The HSP Summer Session

Our Flagship Summer Program

Our flagship program, the HSP Summer Session gathers students from across the country annually for a two week summer intensive. Participants get the opportunity to take accredited, graduate level courses with some of the nations top Latinx faculty in an environment that centers Latinx methods, pedagogies, and stories.

About the Program

For over 30 years the HSP Summer Session has served as the cornerstone of the Hispanic Summer Program. For two-weeks, over 60 students from across the country convene to take accredited graduate level courses with some of the best Latinx faculty in the nation. Classes in history, theology, sociology, liturgy, ethics and the like are taught to a majority Latinx student body in a way that centers the intellectual and pedagogical traditions of the Latinx community. This mode of education emphasizes community while ensuring there is an explicit connection between the “mind and the heart.” At the end of two weeks students return to their institutions not just with three graduate credits, but with a community of scholars, mentors, and friends with whom they can continue building on the experiences they gained at the Summer Session.

The simple reality is that Latinx students in theological and higher education continue to be underrepresented in ATS institutions while the communities they go out to serve continue to grow. And most institutions of higher education that serve Masters level students don’t have programs focused on Latinx scholarship, ministry, and community engagement. By participating in the HSP Summer Session, students are not only exposed to a majority Latinx student body but to Latinx faculty and an intellectual tradition that stems from the Latinx community. Additionally, students are connected to mentors that can help encourage their pursuits after graduation. HSP students have gone on to pursue doctoral work, parish ministry, community organizing, non-profit administration, and more using the education they received at the HSP.

While the majority of our students are Masters level Latinxs, each year the HSP Summer Session welcomes a small number of non-Latinx participants and a few slots are made available to students currently enrolled in doctoral programs. Non-Latinx students at any level are invited to learn from the rich tradition of Latinx theological inquiry while seeking ways to expand their own cultural competencies and build coalitions with members of other communities. Doctoral students are encouraged to expand the scope of their research as they learn with brilliant Latinx faculty and colleagues from other institutions. Both groups benefit from the richness offered at the HSP Summer Session.


The Summer Session takes place annually, hosted by a different institution. Tuition and what is included in that fee is as follows:

Who You Are Cost of Tuition What You Get
Masters level students from sponsoring institutions attending the Summer Session for the 1st or 2nd time $475
  • 3 Graduate Level Credits, transferable to your institution
  • The chance to study with some of the best Latinx faculty in the nation
  • Room and Board for the two week program 
  • Airfare to and from the two week program
Masters level students from sponsoring institutions attending the Summer Session for the 3rd time $800
  • 3 Graduate Level Credits, transferable to your institution
  • The chance to study with some of the best Latinx faculty in the nation
  • Room and Board for the two week program
Masters level students from a non-sponsoring institution $800
  • 3 Graduate Level Credits, transferable to your institution
  • The chance to study with some of the best Latinx faculty in the nation
  • Room and Board for the two week program
Doctoral level students (D.Min and Ph.D.) from sponsoring and non-sponsoring institutions $800
  • 3 Graduate Level Credits, transferable to your institution
  • The chance to study with some of the best Latinx faculty in the nation
  • Room and Board for the two week program 

HSP Summer Session 2024

Program Dates and Location

June 15 – 29, 2024
Villanova University | Villanova, PA

Teaching Modality

All Courses are In-Person

Course Credits

Three graduate level credits are conferred by Villanova University upon successful completion of an HSP Summer Session course. 

Program Description

For our 35th Summer Session the HSP is excited to welcome students to take three-credit courses with one of six incredible faculty! These world class instructors have developed innovative courses that center the pedagogical, academic, and cultural contributions of the Latinx community. Students will learn in a Latinx majority classroom and explore what theological education looks like when Latinx voices are centered. 

