Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Attendees during the worship service.

On April 9, the Divinity School hosted the first annual Hispanic Preaching Festival to celebrate and explore Hispanic homiletics.

The event drew 54 participants from 14 different Hispanic congregations across the region. Attendees included pastors, laypeople, and students.

The festival featured sermons from local pastors, including Alma Ruiz M.Div. ’13 and associate pastor of Fiesta Cristiana, which is affiliated with Apex UMC in Apex, N.C., and Raúl Colón, pastor of Centro Cristiano de Vida in Wake Forest, N.C. In addition, Dr. Loida Martell-Otero, professor of constructive theology at Palmer Theological Seminary and an ordained American Baptist minister, lectured on the role of preaching in Hispanic faith communities.

“This year’s event was a tremendous success,” said Tito Madrazo Th.D. ’18, who organized the festival. “We were able to welcome people onto campus who had never been here before and celebrate the richness of the preaching that is taking place in Hispanic congregations all across the Triangle area. Our attendees had an opportunity to make connections with one another, hear inspiring sermons, and reflect on the nature of their own calling as preachers.”


Alma Ruiz preached during the festival.

The festival was part of the Hispanic-Latino/a Preaching Initiative, a Spanish-language program that provides opportunities for Hispanic and Latino/a (H/L) pastors to receive homiletical training in a peer group format. Each year, 10 applicants serving as pastors in the H/L community are chosen to participate as preaching fellows. The peer group begins with a retreat and then meets monthly for 15 months to engage with homiletical, theological, and exegetical resources led by the program coordinator and other invited teachers. Applications for the next Hispanic-Latino/a Preaching Initiative cohort are open until May 13.

The Hispanic-Latino/a Preaching Initiative is a project of the Duke Preaching Initiative, a Lilly Endowment Inc.–funded initiative to explore new homiletical pedagogies.