Latinx communities in the United States have birthed important theological reflection methods in the last forty years. The Encuentros and the colloquia of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACTHUS) are methods of reflecting latinamente that honor community, dialogue and lived experience creating new avenues for theological and pastoral action. This has also been modeled effectively at the First and Second National Symposia on Catholic Hispanic Ministry held in 2010 and 2014 at Boston College and Loyola Marymount University, respectively. The June 2014 ¡Adelante!: Engaging Latino/as in College Campus Ministry hosted by the University of Notre Dame was an important predecessor and catalyst for this conference.

¡El Futuro Is Here! engaged these rich methodologies, invited participants into the historic Latinx communities of Chicago, and provided lectures and seminar presentations that incorporate art, food, and music in ways that only “being there” in the actual built environment and culture make possible.

Participating institutions sent teams of participants composed of three to five members intentionally assembled to maximize the impact of new thinking and new theologizing around campus ministries and theological education. These teams included those responsible for the vision and direction of such departments such as the director of campus ministry, key faculty members, and engaged student leaders. Additional members of the team came from among the campus ministry staff, faculty from theology, religious studies or other related disciplines, mission officers, diversity officers and/or undergraduate student leaders. The teams pursued more generous and culturally grounded strategies for theological education and pastoral praxis that can be implemented on their home campuses.

Download the conference schedule (pdf).

Two keynote presentations were given by nationally renowned scholars Dr. Carmen Nanko-Fernández and Dr. Hosffman Ospino.

Carmen M. Nanko-Fernández, DMin

Professor of Hispanic Theology and Ministry and Director of the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union

Dr. Nanko-Fernández has extensive experience in teaching, ministry and administration. She is a past President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and in 2012 received their Virgilio Elizondo Award for “distinguished achievement in theology.” Her publications include the book Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community and Ministry (Orbis Books, 2010); several chapters in anthologies and numerous articles in theological and pastoral journals. With Gary Riebe-Estrella, she is co-editor of the forthcoming Fortress Press book series Disruptive Cartographers: Remapping Theology Latinamente.

Hosffman Ospino, PhD

 Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry, where he is also Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry

Dr. Ospino’s recent research projects have explored the impact of the transformative Hispanic presence in Catholic parishes and Catholic schools in the United States. He has published several books on Hispanic ministry, evangelization, and catechesis. Dr. Ospino currently serves as an officer of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and is on the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). He is a member of the leadership team coordinating the process of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry. Read our Q&A with Dr. Ospino.