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What is the Institute?

Hispanic/Latino Theology

The Institute for Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry was founded to respond to the needs of the emerging Church by preparing leaders and ministers to serve the Hispanic/Latino community. Located in the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Barry University, the Institute prepares leaders from throughout the United States and within the local community to serve the Hispanic/Latino Church in a variety of ministerial positions. The Institute is uniquely poised to help graduate students answer the call to understand and speak to the theological and cultural world of the Latinos(as) who comprise their congregations.

The Institute focuses on four areas:

  • Academic course offerings on topics that critically engage the theological and ministerial praxis of the Hispanic/Latino community.
  • Contributions to the U.S. Hispanic/Latino theological discourse through research, publications and participation in professional associations.
  • Ministerial formation programs that assist professionals serving the Hispanic/Latino community in developing ministerial identity through intellectual and spiritual formation.
  • Scholarships for graduate theological training for leaders in the Hispanic/Latino community, made possible by funding from the Marie V. Gendron Grant.

Academic Course Offerings

Courses offered through the Institute for Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry can be applied to the Doctor of Ministry program, the MA in Practical Theology and Ministry or a Certificate in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry.

  • THE 630: U.S. Hispanic/Latino Theology
  • THE 632: Hispanic/Latino Ministry and Practical Theology and Ministry
  • THE 716: Latino Popular Religiosity and its Ethics of Solidarity
  • THE 717: Feminista/ Mujerista Theology
  • THE 718: Liturgy and Preaching in Latino Congregations
  • THE 720: Christian Spirituality and U.S. Hispanic/Latino Experience

Contributions to the U.S. Hispanic/Latino Theological Discourse

Barry University faculty associated with the Institute contribute to the U.S. Hispanic/Latino theological discourse in numerous ways.

  • Alicia Marill, DMin – Dr. Marill is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Associate Professor of Theology at Barry. Her academic research is in the areas of U.S. Hispanic/Latino theology and cross-cultural ministry and the pastoral concerns related to the exile communities, reconciliation, and missiology. She has served as President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States (ACHTUS) and the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministries. She is the founder of Amor en Acción, a volunteer organization dedicated to assisting the poor in collaboration with Catholic parishes in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
  • Elsie Miranda, DMin - Director of Formation and the Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Ministry at Barry University. A Cuban-American, she works in the areas of education and formation of lay ecclesial ministers and pastoral care and counseling within diverse cultural contexts. Dr. Miranda recently co-edited the book Calling For Justice Throughout the World: Catholic Women Theologians and the Pandemic of HIV/AIDS.
  • Jorge Presmanes, OP, DMin – A Dominican friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, Fr. Presmanes is the Director of the Institute for Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Theology at Barry University. Prior to coming to Barry, Fr. Presmanes was the pastor at St. Dominic Church in Miami and a professor at the Southeastern Pastoral Institute. The co-editor of Preaching and Culture in the Latino Congregations (Chicago: LTP, 2000), Fr. Presmanes specializes in Hispanic popular religion, pastoral theology in the Latino context, preaching and the education of lay ecclesial ministers.
  • Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, STD – Father Deck is the Director of the Office for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. He served previously as executive director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality and as professor of pastoral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Fr. Deck was co-founder and first president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry. The author of two books, and the editor of three, Fr. Deck specializes in Hispanic religion, culture and spirituality and in issues of pastoral ministry.
  • Michelle A. Gonzalez, PhD – Dr. Gonzalez is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami and the Marie V. Gendron Endowed Visiting Professor at the Institute for Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry. Dr. Gonzalez is the author of Created in God's Image: An Introduction to Feminist Theological Anthropology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007) and Sor Juana: Beauty and Justice in the Americas (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003) for which she was awarded the Catholic Press Association Book Award and the Hispanic Theological Initiative Book Prize. Her areas of academic specialization are Latino/a and Latin American Religion; Afro-Caribbean Studies; U.S. Minority, Third World and Feminist Theologies; and Constructive and Cultural Theologies.

Ministerial Formation Programs

All students participate in integrative ministerial formation programs intended to meet individual ministerial goals and needs. These programs are designed to assist students in integrating academic knowledge and spiritual practice with personal and professional ministerial experiences.

Scholarships for Graduate Theological Training

Full-time and part-time scholarships for graduate theological education of ecclesial ministers in the U.S. Hispanic/Latino context are currently available to qualified students through the generosity of the Marie V. Gendron Estate. Gendron scholarships have made it possible for leaders in the field of Hispanic/Latino Ministry from throughout the United States to pursue doctoral studies.

Contact Us. For more information, you can ask us a question or schedule a visit online. You can also contact us by email at or by phone at 305-899-3028 or 800-756-6000, ext. 3028.

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