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Hispanic-Latinx Center

Sign in English and Spanish with illustrations, with another sign for the Catedra Paulo Freire in the background

Established in 1988, this center seeks to bring Hispanic culture and experience into the life of the seminary and provide continuing education to the church. It strives to serve the needs of Hispanic and Latin American students, pastors, and churches. The office provides services to churches throughout the North Central Jurisdiction by recruiting students for ordained ministry and by training seminarians, pastors, and lay leaders for effective ministry in cross-cultural settings.

“Latinx” is a gender-neutral alternative to “Latino/Latina.” As a reflection of our quest for representing our base, the Center has had various names in its history: Hispanic Center, Hispanic Latino Center and Hispanic Latino(a) Latin American Center. Our community continues to grow, change and to learn new ways to come to terms with itself in all its glorious complexity. We believe the name "Hispanic-Latinx Center" connects us explicitly to our heritage while also communicating our desire to be an expansive, welcoming space.

For more information, contact Dr. Débora Junker, Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center.

Welcome from the Director

Dr. Debora JunkerDear Friends,

As the Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, I am pleased to welcome you to our community. We have exciting upcoming events that I hope you are able to participate in and contribute with your presence and talents.

The Hispanic-Latinx Center is dedicated to bringing together a community of friends who have a heart and concern about the realities of Latino communities across the U.S., Latin America, and beyond. Thus, it seeks to provide resources and scholarly discussions on pertinent themes that address both systematic and theological perspectives while cultivating a deeper, fuller, and better understanding of the complex issues regarding Latinx experiences.

I warmly invite you to get involved and participate in the activities of the Hispanic-Latinx Center. Please join us in all available opportunities that focus on a topic that interests you. You don't need to be Latino or Latina to get involved. All are welcomed!

We hope you will take your time exploring the content of this website to become more acquainted with the Hispanic-Latinx Center, and to discover potential pathways for your own involvement with us.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, suggestions, or ideas you may have to help us make the Hispanic-Latinx Center, welcoming and relevant for you and our community.

En Esperanza,
Débora Junker

Amigos y Amigas,

Como directora del Centro Hispano/Latinx y Latinoamericano de Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, me complace darle la bienvenida a nuestra comunidad. Estamos muy entusiasmados con las actividades que estamos planeando y esperamos que usted pueda participar y contribuir con su presencia y talentos.

El centro quiere ser un espacio para todas las personas que demuestran interés en la realidad de las comunidades latinas en los EE.UU. y América Latina y que son sensibles a los desafíos que ellas viven. Por este motivo, el Centro Hispano/Latinx y Latinoamericano busca proveer recursos y fomentar el diálogo sobre cuestiones del contexto de la comunidad latina a través de reuniones informales y discusiones académicas con el fin de cultivar una comprensión más profunda y más completa sobre la complejidad de la experiencia Latina en este país.

Los animo a involucrarse y participar en las actividades del Centro Hispano/Latinx y Latinoamericano. Por favor, únase a nosotros en cada oportunidad disponible para abordar un tema de su interés. No es necesario ser latino o latina para participar en nuestras actividades. ¡Todos y todas son bienvenidos!

Además, esperamos que pueda explorar el contenido de este sitio Web para familiarizarse con las actividades del Centro Hispano/Latinx y Latinoamericano, e identificar las posibles formas en que puede participar con nosotros/as.

Por favor, no vacile en ponerse en contacto conmigo para compartir preguntas, sugerencias o ideas para ayudarnos a hacer del Centro Hispano/Latinx y Latinoamericano un lugar acogedor y relevante para usted y para nuestra comunidad.

En Esperanza,
Débora Junker

Cátedra Paulo Freire

Cátedra Paulo Freire

Line drawing of Paulo Freire in multi colors with Catedra Paulo Freire text next to itThe Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has created a cathedra using the Spanish-Portuguese word, Cátedra, naming it Cátedra Paulo Freire in recognition of the invaluable contribution that Freire has imparted not only to the field of education, but to the theological field as well.

The Cátedra was inaugurated on April 8, 2016 by Ana Maria Araújo Freire, widow of Paulo Freire, who has approved the use of his name. The 2020 Cátedra will take place on March 12-13, 2020, under the theme "The Potency of Collective Conscientização - Resisting the Disimagination Machine." The keynote speaker will be internationally renowed critical educator and public intellectual, Dr. Henry A. Giroux.

You can learn more about Paulo Freire and the Cátedra at

Young Clergy Initiative (YCI)

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to implement the Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) focused on developing a comprehensive program to help young Latino/Latina students discern and hear the call to lay and ordained ministry and to train, mentor and nurture them as they continue in their spiritual and vocational journey as leaders for the church and the world. As such, YCI strategically partners with communities, churches, colleges and universities, United Methodist agencies, annual conferences and key individuals to help identify and prepare high school and college Latino/a students for leadership.

The skills for effective ministry leadership are fostered through the practice of ministry in the local church and in the community. Students come together over the summer for a 3-4 day retreat to explore vocation, discipleship, leadership, United Methodist history and polity as well as social justice issues that are important to the Latino/a community. A long term mentoring relationship is established for each student through partnerships with pastors, seminarians, conference staff and other ministry leaders. The YCI is dedicated to supporting young Latino/a students in their pursuit of higher education, leadership development, and ministry vocation as they grow into the purpose God called them to.

Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA)

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to partner with the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) program on our campus for Hispanic/Latino/a college students. The program will take place during the summer. Students already in college or beginning college in the fall are encouraged to apply to participate in the program. Applications are due by April 1st of each year.

The Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy serves Hispanic United Methodist youth and young adults. Its main purpose is to identify, recruit, and facilitate the leadership development processes of college students while taking into consideration the context and particularities of Hispanic/Latino/a youth and young adults in the context of the United States. HYLA is a three year-program that will focus on different topics each year. The Garrett-Evangelical/HYLA partnership in the Chicago area will focus on college scholarships.

Contact for general questions about HYLA and contact for specific questions about the summer program at Garrett-Evangelical.

Hispanic Summer Program

The 2020 Hispanic Summer Program will be hosted by Candler School of Theology, Emory University Atlanta and runs from June 13 to 27, 2020. The T.H.E. Workshop begins at 3 pm on Sunday, June 21 and concludes at noon on Wednesday, June 24. Course descriptions are available for the students to review as they make their selection. Please note, the Bible course that is announced on the brochure taught by Dr. Leticia Guardiola-Saenz has been changed and will NOT be offered. The new Bible course for June 2020 will now be taught by Dr. Ahida Pilarsky and the course description is available along with the other courses being offered. You can see all 2020 HSP classes being offered here