Statistics reveal the facts. Hispanics Americansare growing in unprecedented numbers. U.S. demographic experts project that by 2050 over 120 million Hispanics will live in the country (Pew Hispanic Center, Population Projections, 2008). People of Spanish heritage will number approximately one fourth of the U.S. population. However, their percentage of the population in the U.S. Southwest will be dramatically higher.
Such numbers demand attention. The historic and ever growing presence of the Hispanic community in the southwest cannot be ignored. To do so would be to shut ourselves out from what God plans to do now and in the future, in our own Jerusalem , Judea and Samaria !
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a world class theological institution, situated at the epicenter of this growth, is not oblivious to this momentous cultural shift. To begin to meet the challenge, Southwestern announced its new Hispanic Studies Concentration (HSC) beginning in the summer, 2005. While it is not the only response to the daunting challenge, it is a significant part of an overall strategy to equip God called men and women to reach Hispanics here and abroad with the life saving message of Jesus Christ.
Although the HSC is ideally suited for students pursuing a graduate degree, the classes will be offered to the broader community as well. Some pastors and associate ministers may already have an earned Masters degree. Lay leaders may not feel led to pursue formal graduate work in seminary; but all want desperately to better understand the challenges and reach out to their Spanish speaking neighbor. The HSC courses will be offered in convenient week-long formats during summer and winter terms. This will make it possible for anyone to take the courses without having to commit to a traditional sixteen week semester of study. The courses will be offered on a for-credit basis for current graduate students, returning graduates, and also as workshop and conference courses for those not interested in seeking a degree. All who complete the HSC course requirements will receive a certificate of completion. For those taking the courses for credit the concentration will be officially noted on their transcript. Furthermore, the resident faculty slated to teach the HSC curriculum is amply qualified in the field. Collectively they bring over 100 years of ministry experience in the evangelical Hispanic community. Most importantly, you can be confident that the Hispanic Studies concentration will expose you to the latest facts and trends and the most effective methodologies to understand Hispanic culture/s and reach out to Hispanics with insight and sensitivity.
If God has given you a vision of harvest among Hispanics in North America and elsewhere, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary invites you to consider prayerfully the Hispanic Studies Concentration to equip you for the mission. These courses will be taught bilingually (English-Spanish) to train all who feel God’s call to be involved in ministries to reach Hispanics for Christ.
For His Glory,