Rudy Vargas IV, Doctor of Ministry Candidate
Executive Director of the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center, serving 34 dioceses in the Northeast region of the United States
Rudy Vargas has been involved in Hispanic Ministry for the past 25 years. He participated in the National Encuentros de Pastoral Hispana and has served on several national boards. He was the first president and a founding member of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry as well as the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana. Rudy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Applied Research for the Apostolate (CARA) and the Board of Directors for the Jesuit Collaborative.
Rudy has been married to his wife, Sandy, for over 25 years; they have three children (Vanessa, Rudy V, and Veronica Raquel) and a grandchild, Samantha Cristine.
Rudy says Barry University has provided him a place and space where he has deepened and broadened his knowledge and experience in ministry in the Catholic Church. The opportunity to learn and share with colleagues who are engaged in a diversity of ministries and who represent a diversity of vocations, faiths, and cultures has made his experience at Barry unique, invaluable, and profound.
Rudy notes that he has had a true experience of "acompanamineto" as he travels his path towards a Doctorate of Ministry, with a concentration in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry at Barry. He expressed his gratitude to faculty, staff, and colleagues for making a home (away from home) for him at Barry, where he can learn, grow, pray, reflect, read, study, grapple with concepts and reach greater depths of understanding within the field of ministry.
Karen Stalnaker, MA in Practical Theology and Ministry Student
Theology Teacher and Youth Group Leader
When I first came to Barry in 2003, I had very little idea that I would be in the MA program in Practical Theology and Ministry several years later. I am in Theology largely due to the faculty and their personal interest in my life, which includes mentoring spiritually and intellectually.
On a personal note, when I entered Barry University, I was starting over in my life and had little confidence in my abilities. Besides providing a first-class education, I was really cared for by the professors on a level that is unheard of in most universities. Barry University provides an environment that really makes a difference in their studentsâ€™ lives. Most importantly, the professors are available to meet with their students and provide assistance throughout their education.
I am a second-year Theology teacher, and because of the education I have been provided, I have been given new responsibilities at my school. I now teach three Bible classes and also teach a new course called Peer Ministry. This class is designed to form Christians so they can be Peer Leaders in our school. I am also leading a Youth Group which had forty students when started and because of its popularity has grown to an average of seventy- five students. This is extremely important to mention because I would not have had the ability to facilitate such a group without my education at Barry University.
Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the student â€“ professor ratio that is extremely important when choosing a university. I had previously attended another university in the area and felt like most professors were too busy or didnâ€™t care to get to know their students. I have been extremely happy with my choice of Barry University and realize that not only have I received a wonderful education but also my professors have become an integral part of my life.