The program in Hispanic Ministry draws upon the resources of a major academic research institution. Students concentrating in Hispanic Ministry are able to take courses not only in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, but also in other schools and departments of the university — Anthropology, History, Modern Languages, Music, Politics, Social Service, etc. — which have courses related to the Hispanic/Latino experience. In addition to a well-rounded academic background, the Hispanic Ministry concentration provides hands-on practical experience to those who want to minister in the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States.
Serving the Church in the Local Community
The goal of the concentration in Hispanic Ministry is to prepare M. Div. students for an active role in the life of the Hispanic Catholic community in North America. The program is designed so that students not only learn about the Latin American background of Hispanics/Latinos, but also about the identity and contributions of the Hispanic/Latino population in the United States. Students have the opportunity to engage in historical, social, pastoral, and theological reflection on what constitutes an increasingly large percentage of the North American Catholic Church.
The concentration in Hispanic Ministry is a complement to the standard M. Div. degree. Appropriate courses at the graduate level in this concentration fulfill requirements for the M. Div degree. These requirements include:
- Language Proficiency
- Hispanic/Latino Theology and Hispanic/Latino Culture
- Pastoral Theology and Hispanic Ministry
Requirements for the Concentration in Hispanic Ministry
The requirements for the concentration in Hispanic Ministry supplement the general requirements for the M.Div. degree; courses taken to fulfill the requirements for this concentration can also be used to fulfill the academic electives and pastoral theology requirements for the M.Div. degree.
Spanish Language Requirement
Students who enter the program with minimal or no Spanish are encouraged to avail themselves of at least one summer immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking environment. The Coordinator of Hispanic/Latino Programs can provide suggestions about various immersion programs.
The Spanish language requirement may be fulfilled either by demonstrating proficiency in conversational Spanish or by passing a Spanish course in the Department of Modern Languages at the 300 level or above with a grade of B or above.
Students who take courses in Spanish at the 500-level or above may count these courses towards fulfilling the requirement in Hispanic/Latino Culture.
Hispanic/Latino Theology Requirement
Students are required to take six credits in Hispanic/Latino Theologies; this requirement can be fulfilled by taking two of the following graduate courses offered in the School of Theology and Religious Studies: Hispanic/Latino Theologies; Theology of Liberation; Spirituality and Theology in the Hispanic Tradition. Comparable courses offered through the Washington Theological Consortium or by the Hispanic Summer Program can also be used to fulfill this requirement.
Hispanic/Latino Culture Requirement
Students are required to take six credits in Hispanic/Latino/Latin American Culture; these courses may taken in any school or department at the University; such courses are regularly are offered by various departments such as Modern Languages, Anthropology, Economics, History, Politics, as well as by the Schools of Music and Social Service. Comparable courses offered through the Washington Theological Consortium and by the Hispanic Summer Program can also be used to fulfill academic electives.
Pastoral Theology Requirement
For the concentration in Hispanic Ministry, M.Div. students are required to take TRS 654: Introduction to Hispanic Ministry. In addition, at least two semesters of Supervised Ministry must include a placement that includes ministry with Hispanics.
Seminarians are expected to demonstrate their ability to administer the sacraments in Spanish (e.g., celebrating the Eucharist, preaching, and hearing confessions).