Letter From The Executive Director

For centuries, humans have carved their names, dates, or initials into trees to mark special relationships and events, and have returned years later to revisit the tree and their memories. This year, HTI is revisiting its tree and more than twenty-two years of memories, memories of the individuals and organizations who have created this nurturing scholarly environment for Latinx students.

From its inception, HTI established strong roots through the En Conjunto model, a collaborative way of fostering deep and long-lasting relationships with partners that include faculty, pastors, publishers, seminaries and universities, and foundations. After HTI received the 2010 Excelencia in Education’s Example of Excelencia award at the graduate level, for its “best practice“ model, several institutions
across this nation wanted to know how they can achieve the same kind of success developed by HTI.

The steady and strong trunk of the HTI tree, formed by mentors, editors, advisors, faculty, and presidents and deans, developed into the HTI consortium. For the past ten years, this collaborative initiative with 24 PhD-granting institutions has grown strong branches that are life-giving to the member institutions and to the entire enterprise of theological and religious education. The steady contributions of presidents and deans of the HTI Consortium—together with HTI faculty, editors, and mentors—support and nurture the current and future leaders of academic institutions, congregations, and educational non-profits. Such contributions create new spaces for Latinx scholars to contribute to the broad and ecumenical religious and theological landscape.

The HTI Consortium branches establish and sustain new opportunities for current students and for HTI graduates. First, this year HTI’s enrollment grew from 44 to 56 students. Second, HTI received a $475,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to introduce the HTI Public Square app for Latinx scholars to produce blogs, videos, and podcasts. Lastly, thanks to a planning grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., HTI is shaping a pilot program for graduates in their first position, and for the first time in its history HTI is hosting the Church Leadership Formation conference, a conversation with a diverse group of denominational leaders on how to support Latinx scholars in theological and religious education. Through these new venues, HTI’s En Conjunto model is branching out to nurture incoming and returning students and graduates.

Please do peruse the leaves of this brochure to meet HTI’s up-and-coming scholars, and to see how HTI graduates in diverse contexts transform lives. I hope their stories will encourage you to join HTI’s En Conjunto Association and become part of this collaborative work of watering the great HTI tree to support all communities in bearing fruit in the world. It is only en conjunto that you and I can continue
to do this great work.

 

Blessings,

 

Joanne Rodríguez