faculty
must meet the highest academic standards. All faculty members of
the Hispanic Summer Program are either currently teaching in accredited
seminaries or universities, or fully qualified to do so. The host
institution gives academic credits for the courses and these credits
are transferred to the institution in which each student is enrolled.
(The academic impact of the Hispanic Summer Program has been outstanding.
More than half of all Latinas/os enrolled in, or recently graduated
from, PhD or equivalent degrees in theology/religion are alumnae/i
of our program).
- The program must be gender-inclusive in
both its faculty and student body. The usual proportion is
nowadays near 59% men/41% women. Although not our ideal,
it is indeed much better than the actual percentages for Hispanic
seminarians and students of theology in the United States,
Canada, and Puerto Rico. (Also on this score the program
has had significant success. We know that, of the few Latinas who
have recently completed PhDs in religion, several are HSP
- It must be ecumenical. The Hispanic
Summer Program has always had a significant number of students
from all denominational families: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelicals,
and Pentecostals. We strive to honor this diversity not only
through our recruitment & admission
process, but also by carefully hiring a denominationally diverse
faculty, rotating annually the program among host institutions
of different denominational families, building a theologically
varied curriculum, and shaping worship experiences which foment
respect for, and dialogue among, our different church traditions.
must be itinerant, not tying itself to any single region
of the U.S., or to any particular Hispanic community. Thus, the
HSP travels each year to a different place of the U.S., Canada,
or Puerto Rico, and subsidizes most students’ travel, to
guarantee that no one region, denomination, or national origin
predominates in its midst.
- It should promote an intercultural
Hispanic pedagogy among
the students, faculty, and administrators of the program, which
serves as both a model and a motivation for our churches and
This is our vision in order to fulfill our mission: please join us in
continuing to improve the HSP as an efficient, excellent service to our
communities. Thank you!