United Lutheran Seminary is pleased to announce President R. Guy Erwin’s renewal of the Guatemala Immersion Semester Program beginning in2022 for the next three years. This immersive spring semester in Guatemala provides a cohort of students learning opportunities in an increasingly diverse world, equipping them to proclaim the living Gospel for a changing Church. This global study experience connects participants with the world, cultures, histories, and languages of Latinx neighbors in Guatemala and the United States.
Bishop Jim Dunlop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod says of the program, “It will be essential for us serving in the church to relate globally and to understand the church and the immigrants that are a significant part of our communities. It is a required skill to have some Spanish language fluency for ministry. An immersion experience in the global church should be a part of every seminarian’s education.”
While developing an awareness of this global network of church ministries, students are enriched for their own current and future working cross-cultural contexts in the United States and beyond. The program is co-directed by Dr. Crystal Hall, Kraft Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, and Rev. Jennifer Hope-Tringali, Missionary for the Lower Susquehanna Synod serving in Guatemala as Executive Director of Tree 4 Hope and Dean of Hope Academy. Rev. Hope-Tringali says, " Throughout my past 17 years of ministry in Guatemala, I have had the honor of witnessing the power of global relationship-building. The students' experiences in Guatemala will bring new perspective and increased multicultural capacities, with intentional opportunities to notice how the Holy Spirit is empowering and equipping them in service to the whole church."
This spring will be the third year of the program after two pilot years in 2020 and 2021, which were first hybrid and then fully online. Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures and Dean of the Seminary, Vice President of Student Services says, “It’s indeed gratifying that what started as a commitment of ULS to Latinx programs to benefit the wider ministry of the church through the Guatemala Immersion Program has weathered the challenges of the pandemic and has become an integral part of our globalization endeavors. As we move beyond the pilot phase building longer-term relationships will undoubtedly enrich our public theological engagement in multiple ways.”
All expenses related to tuition are covered by United Lutheran Seminary. Students commit fundraising a program fee for participation set each year. Applications are due October 15, 2022. Successful candidates will be notified by November 1, 2022. Please direct questions and submit applications to Dr. Crystal Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.