More than twenty years ago, a small group of dedicated educators, administrators, pastors, and theologians made a commitment to build a program that would support Latine PhD students in religion and theology. The Hispanic Theological Initiative is the result of their leadership. Today, HTI Steering Committee Members play a vital role in managing the unique collaborative enterprise called the HTI consortium which is comprised of 23 PhD-granting institutions committed to advancing the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Latine PhD students, as well as the sharing of ideas and best practices to address the needs of Latine faculty and students. HTI Steering Committee members dedicate their time and talent to support gifted Latine PhD students to complete their doctorate and be leaders in the academy and church. The Member Council and the HTI Staff are grateful and acknowledge their wisdom, and service.
Steering Committee Chair
Edwin David Aponte is Dean of the Theological School and Professor of Religion and Culture at Drew University. Previously Aponte served as Executive Director of the Louisville Institute, a granting agency funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. After serving on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, Aponte was academic dean at two institutions, Lancaster Theological Seminary, and Christian Theological Seminary. Aponte earned a Ph.D. in religion with an emphasis on religious cultural history from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Theology from Catholic Theological Union at Chicago in May 2023. His publications include ¡Santo! Varieties of Latino/a Spirituality(Orbis Books, 2012), and Introducing Latinx Theologies, co-authored with Miguel A. De La Torre (Orbis Books, 2020).
Raimundo César Barreto, Jr.
Raimundo César Barreto, Jr., PhD ’06, is an associate professor of World Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned a PhD in religion and society from Princeton Theological Seminary, and holds an MDiv degree from McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, and a bachelor’s degree from Seminário Teológico Batista do Norte do Brasil. Prior to coming to Princeton, he taught at Seminário Teológico Batista do Nordeste and Faculdade Batista Brasileira in his native Brazil and served as director of freedom and justice at the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). He remains involved in ecumenical and interfaith work, contributing in different capacities with the American Baptist Churches USA, the Baptist World Alliance, and the National Council of Churches USA. His teaching and research span different disciplines, including World Christianity, ecumenics, Latin American and Latine religions, intercultural theologies, interfaith relations, and liberation and decolonial theologies.
Adriana Nieto is a daughter of Denver’s dust. Her ancestors have migrated up and down the path from El Paso, Texas to Denver, Colorado for generations. She was born in El Paso, Texas with maternal roots in Las Cruces, New Mexico and paternal roots throughout New Mexico. Adriana Nieto is currently the Chair & Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has been faculty in the Chicana/o Studies department for over 15 years, first as an adjunct, then full time tenure track beginning in fall of 2009. She earned her BA with a double major in Women Studies and Latin American Studies, and MA from the University of New Mexico in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Borderlands History and Gender Studies. She earned her PhD in the Joint Doctoral Program in Religious and Theological Studies at the Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver in 2009.
Her teaching and research interests include Latina spiritualities and practices; mental health among Xicanas in early 20th Century New Mexico; women of color feminisms; Chicana Protestants in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands; oral history; and most recently water in the ‘West’, with special interest in acequia culture and practices in southern Colorado . She strives to integrate the demands of teaching, mentorship and scholarship while also being a mother, partner and healthy muxer.
Ahida Calderón Pilarski is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Chair of the Theology Department at Saint Anselm College. She serves on the Board of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS), and in the Society of Biblical Literature’s “Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics” section and in the “Committee for Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession” (CUREMP). Pilarski has edited or co-edited Judges (Wisdom Commentary Series [WCS], 2018), 2 Kings (WCS, 2019), By Bread Alone: Reading the Bible Through the Eyes of the Hungry (Fortress, 2014), Pentateuco: Introducción al Antiguo Testamento/La Biblia Hebrea en Perspectiva Latinoamericana (Verbo Divino, 2014), and has published many papers on the prophets, Latine and Latin American hermeneutics, and feminist interpretation.
Luis R. Rivera-Rodríguez is a senior scholar at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (UMC). He served as the Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Garrett-Evangelical from 2014-2019. Rivera maintains a thorough and diverse experience of academic teaching, administration, and institutional leadership. Rivera received his Th.D. (1993) and Th.M. (1981) from Harvard Divinity School, his M.Div. (1978) from Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, and his B.A. (1973) from the University of Puerto Rico. He is co-editor of The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theologians (English, Spanish, and Portuguese editions) and author of several articles and chapters focused on Latine and Diaspora theologies. Rivera was a faculty member at the Evangelical Seminary in Puerto Rico (1986-1995) and at McCormick Theological Seminary (1995-2013) where he also served as Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2008-2013).