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Hispanic Institute Convenes July 17 to Educate Leaders in Hispanic Catholic Ministry

Friday, Jul. 8, 2011

BERKELEY, Calif., July 8, 2011— For the 24th year in a row, about three dozen leaders who work as ministers to Hispanic Catholics nationwide will convene at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University for an advanced program of theology and pastoral ministries.

The Instituto Hispano, or Hispanic Institute, is being held July 17 to July 29 at JST’s Berkeley campus. Half of this year’s class is returning for their second or third year of the three-year program; half are attending for the first time. The students are coming from parishes in Illinois, Iowa, Colorado and California.

“We are greatly looking forward to the new and returning students coming to the Hispanic Institute this year,” said institute director Paulina Espinosa. “In this time when Hispanic congregations are growing and pastoral needs are great, students find support and a wealth of culturally aware, advanced theology that they can take back to their home parishes,” she added.

The institute is an intensive program for Catholic leaders, mostly non-clergy, who minister to or lead Hispanic or Spanish-speaking members of their parish. Often they are deacons, catechists, youth ministers, RCIA leaders, or pre-marriage or pre-baptism counselors, liturgists, and sometimes nuns or priests. Most who attend are Hispanic themselves, and are seeking a greater integration of their faith-rich culture with formal teachings of Catholicism.

Participants in the institute must first receive the necessary ministerial formation or equivalent training in their local diocese, and be recommended by their ministry coordinator or the pastor of the parish. Participants typically attend for three summers in a row, after which they receive a Certificate in Hispanic Theological and Pastoral Studies.

This year’s courses include Scripture, theology, liturgical studies, inculturation and current issues in ministry. JST professors and other institute lecturers, who teach only in Spanish, seek to build on the strong emphasis on community in the Hispanic culture, and work to encourage congregants to bring that richness to their Church lives. They also seek to share the formal theology and theological context for Hispanic traditions and to explore the immigrant heritage of the Catholic Church.

Interested media may attend Institute events by first contacting SCU Media Relations.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | Assistant Director, Media Relations | 408-554-5121 |


Tags: Hispanic Institute, Jesuit School of Theology

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