Hispanic Theological Initiative.

Creating and Nurturing a Community of Latina and Latino Scholars.
Through the Combined Efforts of the Consortium Member Schools.
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    Description of PhD program

    The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program offers students the opportunity to acquire advanced expertise in a chosen field and to focus upon a selected subject of research. Goals of the program include helping students gain a wide range of disciplinary knowledge, developing their skills in research methodologies, and sharpening their abilities to express ideas orally and in writing. Students work closely with faculty advisors throughout their program. The culmination of the program is the doctoral dissertation, which sets forth a thesis and demonstrates its validity through extensive research, analysis, and synthesis of ideas.

    Fields of Study

    The seminary offers the Ph.D. degree in the fields of Old Testament, New Testament, historical studies, theological studies (including concentrations in Christian ethics/ church and society, religion and science, systematic theology, and theological anthropology), and world Christianity and mission.

    Tuition & Housing Costs

    For the 2015-16 academic year, tuition for PhD students is $3,566 per course, with full time being 4-6 courses per year. Student preparing for exams or writing their dissertation pay a continuing relations fee of $1,756 per year. See website for current year.

    LSTC has a variety of housing options available to students. Shared occupancy apartments are available for single students and in the 2015-16 academic year range from $240 to $460 a month depending on number of roommates and room size. Students with families or who prefer to live on their own can rent private apartments from $800 to $950 a month depending on apartment size.

    Tuition Assistance and Financial Aid Fellowships

    Financial aid at LSTC includes tuition scholarships, fellowships, and teaching/research assistant stipends. Awards are made on the basis of both merit and need. Most students receive partial or full tuition scholarships. Tuition scholarships for subsequent years are based on the initial award upon admission, as well as on progress in the program of study.

    Fellowship awards usually range from $1,000 to $10,000 and can be received in addition to tuition scholarships. Fellowships awarded include the Robert Marshall Fellowship, for domestic students preparing for teaching ministries, the William and Betty Danker Fellowship, for international students preparing for teaching ministries in their communities of origin, and the James Scherer Fellowship, for students in World Christianity and Mission. Additional fellowships granted annually are the ELCA Global Mission Fellowship, the Rossing Doctoral Fellowship, the International Women’s Fellowship, the Visionary Leaders Fellowship, the Hope Fellowship, the Klein Fellowship for Biblical Studies, the Sappenfeld Fellowship, the Sehy Fellowship for Interfaith Studies, the Baptist Doctoral Fellowship, and the Bachman Fellowship.

    Hispanic/Latino/a Faculty

    José David Rodríguez
    Augustana Heritage Chair of Global Mission and World Christianity
    Expertise in Latino/a Theology and Post-colonial thought

    Vitor Westhelle
    Professor of Systematic Theology
    Expertise in theology and literature, Lutheran theology in global contexts, and eschatology

    Javier R. Alanís
    Director of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, a joint program of LSTC and Wartburg Theological Seminary
    Expertise in contextual borderland theology, Latino/a spirituality, and the ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Additional External Faculty
    Over the past decade, LSTC doctoral students have worked with additional distinguished faculty members including: Daisy Machado, Luis Rivera Rodríguez, Virgilio Elizondo, Justo L. Gonzalez, Pablo Navarro, Daniel Rodriguez, and José R. Irizarry

    Hispanic Centers and Programs

    • The Albert “Pete” Pero Multicultural Center works with other seminaries, church wide offices, and Latino/a religious leaders to develop resources in research and ministerial practice relevant to multicultural settings and experience. Through the Pero Multicultural Center students preparing for ministry may earn an emphasis in Hispanic/Latino/a Ministry that includes field work and internship placements.

    • Until recently, the Hispanic Summer Program national office was located at LSTC. This office was the headquarters of the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), a national program of studies gathering the best of the Latino/a faculty resources in North America. Latino/a students from a variety of denominational affiliations who are studying at accredited educational institutions of higher learning in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada are invited to attend. The program takes place for an intensive two-week session every summer in one of the supporting institutions. Cohorts of LSTC students regularly attend this program.

    Corazón, the Latin@ Student Union at LSTC organizes academic and social events on the LSTC campus in order to support students and raise linguistic, cultural, and theological awareness and vitality.

    • The Language Resource and Writing Center (LRWC) at LSTC supports students whose primary language is other than English and provides instruction in Spanish and other languages as needed. The LRWC also refers to students to language programs at other Hyde Park seminaries and the University of Chicago.

    Spanish for Ministry is now a regular course for LSTC students, and Spanish modules are being incorporated into all worship classes.

    • At least one class per semester is offered in which Spanish is the language of instruction. Recent offerings have included: Ética and Témas Centrales en Teología.

