Assistant Director for Programming
A native of Brazil, João brings to the HTI team a unique combination of experiences in the church, academia, and business world. Over the last two decades, he planted and led churches, taught college classes, and managed businesses in the hospitality, food, and construction industries. João graduated with an MTS from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and received his Ph.D. in religion from Baylor University in 2017. He has presented and published his research broadly both in English and Portuguese. His academic articles were published by peer-reviewed journals such as The International Journal of Latin American Religions, The Journal of Reformed Theology, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and Baptist History and Heritage Journal. João has served as the Unit Chair for Latinx Religions at the AAR Southwest since 2018 and is currently a member of the Commission on Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice of the Baptist World Alliance, 2020-2025 Quinquennium. He is the author of the books “Evangelicals and Liberation Revisited” (Wipf and Stock, 2013) and “O Racismo na História Batista Brasileira” (Novos Diálogos, 202). João is also finalizing two additional manuscripts, “The Global Mission of the Jim Crow South” (Mercer University Press, under contract) and “Transient Religion: Migration and Theological Change in the Latinx Diaspora” (under review).
Database Research Assistant
Noreen Santos, who is Puerto Rican, was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Graduating with a BS in Business Administration, Noreen worked as a programmer/analyst, 13 years in NYC’s Financial District. Always involved in church from young, she accepted God’s calling on her life to enter Princeton Theological Seminary obtaining her MDiv in ’02. Afterward, she served the Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer of East Brooklyn as pastor for 16 years. As the church experience ended, seeking God’s guidance brought her back to familiar ground, Hispanic Theological Seminary where she worked as a student aide while enrolled at PTS. She looks forward to working with the HTI in meeting their goals.
Carlos Acosta is a senior MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Carlos was raised in Carson, California, and is of Mexican-American descent. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Upon graduating, Carlos hopes to pursue a ThM, and eventually a PhD, so that he can teach biblical studies in higher-education. Carlos is especially grateful to be part of the HTI family because it allows him the opportunity to simultaneously contribute-to and benefit-from the reservoir of scholarly excellence the Hispanic/Latinx community proudly boasts.
Amanda Calderon is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Being born and raised in Philadelphia PA, Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Temple University. She has loved being part of the HTI family this past year and hopes to work in education in the Latinx Community.
Isabel is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She comes from Reading, Pennsylvania and graduated from Messiah University with a bachelor’s in Biblical and Religious Studies and English. Prior to working as a student aide, Isabel worked with HTI during the Professional Development Conference for several years. Her connection to the HTI staff solidified her decision to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. Isabel hopes to contribute to empowering the Latinx community through her work at HTI.
Carter is an incoming third-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary and a candidate for ordination through the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is from St. Augustine, Florida and comes to HTI by way of Columbia, South Carolina, where she received her BS in International Business, Finance, and Portuguese at the University of South Carolina. She is currently working full time as a Community Life and Chaplaincy Intern with The Bowery Mission for the 2021-2022 Academic Year while working remotely for HTI. Carter feels extraordinarily lucky to be a member of the HTI familia and feels God’s presence in her life at Princeton and HTI.
Mavet Sarai Mendez
Mavet Sarai Mendez is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She was raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and is of Guatemalan descent. Sarai received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Kean University and is hoping to work in the mental health field within the Latines community. Sarai’s faith is integral to her vocational and ministry formation as a long-standing leader within the life of the church. Sarai enjoys being a part of the HTI familia and is excited to learn more about her community and the different ways in which Latines voices are being used.