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McCormick installs first Latino dean in PCUSA

In one of the most momentous and celebratory weeks in its recent history, McCormick Theological Seminary installed the first Latino dean of a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

In his inaugural address, Dr. Luis Rivera-Rodriguez, who is serving a five-year term as dean, spoke of the efficacy of theological education in today’s world in terms of preparing “interculturally competent” pastors and leaders. Dr. Rivera’s previous work as Director of the Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry and his research in the areas of immigration and diaspora communities has convinced him of the need for seminaries such as McCormick to develop programs and faculty who are able to engage the realities of ever-diversifying communities with a built-in awareness of their own cultural identities.

“One of the challenges we face is how to integrate the perspectives and pedagogies developed in the fields of cross-cultural training, diversity education and anti-racism education to theological education,”

“One of the challenges we face is how to integrate the perspectives and pedagogies developed in the fields of cross-cultural training, diversity education and anti-racism education to theological education,” Rivera said in his address, suggesting a new era of “dealing creatively, empathically, appropriately, and fairly with cultural differences. This has been in the womb of McCormick for some time and I, as your dean, ask that together we participate in the birth of this vision.”

Toward this goal of intercultural competency, McCormick operates three collaborative racial-ethnic ministry centers under the leadership of the Institute for Cross-cultural Theological Education. In addition, this Wednesday, November 4, the seminary celebrates the official launch of the Common Ground Project, an expansion of the former AADVENT Project bringing together Asian American, African American and Latin@ pastors and lay leaders to address collectively common challenges in their ministries.

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