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Theological Educ Latinos

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The challenges that Seminaries face to provide relevant theological education that better reflect the Latino context.

Published in: Spiritual, Education
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Theological Educ Latinos

  1. 1. THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN THE CHANGING FACE OF USA Rev. Dr. Huberto Pimentel National Pastor For Hispanic Ministries Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  2. 2. Teaching <ul><li>Is a theological activity that empowers the people of God to be agents within the public world of God’s presence. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Theology <ul><li>It’s an activity of the whole people of God so that it is a reflection by the people of God within the community of faith seeking to understand and respond to what it means to be accepted, sent, and called by God into the brokenness of the world. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Our Task <ul><li>transmit the tradition </li></ul><ul><li>initiate people into the faith community </li></ul><ul><li>relate faith to culture </li></ul><ul><li>continue the constructive and critical process of understanding and re-forming the tradition </li></ul><ul><li>seek to be a faithful people by finding ways to embody the tradition </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Most Pressing Needs <ul><li>Better opportunities for formal theological education </li></ul><ul><li>Training for laity to assume leadership responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Increased cultivation of second and third generation Latino youth </li></ul><ul><li>Initiatives that would help church leaders to advocate for social needs of their communities </li></ul><ul><li>Programs to provide lay leaders and clergy with practical administrative skills </li></ul>
  6. 6. Interest in Theological Education <ul><li>In general 63.4% very interested </li></ul><ul><li>86.7% if program is within 250 miles </li></ul><ul><li>70.1% if classes provided in Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>86.7% if they can study Latino issues </li></ul><ul><li>81.5% if they have Latino/a faculty </li></ul>Hispanic Ministry in the 21 Century: A National Gathering to Develop Strategies to Strengthen Hispanic Ministry. Duke Divinity School, NC. 2003, PAGE 13
  7. 7. Finances <ul><li>22.4% unable to pay for an MDIV </li></ul><ul><li>39% able to pay some of it </li></ul><ul><li>2.9% able to pay most of it </li></ul><ul><li>2.2% able to pay all of it </li></ul><ul><li>56.8% listed availability of financial aid as the greatest barrier to completing the desired program </li></ul>Hispanic Ministry in the 21 Century: A National Gathering to Develop Strategies to Strengthen Hispanic Ministry. Duke Divinity School, NC. 2003.
  8. 8. Curricular Content <ul><li>90.4% Pastoral counseling </li></ul><ul><li>89.9% Teaching Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>84.8% Preaching </li></ul><ul><li>83.9% Evangelism </li></ul><ul><li>83.9% Hispanic Theology </li></ul>Hispanic Ministry in the 21 Century: A National Gathering to Develop Strategies to Strengthen Hispanic Ministry. Duke Divinity School, NC. 2003.
  9. 9. Curricular Content <ul><li>83.3% Bible Courses </li></ul><ul><li>79.2% Bilingual/bicultural Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>78.7% Community Development </li></ul><ul><li>74.6% Urban Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>73.8% Systematic Theology </li></ul><ul><li>72.7% Social Service Ministry </li></ul>
  10. 10. Curricular Content <ul><li>70.5% Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>67.3% Church History </li></ul><ul><li>66.6% Youth Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>64.1% Worship/Liturgy </li></ul>
  11. 11. Forms of Education <ul><li>Extension Programs 78.1% </li></ul><ul><li>Correspondence Programs 76.2% </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Courses 77.3% </li></ul><ul><li>Intensives 87.1% </li></ul>
  12. 12. Pastoral Care Skills <ul><li>skills for listening </li></ul><ul><li>family systems theory </li></ul><ul><li>family therapy </li></ul>
  13. 13. What Seminaries can do? <ul><li>Offer basic traditional MDIV courses that are contextualized </li></ul><ul><li>An MDIV through the filters of urban, pastoral, minority ministry experience </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on urban theology </li></ul><ul><li>Public ministry of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics for urban ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Have more Latino/@ Scholars </li></ul>
  14. 14. What Seminaries can do? <ul><li>Be aware of the theological views held by latinos/as: 56% Conservative; 33% Moderate, and 11% Liberal. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the political views held by latinos/as: 58% Conservative; 33% Moderate, and 9% Liberal </li></ul>Equipped to Serve: Latino/a Seminarians and the Future of Religious Leadership in the Latino/a Community - Research Vol 2006.3, Oct 2006, University of Notre Dame, page 18, table 6.
