Vibrant Christian institutions are committed to growing their organizational capacities and creating new ones. They are constantly developing current and potential leaders, strengthening infrastructure, assessing their principles and practices, expanding their networks, and investing in ways to improve their work.
Capacity Building Grants offer Christian institutions resources to strengthen their current organizational capacities and build new ones in a yearlong project.
In 2020, Leadership Education partnered with the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH) to offer 22 Capacity Building Grants to Hispanic Bible Institutes and other similar theological formation programs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Through this partnership, Capacity Building Grants offer funds to Christian institutions that are members of AETH to improve or develop organizational capacities as they serve pastors and congregations.
“Hispanic Bible Institutes are sources of strength, hope, and resources to pastoral leaders who are looking for spiritual direction, theological and pastoral training, peer support, and continuing education as they serve their local congregations and communities,” said Fernando Cascante, Executive Director at AETH. “Bible Institutes and other similar formation programs are modeling new ways and places to do ministry that is relevant to the realities and changes impacting the church and society. This partnership is highlighting the good work already happening in Hispanic/Latino/a Christian communities, and [it is] offering financial and operational support for promising ideas for growing current institutional capacities or creating new ones. We are excited about what lies ahead and believe this work will affect significant changes in our ecology of Hispanic Bible Institutes over the next several years.”
AETH's mission is to promote excellent and pertinent theological education of Hispanic/Latino/a leaders in their service to the church and the world. AETH recognizes and affirms the valuable work that Bible Institutes and other theological entities undertake in preparing pastors and lay leaders for the work of ministry within Hispanic/Latino/a churches.
“The mission of AETH closely aligns with our work at Leadership Education,” said Dave Odom, Executive Director at Leadership Education. “AETH is a community of organizations and individuals that has supported congregations, pastors, and laypeople for a generation. By working with this community, we are learning what is most needed by Hispanic/Latino/a congregations.”
Victoria White, Managing Director of Grants at Leadership Education, added, “This last year brought about a season of reflection for many institutions. Leaders are looking across the opportunities and challenges facing them and their constituents and identifying ways to build their organizational capacity so they can better serve out their mission. These Capacity Building Grants come alongside the 22 Hispanic Bible Institutes doing this important work and provide resources and support to organizations playing critical roles in the spiritual leadership of their communities.”
Capacity building is an important investment in all institutions. It also looks different in each organization. In this grant program, successful proposals include projects ranging from redesigning communications and marketing strategies, piloting creative peer-shared leadership models, assessing economic models, exploring online teaching methodologies, and others.
“It has been an honor and delight to partner with AETH. The association’s members’ efforts are inspiring. Their vision and creativity are teaching us many things about resiliency and hope,” Odom concluded.
Capacity Building Grants are offered by invitation, in collaboration with select partners, in order to understand the capacities Christian institutions need to renew or build in order to strengthen and scale their work with churches and their leaders.
Asbury En Clave Latina, Asbury Latino Center (Asbury Theological Seminary), Orlando, FL
Centro para Estudios Latinos, The Center for Latino Studies (Pentecostal Theological Seminary), Cleveland, TN
Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos, CHET, The Hispanic Center for Theological Studies, Compton, CA
EMERGE, INC., Rio Grande, PR
Emmanuel Academies, Naples, FL
Galilean Theological Center for Hispanic-Americans, Cleveland, OH
Harbor Genesis Christian College, Signal Hill, CA
Instituto Discípulos de Cristo de Puerto Rico, Disciples of Christ Institute of Puerto Rico, Bayamon, PR
Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (Wartburg Seminary), Austin, TX
Masada Biblical Seminary, Wasco, CA
Ministry Formation Institute (The Diocese of San Bernardino), San Bernardino, CA
Mission Talk, Clermont, FL
ReDET de la Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana, ReDET at Association of Hispanic Theological Education, Orlando, FL
Revelation University, Miami, FL
Seminario Bíblico Hispano, Hispanic Bible School, Chicago, IL
Texas International Bible Institute, South Houston, TX
The Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry (McCormick Theological Seminary), Chicago, IL
Universidad de Liderazgo y Ministerio, University of Ministerial Leadership, Garner, NC
Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Universidad Teológica del Caribe, Caribbean Theological University, Saint Just, PR
Universidad Teológica ECHAM, ECHAM Theological University, Rio Grande, PR
World Outspoken, Chicago, IL
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