New Opportunities for Students Open Up through Latino Ministries

Date Published

August 25, 2023

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Published by Calvin Seminary

From 2013 to 2023, Calvin Theological Seminary’s Latino Ministries program served five cohorts of Spanish-speaking students called to Latino ministries. Thanks to founding director Dr. Mariano Avila, the program has produced 134 graduates total, who earned a Master of Arts in Family Care, a Certificate in Hispanic/Latino Ministry, and/or a Certificate in Family Care.

These last ten years of excellence have opened doors for ministry in North America and beyond, as program alumni are following God’s call to cultivate communities of disciples today in a variety of contexts.

As the seminary celebrated a successful decade of the Latino Ministries program, and honored the retirement of Dr. Mariano Avila, the community also joined in praying for a Christian leader to carry the program’s mission forward.

In summer 2023, Dr. Gabriela Tijerina-Pike was appointed to lead the program into its next stage: Latino Ministries 2.0. Tijerina-Pike, a seasoned scholar, formerly served in missionary work and seminary teaching within the U.S., Costa Rica, and Mexico. She also holds the roles of both writer and editor for Christian literature.

Dr. Tijerina-Pike will lead a new cohort of Latino Ministries students beginning in fall 2023 with an online, stackable curriculum that can lead to a full master’s degree taught in Spanish—the Programa de Maestría de Artes en Formación de Liderazgo (Master of Arts in Leadership Formation).

The program’s expressed purpose, according to CTS literature, is to “[provide] sound biblical and theological education for leadership formation targeting Spanish speaking pastors, church leaders, missionaries, and lay persons to advance the Kingdom of God through the emerging Latino church leadership in North America, Latin America, and the rest of the world.”

This will be done through three stackable certificates of 12 credits each: Certificate in Biblical Worldview Formation, Certificate in Identity and Community Formation, and Certificate in Character Formation.

Each individual course will be taken for eight weeks, with six weeks devoted to lectures, live discussions, and online forums. The final two weeks of each course will be devoted to research and practice, putting learning into action within the student’s ministry context.

To learn more about the program and to apply, visit


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