Student Stories

PhD Student Emanuel Padilla Selected as a 2022 Doctoral Fellow by the Louisville Institute

Emanuel Padilla

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary doctor of philosophy student, Emanuel Padilla, has been selected as a 2022 Doctoral Fellow by the Louisville Institute, based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Lousiville, Kentucky. Padilla, founder and president of World Outspoken and co-host of the Mestizo Podcast, is in the theology and ethics track of the seminary’s doctoral program.

“Over the last few months, I’ve had the honor of meeting some of the first Latinxs to open doors and pave ways. I am grateful for the trails they carved for me to follow.”

The Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship program encourages current PhD/ThD students to consider theological education as their vocation. The Institute awards up to ten two-year Doctoral Fellowships of $3,000 per year. In addition, Fellows constitute a peer learning cohort that meets six times over a two-year period.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Emanuel was acutely aware of his exile from Puerto Rico from an early age. He grew an awareness of his double mestizaje as one who was neither completely from the United States or the Island. This experience as part of the Puerto Rican diaspora is central to Emanuel’s research and ministry interests. He is pursuing doctoral studies to construct a theology of mestizaje that recaptures the history of colonization, reshapes conceptions of metiza/o identity, and informs ecclesial pursuits of justice. Emanuel’s desire is to serve the Church through non-traditional educational ministries.

Prior to enrolling at Garrett-Evangelical, Padilla was an instructor of bible and theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, where he taught courses both on campus and online. He completed his master of arts in systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, with a thesis titled “Seeking Zion: The Gospel and the City We Make.” In his thesis, Padilla studied the theological assumptions that shaped the 1909 Plan of Chicago. This plan served as an example of how visions of the built environment shape the material conditions in which people live their lives. Padilla’s interests continue to be shaped by his personal story and previous academic experiences.

Earlier this month, Padilla presented at the Decolonizing Churches Conference in Puerto Rico. Padilla’s paper was titled, Ecclesial Images and “La Gran Familia Puertorriqueña: Decolonizing Root Metaphors for Unity. In addition, Padilla has written a chapter in the recently published book, One Volume Seminary (Moody Publishers, 2022). The book was written by former and current faculty members of Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. Padilla’s chapter in the book is titled, “Doing Urban Ministry.” Funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment, Louisville Institute awards grants and fellowships to those who lead and study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, advancing scholarship to strengthen church, academy, and wider society. To learn more, go to https://louisville-institute.org/.