Latina/o Church Studies


The Latina/o Church Studies Program is dedicated to the study of the religious and theological experiences of Latino/as communities in the U.S. The Program prepares all students who are interested in learning more about Latina/os for future service to the religious Latino/a community. Latina/o Church Studies is an interdisciplinary theological program examining a variety of topics, which include, but are not limited to: the varied histories of Latino/as, the racialization and ethnicization of Latina/os, and the formation and relations of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation of Latina/o/x persons. The Program is also related to the Borderlands Institute at Brite. For more information contact: Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr., Director.

Certificate in Latina/o Church Studies

The Latino/a Church Studies certificate is designed for any Brite student who has an interest in Latino/a religious traditions and communities. The certificate enables students to enhance their knowledge of the Latina/o religious communities as well as deepen their understanding of the discipline of Latino/a Church Studies. It will provide them with a broad knowledge base and the intellectual and practical tools to understand the unity and diversity of the Latino/a religious community within their respective ministries/vocations/careers.

Certificate Courses – 15 hours

    • 3 hours of RECU 60073 Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Christianities. M.Div students pursuing the certificate in conjunction with their degree may also count this course toward the second half of the Contextualization requirement.
    • 12 hours of coursework through Brite in any discipline with a primary focus on Latina/o religious traditions and communities. Note: this may include one Brite travel-seminar class (3 credit hours); and one course (3 credit hours) through the Hispanic Summer Program (, which Brite sponsors.

Borderlands Institute

The Borderlands Institute, informed by Brite’s ethos of transforming scholarship, justice, and practice perspective, aims to bring border awareness issues to students, faculty, and religious and community leaders in ways that will effectively shape their respective ministerial work and/or research. Specifically, the grant will enable students to travel to the U.S./Mexico border to learn about border related issues. The grant will also make possible the bringing of scholars and religious and community leaders to critically reflect on borderlands topics, such as immigration, the environment, and human trafficking. And the grant will allow for Brite to support a summer institute for local church leaders for theological leadership development in the area of the borderlands. The Borderlands Institute is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation for Theology.

Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr. serves as faculty director on the project.

CLICK HERE to read to press release “Brite Divinity School’s Borderlands Institute Receives Emergency Grant to Aid Immigrant Communities”

The course studies the life and society in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The “borderland” denotes an area distant from the core of the nation; it is a zone of transition of ideas, goods, and peoples (Martínez, Border People). It is a place where people and institutions are shaped by economic, political, and social forces that are reflected in the lives of communities in the “greater” borderlands (e.g., Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California) and, most recently, in many rural and urban municipalities.

Prosperando en el MinisterioLatino/a pastors and communities exist in the midst of transitions with unique pressures and few resources. As a result, pastoral leaders experience challenges to their own sense of well-being and thriving. Likewise, they have strategic educational needs for helping them thrive in the midst of challenging contexts. This Spanish-language program offers three, one-day workshops each fall and spring covering different aspects of ministry and ministerial flourishing.

Hispanic Summer Program: An Ecumenical Program in Theology and Religion. Brite Divinity School is a sponsoring institution of the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP). The HSP seeks to train leaders in the Latino/a tradition by providing summer courses that Brite students can take for academic credit. The program is designed primarily for Latina/o/x students, and they have also welcomed about 10% of non-Latina/o students nationwide who are involved in Latino-centered ministries and advocacy. The HSP provides the opportunity for students to study with Latina/o peers and professors. Each summer, the HSP brings together nearly 70 participants from the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing a wide variety of traditions, denominations, and theological perspectives. The HSP also provides a limited number of slots for Latina/o pastors seeking continuing theological education. For more information see:

Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium: Brite Divinity School is a member of the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium (HTIC), a consortium comprised of Ph.D.-granting institutions seeking to support and advance the work of Latina and Latino scholars in order to address the need for more representation of Latin/o students and faculty in graduate theological education. Brite Divinity School supports the mentoring and networking costs for HTIC scholars. Additionally, Brite Divinity School recognizes that pooling resources and building communities are essential elements for securing a stronger and more diverse scholarly theological body. For more information see:


Resources on Immigration/Migration

Borderlands Studies

Reece Jones, Border Walls: Security and the War on Terrorism in the United States, India, and Israel (London: Zed Books, 2012).

Oscar J. Martínez, Troublesome Border (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1988).

Oscar J. Martínez, Border Peoples: Life and Society in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994).Oscar J. Martínez, Border Peoples: Life and Society in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994).

Joseph Nevins, Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War on “Illegals” and the Remaking of the U.S. Mexico Boundary (New York: Routledge, 2002).

Kathleen Staudt and Irasema Coronado, Fronteras No Más: Toward Social Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border (NY: Palgrave, 2002).

Samuel Truett, Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).

Journal of Borderland Studies

Migration Studies

Stephen Castles and Mark J. Miller, The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World (4th edition; New York: The Guilford Press, [1993) 2009).

David A. Gerber, American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.Juan González, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. (Revised Edition; New York: Penguin, 2011).

Robert G. Gonzales, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming to Age in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016).

Reece Jones, Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (London: Verso, 2016).

Khalid Koser, International Migration: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Hiroshi Motomura, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Kari Lydersen, Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-U.S. Immigration in the Global Age (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2005).

Sonia Nazario, Enriques’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother (New York: Random, 2006).

Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Story (New York: Random House, 2010).

Migration and Religion/Theology

Efrain Agosto and Jacqueline M. Hidalgo, Latinxs, the Bible, and Migration (New York: Palgrave, 2018).

M. Daniel Carroll R., Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible (Second Edition; Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2013).

Ched Myers and Matthew Colwell, Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice (New York: Orbis, 2012).

Fleur S. Houston, You Shall Love the Stranger as Yourself – The Bible, Refugees and Asylum (London: Routledge, 2015).

Daisy L. Machado, Of Borders and Margins: Hispanic Disciples in Texas, 1888-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Letty Russell, Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference (Kentucky: WJK, 2009).

Dana W. Wilbanks, Re-Creating America: The Ethics of U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy in a Christian Perspective (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996).

The following list of texts referring to immigrants and refugees come from the UCC website. As stated on the UCC website, all the texts are from the New Revised Standard Version. Furthermore, please note: the listing of passages from sacred or religious texts is not intended to string along such texts to serve as “proof texts” on the issue of immigration, rather it is simply to show that the issue is present within the scriptures. All passages should be read with contextualization of the text and the reader in mind.

Hebrew Bible

Genesis 3:22-24 – Adam and Eve are forced out of the Garden.

Genesis 7 and 8 – Noah builds an ark and takes refuge from the flood.

Genesis 12:1 – The call of Abram: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

Genesis 12:10 – “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land.”

Genesis 19 – Lot takes his family and flees Sodom.

Genesis 23 – Abraham is a stranger and an alien in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 46:1-7 – Jacob moves his family to Egypt to escape the famine and reunite with Joseph.

Genesis 47: 1-6 – Joseph brings his brothers to Pharaoh and they are welcomed and given jobs.

Exodus 1:8-14 – Joseph’s generation is gone, and the Egyptians oppress the Israelites. “Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor.”

Exodus 1:15-2:10 – Pharaoh orders all the Hebrew boy babies to be killed, but Moses is hidden and is saved by Pharaoh’s daughter.

Exodus 12:37-39 – The Israelites were driven out of Egypt so fast they had no time to make provisions and had to bake unleavened cakes of bread.

Exodus 12:49 and Leviticus 24:22 – “There shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.”

Exodus 22:21 – Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

Leviticus 19:9-10 and 23:22 – Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not strip your vineyards bare…leave them for the poor and the alien.”

Leviticus 19:33-34 and 24:22 – When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Leviticus 24:23 – Moses receives God’s law: “With me you are but aliens and tenants.”

Numbers 9:14 and 15:15-16 – “…you shall have one statute for both the resident alien and the native.”

Numbers 35 and Joshua 20 – The Lord instructs Moses to give cities of refuge to the Levites so that when the Israelites must flee into Canaan they may have cities of refuge given to them.

Deuteronomy 1:16 – “Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.”

Deuteronomy 6:10-13 – The people of Israel are made aware that the land had come to them as a gift from God and they were to remember that they were once aliens.

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 – “For the Lord your God...loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and 26:12-13 – Tithing was begun, in part, for resident aliens.

Deuteronomy 24:14 – “You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land...”

Deuteronomy 24:17-18 – “You shall not deprive a resident alien...of justice.”

Deuteronomy 24:19-22 – Leave sheaf, olives, grapes for the alien.

Deuteronomy 26:5 – A wandering Aramean was my ancestor…

Deuteronomy 27:19 – “Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien…of justice.”

I Chronicles 22:1-2 – Aliens were important in building the temple.

I Chronicles 29:14-15 – David praises God: “We are aliens and transients before you…”

II Chronicles 2:17-18 – Solomon took a census of all the aliens and assigned them work.

Psalm 105 – Remembering their sojourn: “When they were few in number, of little account, and strangers in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,...”

Psalm 137:1-6 – “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept…How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”

Psalm 146:9 – “The Lord watches over the strangers…”

Ecclesiastes 4:1 – “Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them.”

Isaiah 16:4 – Be a refuge to the outcasts of Moab.

Jeremiah 7:5-7 – “If you do not oppress the alien…then I will dwell with you in this place…”

Jeremiah 22:3-5 – Do no wrong or violence to the alien.

Ezekiel 47:21-22 – The aliens shall be to you as citizens, and shall also be allotted an inheritance.

Zechariah 7:8-10 – Do no oppress the alien.

Malachi 3:5 – The messenger will bear witness against those who thrust aside the alien.

New Testament

Matthew 2:13-15 – Jesus and parents flee Herod’s search for the child.

Matthew 5:10-11 –“Blessed are those who are persecuted.”

Matthew 25:31-46 – “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Luke 3:11 – “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none…”

Luke 4:16-21 – “…Bring good news to the poor…release to the captives…sight to the blind...let the oppressed go free.”

Romans 12:13 – “Mark of the true Christian: “…Extend hospitality to strangers…”

II Corinthians 8:13-15 – “It is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need…”

Ephesians 2:11-22 – “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.”

Hebrews 11 – “By faith Abraham…set out for a place…not knowing where he was going.”

Hebrews 13:1-2 – “…show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels…”

James 2:5 – “Has not God chosen the poor in the world…”

James 2:14-17 – “What good is it…if you say you have faith but do not have works?”

I John 3:18 – “…Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”

I John 4:7-21 – “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God…” We love because God first loved us.”