Thursday, October 12, 2023 - 11:45am to 7:00pm
Duke Divinity School, 0012 Westbrook, 0016 Westbrook hallway
Yolanda Santiago Correa
(919) 660-3537

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School, the Hispanic House of Studies will host a series of events on October 12, 2023. This day will celebrate the journey and history of the Hispanic House of Studies, “La Casa,” at the Divinity School.

Registration by Sept. 28 is encouraged. Attendance is first come, first served for those who have not registered in advance.


The schedule of events on October 12:

11:45 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.: Service of Word and Table in Goodson Chapel 

Preacher: Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric
Presiding: Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millán

12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.: Luncheon & Panel in room 0012 Westbrook

Panel Participants: Alums and current students of the Hispanic House of Studies

5:00 p.m.- 6:15 p.m.: Documentary: "Un Mundo sin Muros" and Lecture: "Immigration, Social Justice and the Arts" in room 0012 Westbrook

Guest Artists: Enrique Chiu, Tirzah Villegas and Renzo Ortega

6:15 p.m. -7:00 p.m.:  Reception and Art Exhibit in 0016 Westbrook hallway

Art Exhibition: "Humanidad Migrante" by Enrique Chiu

Service of Word and Table

Duke Divinity School will hold a Service of the World & Table with Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric preaching and the Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millan presiding. This worship service will be hosted by the Hispanic House of Studies, the Caminantes student group and the Latinx Fellows.

Panel & Luncheon

The Hispanic House of Studies will have a panel comprised of Hispanic House of Studies alums and current students. This panel will discuss the impact of the Hispanic House and the importance of Latinx-focused ministry and academic work. Lunch will be provided for those who pre-register.

Documentary & Lecture

The Hispanic House of Studies will host Dr. H.C. Enrique Chui for a screening of the documentary “Un Mundo Sin Muros,” a lecture on "Immigration, Social Justice and the Arts," and a response by North Carolina-based artists Tirzah Villegas and Renzo Ortega. This lecture will approach the topic of migration and liberation theology from the perspective of the arts and movements for social justice. The conversation seeks to expand our understanding of theological work and reflection to see how lived religion looks like for Latinx communities in Latin America, in the U.S. diaspora, and in transit between both.

Reception & Art Exhibit

A reception and an exhibition of the "Humanidad Migrante" art exhibit will follow the lecture: "Immigration, Social Justice and the Arts."

Guest Speakers & Participants

About Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric

Edgardo Colón-Emeric is dean of Duke Divinity School, Irene and William McCutchen Professor of Reconciliation and Theology, and director of the Center for Reconciliation.

Colón-Emeric’s work explores the intersection of Methodist and Catholic theologies, and Wesleyan and Latin American experiences. His teaching covers a broad range of theological areas: systematics, Wesleyan theology, ecumenism, and Latin American theology. His research brings theologians like Thomas Aquinas and Hans Urs von Balthasar into conversation with voices from the theological periphery like Bartolomé de las Casas and Saint Óscar Romero, guided by the conviction that Christian theology sounds best when it is symphonic. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Colón-Emeric was the first Latino to be ordained as an elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and was founding pastor of Cristo Vive UMC in Durham, N.C. He became founding director of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School in 2007 and joined the Divinity School faculty in 2008. Since 2010, he has served as the director of Central American Methodist Course of Study, which trains Methodist pastors who have not earned a formal master of divinity degree in such places as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. He is also director of the Duke-Peru Theological Initiative, a partnership between the Methodist Church of Peru and Duke Divinity School.

He became director of the Center for Reconciliation in 2018. Under his leadership, CFR has expanded its capacities and programs, including the launch of The Americas Initiative that brings together scholars and ministry practitioners from across the Americas to support reconciliation work. In 2020, he was appointed associate dean for academic formation.

Colón-Emeric serves on the United Methodist Committee on Faith and Order and on both national and international Methodist-Catholic dialogues. In October 2017, he met with Pope Francis as part of a delegation from the Methodist-Catholic Dialogue and presented the pope with a Spanish translation he created of the dialogue’s bilateral statement.

Colón-Emeric is the author of Wesley, Aquinas, and Christian Perfection: An Ecumenical Dialogue (Baylor University Press, 2009) which received the 2008 “Aquinas Dissertation Prize Winner” from the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University and Óscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor (Notre Dame University Press, 2018), which received first place in the 2019 Catholic Press Association award for books about newly canonized saints. 

Colón-Emeric has served as dean of Duke Divinity School since July 2021.

About the Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millán

The Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millan is originally from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. He is an ordained Elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He served as director of the Hispanic House of Studies, global education, and intercultural formation at Duke Divinity School from 2011 to 2020. Currently, he serves as the heritage district superintendent in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

About Dr. H.C. Enrique Chiu

Enrique Chiu is a Doctor Honoris Causa, activist, and plastic artist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from California State University Long Beach and a degree in design and audiovisual Arts from CCSA Santa Ana. His pictorial work has been exhibited in galleries in Mexico, USA, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Creator of El Mural de la Hermandad on the border wall between the United States and Mexico; the largest social and cultural movement in northern Mexico. His work is permanently exhibited in museums in the United States, Spain, Germany, Guatemala, and Mexico.

About Tirzah Villegas

Tirzah Villegas is a queer, Durham-based Nepantla artist, from both North Carolina and Colorado who works predominantly in oil paints. She has a background in art from UNC Asheville and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity. Over the years, Villegas's art has evolved with some common threads. Her interaction with and interpretation of the divine is represented through her artwork through exploration of the natural world, both visible and unseen. In addition to painting, Villegas works through her business, Seven Directions Art, to provide workshops and other opportunities for the community that explore ideas around art, death, sacred spaces and community.

About Renzo Ortega

Renzo Ortega, born in Lima, Peru, is a painter based in Carrboro, N.C. Ortega received a BFA in painting from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes del Peru (1999), studied at the Art Students League of New York (2000-04) and has his MFA in painting from Hunter College (2014). His artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the U.S. and Peru and have been commissioned to create public art projects and community murals. His recent solo exhibitions have been at TW Fine Art in Palm Beach (2022) and LUMP Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina (2021). Ortega's artwork has been exhibited in museums such as the NASHER Museum of Art (Durham, North Carolina, 2022), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art SECCA (Winston-Salem, North Carolina 2020), the Works on Paper: 2017 Exhibition at The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, in the S- Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio (New York 2007) and Queens International Biennial at the Queens Museum in 2006. He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award, 2018- 2019 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant Durham Arts Council, 2018 Orange County Arts Commission Artist Project Grant and 2016 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Award. In 2013, as a Kossak Travel Grant recipient, Ortega traveled to Berlin to study German Expressionism, and also in 2015 traveled to Honduras as a part of the U.S. Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Envoy Program. He partook in the Visiting Artist Residency at the Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University in 2019, and in 2020, he was the inaugural artist of the New Wave Art Wknd artist-in-residence program in West Palm Beach. Ortega is also a devoted painting and drawing teacher and has been a visiting lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill and a Brock Family Visiting Studio Arts Instructor at Duke University.