    Neighboring Institutions or Programs

    The Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) is a consortium of 11 seminaries which provide a wealth of resources to all of the students in those schools. ACTS fosters cooperation among its member institutions, particularly in the areas of student cross-registration, library access and acquisitions policies, and interchange among faculty members. All ACTS schools are affiliated with or sponsored by a denomination, a diocese, or a consortium of religious orders. Each offers a professional degree program for ministry, and most offer other master’s and doctoral degrees as well. The cooperative structure of ACTS makes it possible for students and faculty to pursue their work, study, and reflection interacting with people from many different cultural and theological traditions. ACTS makes special efforts in the areas of African-American studies, women’s studies, Hispanic studies, interfaith studies, and the provision of theological language courses.

    LSTC students are also able to bi-register for graduate courses at the Divinity School and other departments or divisions of The University of Chicago.

    Yearly events

    Each year LSTC hosts a variety of lectures, workshops, and other special events featuring Hispanic/Latino/a speakers, themes, and culture. The following are a few recent examples:

    On October 13, 2015, Rev. Martín Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, delivered the annual Scherer Lecture, inaugurating the three-year commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at LSTC. The title of his talk was “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.” As a native of Argentina, Rev. Junge is the first LWF General Secretary from Latin America.

    On October 27, 2015, Sandra Santiago, a second generation Puerto Rican from Humbolt Part, led a Poetry and Theology Workshop at LSTC.

    In September of 2014, the Lutheran World Federation held its 3rd International Consultation on Biblical Hermeneutics, with a focus on the Gospel of Matthew. Scholars attending this consultation as presenters and participants from Latin America included Mercedes Garcia-Bachmann, Felipe Gustavo, and Vitor Westhelle.

    On November 19, 2013, the Rev. Dr. Javier R. Alanis gave the annual Lutheran Heritage Lecture, entitled “Lutheran Heritage, Mexican Ancestry, and the Future of the ELCA.”

    The annual Academic Forum at LSTC features student research projects. This February 19, 2016 , the presentations included Lydia Hernandez-Marcial, “Life under the Sun: A Puerto Rican Reading of Ecclesiastes,” and Francisco Herrera, “The Delight of Being Jesus’ Bed Slave: The Marvelous Christian Indecency of the 18th Century Moravians.”

    Library Resources

    The JKM Library provides access to one of the largest and strongest collection of scholarly resources in the country. It’s total collection numbers 409,091 of which 1367 print titles are in Spanish. In addition, JKM provides electronic access to Referencia Latina, an online database of Latin American scholarly publications in Spanish. JKM’s staff are active in teaching researchers how to use scholarly resources. Just as importantly, JKM is in formal consortial relationships with the 84 academic libraries that form I-Share, the libraries of the ACTS consortium, and the libraries of the University of Chicago. Thus, through JKM, LSTC students and faculty/staff have access to 24 million scholarly items.

    HTI Fellows/Scholars

    Javier R. Alanís
    Director/Academic Dean
    Associate Professor of Theology, Culture, and Mission
    Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
    1998-1999 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2001-2002 Dissertation Year Fellow

    Francisco Javier Goitia-Padilla
    Academic Dean
    Associate Professor of Homiletics and Theology
    Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico
    2001-2002 Doctoral
    2002-2003 Doctoral Renewal
    2003-2004 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2004-2005 Dissertation Year Fellow

    Suzanne E. Hoeferkam-Segovia
    Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology
    The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
    2001-2002 Dissertation Year Fellow

    Hjamil A. Martinez Vázquez
    Independent Scholar
    1999-2000 Doctoral
    2000-2001 Doctoral Renewal
    2001-2002 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2002-2003 Dissertation Year Fellow

    Jonathan Pimentel
    University of Costa Rica
    2010-2011 First-Year Doctoral
    2011-2012 Second-Year Doctoral
    2012-2014 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2013-2014 Dissertation Year Scholar

    Carmelo Santos-Rolón
    Associate Pastor at St. Mark’s/San Marcos Lutheran Church, Springfield, Virginia
    Consultant for Hispanic Ministries
    ELCA Metro D.C. Synod
    2002-2003 Doctoral
    2003-2004 Doctoral Renewal
    2004-2005 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2005-2006 Dissertation Year Fellow

    Crystal Silva-McCormick
    2011-2012 First-Year Doctoral

    Lydia Hernández-Marcial
    2015-2016 Comprehensive Exam Year

    Contact Information

    The HTI person to contact for information on Ph.D. studies at Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, is:

    Name: José D. Rodríguez
    Title: Professor, Systematic Theology
    Telephone: 773-256-0772
    Email: [email protected]

    Updated April 2016