July 2012

Santa Clara University Convenes Annual Hispanic Institute July 15, for Leaders in Hispanic Catholic Ministry

BERKELEY, Calif., July 11, 2012 — Nearly four dozen U.S. Catholic leaders who minister to Hispanic populations will convene in Berkeley, California, starting July 15 for two weeks of advanced theology and pastoral leader training. 

The program is the Instituto Hispano, or Hispanic Institute, being held at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University July 15 – 27. The institute, which will celebrate its 25th year in 2013, is an intensive program for Catholic leaders, primarily laity, who minister to or lead the growing number of Hispanic and Spanish-speaking Catholics across the U.S.   

“We are looking forward to welcoming our class of new and returning students to the Instituto Hispano,” said Fr. Rob McChesney, S.J., the interim director of the program. “Every year our students tell us how valuable they find this opportunity, to learn from outstanding theologians and one another how to best serve a population that in 20 years will represent a majority of Catholics in the United States.”

The courses — such as Church history, fundamental moral theology and Christology— are traditional theology-school fare, but they are taught entirely in Spanish with a focus on how those fields fit contextually with Hispanic traditions or the immigrant heritage of the Catholic Church.

This year’s class members come from states including California, Missouri, Colorado, Washington, Texas and Oregon. They include deacons, nuns and laity serving Catholic dioceses and parishes as directors of religious education or faith formation, catechists, music or liturgy ministry leaders, or RCIA leaders. Most who attend are Hispanic themselves – originally from countries including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua or Peru — and are seeking a greater integration of their rich pastoral experience with the best of Catholic theology and spirituality.

At the end of the summer, participants receive a certificate of achievement and five continuing education credits. Additionally, after completing three consecutive summers at the Institute, students receive a certificate in theological and pastoral studies from JST.  This summer, for the first time, three students will take an additional course for three graduate credits. In this way JST seeks to identify qualified Hispanic students who might pursue degree studies at JST in Berkeley or the SCU campus.

Professors from JST, Loyola Marymount University, Santa Clara University, ITESO of Mexico (the Jesuit university of Guadalajara) and Ramón Llull Universidad Barcelona, will teach the Institute courses on JST’s campus near the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., will present the certificates to graduates on July 27 on the Berkeley campus.

About the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, located in Berkeley, California, is a preeminent international center for the culturally contextualized study of theology. Its mission is to inspire and prepare men and women to become leaders in the Church, academy, and society, serving others through a faith that does justice. Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, JST educates and trains Jesuits, religious, ordained, and lay students from across the United States and from 40 other countries for lives dedicated to ministry and scholarship. For more information see http://www.scu.edu/jst/.

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | 408-554-5121 | dlohse@scu.edu


Jesuit School of Theology,Hispanic Institute