Hispanic Pastoral Leadership Initiative

Approximately 40% of all Catholics in the United States are Hispanic; 50% of all Catholics age 14-29 are Hispanic; 55% of Catholics under 14 are Hispanic.

While it is important that ministry formation opportunities be made available for all who are called to offer some service in the Church, equipping the Church in the U.S. to address the needs of the growing Hispanic Catholic community is an institutional priority for the Center for Religion and Spirituality (CRS).

Since the 1970s, Loyola Marymount University has been a leader in offering opportunities for pastoral formation to the Hispanic Catholic Community.  Today that work continues through a variety of pastoral certificate programs that are taught in Spanish, but also in a variety of related initiatives that are aimed at creating a pipeline for the training of new leaders for the Hispanic Catholic community.

Some of these initiatives are focused exclusively on addressing the needs of the Hispanic Catholic community; others are programs that are open to all but represent significant opportunities for the Hispanic Catholic community.  External partnerships also form part of these initiatives.

Addressing the Needs of the Hispanic Catholic Community

  • CRS Interfaith Forums offered in Spanish, sponsored by the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations
  • Regional Summer Seminar on Formation for Hispanic Ministry regularly gathers the directors of Hispanic ministry formation programs in California, Hawaii, and Nevada
  • LMU Latino/a Theology and Ministry Initiative
  • National Symposium on Catholic Hispanic Ministry
  • Federación de Institutos Pastorales (CRS is a member)

Programs that Are Open to All

  • Degree Completion Program in Theological Studies
  • Mentoring for Higher Education Project - an initiative to assist community college students to transfer successfully (this project is currently being developed jointly by CRS, the Regional Summer Seminar, and a California Diocese)

External Partnerships

  • IME Becas, a scholarship program offered by the Mexican Consulate