  15. 15. What Seminaries can do? <ul><li>Dr. Daisy Machado(2003) notes on her book Of Borders and Margins: Hispanics Disciples in Texas 1888-1945 , the inability of the CCDC to develop significant ties with Hispanics that resulted in the creation of a small church existing on both the geographical and denominational margins of the Disciples community. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What Seminaries can do? <ul><li>Dr. Justo Gonz ález said: the churches are the most permanent and the most hopeful presence in our Latinos/a communities. And yet, the resources invested in the training and formation of such leadership is ridiculously and sinfully scarce. </li></ul><ul><li>A few, a very few, attend the centers of higher theological learning. Many of these, by the fact of attending these schools, where Latino/as are practically non-existent, become disconnected from their communities of origin. </li></ul>Adapted from the Foreword to Reconstructing the Sacred Tower
  17. 17. What Seminaries can do? <ul><li>On the few who manage to retain their commitment to and connection with the Latino/a community, almost none move on to graduate work at the doctoral level, to become the sort of teacher they themselves did not have in their own theological studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Pastors, seminary trained or not, are leading their congregations into new dimensions of service and advocacy. There is an eagerness to learn, to study, and to be challenge by new ideas and visions. </li></ul>Adapted from the Foreword to Reconstructing the Sacred Tower, Dr. Justo Gonz ález
  18. 18. Alternative for Lay Pastors CHET or similar programs <ul><li>Certificate programs, </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing programs, </li></ul><ul><li>Bachelor of theology accredited by their denominational college North Park College in Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>A special program in counseling </li></ul><ul><li>A special program on community transformation </li></ul>CHET - Hispanic Center for Theological Studies, Bell Gardens, California.
  19. 19. Existing M.Div students <ul><li>CTS - 5 students = 3 male, 2 female </li></ul><ul><li>LTS - 1 student = male </li></ul><ul><li>BDS - 3 student = male, one part time student female </li></ul><ul><li>SFTS - 1 student = male </li></ul><ul><li>Methodist Asbury - 3 student= female </li></ul><ul><li>Methodist Chicago - 1 student = male </li></ul><ul><li>PTS - 2 student </li></ul>
  20. 20. Mapping the Hispanic Disciples theological preparation <ul><li>Northeast Convention </li></ul><ul><li>8 M.Div. and 8 License pastors </li></ul><ul><li>Southeast Convention </li></ul><ul><li>4 M.Div. 8 License pastors </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona Convention </li></ul><ul><li>2 M.Div and 4 License pastors </li></ul>
  21. 21. Mapping the Hispanic Disciples theological preparation <ul><li>Midwest Convention </li></ul><ul><li>3 M.Div and 7 License pastors </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Convention </li></ul><ul><li>1 M.Div. and 14 License pastors </li></ul><ul><li>Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>2 M.Div </li></ul><ul><li>Southwest Convention </li></ul><ul><li>6 M.Div., 10 equivalent studies, 16 License pastors </li></ul>
  22. 22. A Teaching methodology <ul><li>Presentation and discussion of new material- lecture and problem posing </li></ul><ul><li>Small group work on problem solving- entails research, writing and discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Plenary and concluding discussion- student theological reflection and pastoral action and new problem posing </li></ul>Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Claremont School of Theology
  23. 23. Teaching Method 2 <ul><li>Student presentation of case studies (A field trip could be substituted here). </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary team of professors facilitate a discussion and resource students from the coffers of their disciplines for approaching the case studies. Facilitators may include profs, community activists, seasoned pastors or denominational leaders. </li></ul>Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Claremont School of Theology
  24. 24. Teaching Method 2 <ul><li>Further research and reading by students </li></ul><ul><li>Group discussions- doing theology, creating new pastoral approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Plenary discussion (Where are we? What have we learned? Where are we going?) </li></ul>Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Claremont School of Theology
  25. 25. Suggested Assignments <ul><ul><li>Short reflection papers on readings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theological reflection accompanied by social analysis and pastoral action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All papers and projects have to do with the ministerial activity of pastors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignments become means for continued dialectic of action-reflection-action. </li></ul></ul>Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Claremont School of Theology
  26. 26. Success of a Program <ul><li>Curriculum that is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty that is knowledgeable and mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Provide preparation for studying </li></ul><ul><li>Provide financial planning before beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a workshop on time management for tentmakers </li></ul>
  27. 27. Success of a Program <ul><li>Present study as a spiritual discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Work with a “posse mentality” create cohorts, husband/wife teams </li></ul><ul><li>Attend to research skills, reading and writing skills </li></ul>

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