Additionally, students will be able to participate in the HSP’s 35th Anniversary celebration. On Friday June 21st we will kick off our festivities with a panel of scholars exploring Latinidad in Theological Education. This panel will launch a year long exploration on how the diversity of Latinx peoples offers new insights and perspectives for theological education, producing resources that can be used in seminary and divinity school classrooms across the country. On Saturday June 22nd the festivities continue in Philadelphia at the campus of Esperanza, a non-profit that for over 30 years has been supporting the Latinx community of North Philly. There Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes and an international cast will perform his play “When Wajcha Meets Pachamama” that builds on indigenous epistemologies from the Americas to explore the implications of climate catastrophe. This unique play has been accepted to the New York Theatre Festival and will show across the country including at Yale Divinity School. After this the festivities will continue with an art exhibit, reception, banquet serving local cuisine, and a night of dancing with live music from local Philadelphia artists. 

This 35th Summer Session will be an extremely unique experience and you won’t want to miss it! 


Unless otherwise stated in the course description, all HSP courses are primarily taught in English. 


Masters level students at accredited institutions as well as doctoral students can apply for our classes. Priority admission is first given to Masters level students from HSP Sponsoring Schools. 


Fees depend on student’s institution and degree program. See above chart for details. 

Application Schedule

Rolling Admissions through March 31, 2024

Course Descriptions

Dr. Efraín Agosto

Williams College

Reading Paul in the 21st Century: Empire, Religion, & Latinidad

This course overviews the letters of the Apostle Paul in the Christian New Testament with a view toward understanding them in light of our 21st century reality. In particular, issues of the immediate context of Paul’s letter-writing and ministry in the early Jesus movement, which
developed in the context of the first century Roman Empire, will occupy early sessions of this course, keeping in mind correspondences with empire, colonization, and religion today. Second, questions of interpretative approaches to these ancient religious texts in light of Latine reality today will be analyzed. How do the traditional historical-critical approaches to understanding Paul’s letters relate to sociological and post-colonial readings that connect the documents to religious and political realities today, especially among Latine communities? Finally, the course confronts difficulties in understanding and misunderstanding Paul in light of religious, social, and political challenges our communities face. For example, how do current phenomena like Christian Nationalism, homophobia, and gender inequality relate to Paul’s writings and their interpretation for today? These and other current issues will inform our reaching back in these important documents from first century Christian history, theology, and religious practice, in particular as Latinx communities of faith and practice.

Dr. Harold Morales

Morgan State University

Religion and the City

Religion in cities can help address spiritual and mental health, food and housing insecurity, violence, addiction, public education, and other social issues that emerge in urban environments. Efforts to address these issues by congregations and non-profit organizations are shaped by particular visions of the good life/human flourishing. This course is an invitation to reflect on the visions of human flourishing that shape our engagements with cities. The course will include critical engagements with theories and methods, case studies, and a practicum. First, we will learn about classical and innovative theories of and approaches to the good life (e.g. flourishing, utopia, Eden, heaven, Zion, salvation, liberation, pleasure and joy, holistic health and wellbeing, quality of life, etc.). We will then engage good life case studies that raise question regarding: (1) the application of creation stories to citational and commemorative practices and project management; (2) mental and spiritual health and leadership development; (3) academic and practical engagements with religion, spirituality, morality, justice, and community; (4) education, mentorship, and learning; (5) food, housing, grounding and other areas. To help bridge the gap between theory and practice, you will develop a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) where you will make connections between your experiences/positionality, your own personal vision of the good life, and the role of academic and/or ministerial work. You will also complete an application draft (as a graded assignment) for a 2025 Summer Research Grant by Morgan State University’s Center for Religion and Cities. If selected for funding, project management mentoring will be provided as well. Through engagements with theory and method, case studies, and a practicum, this course will thus prepare you for the work of visioning and project management making it possible to bring your visions of human flourishing to life in concrete and practical ways.

Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes

Union Theological Seminary – New York City

Bodies-Territories-Worlds – Latinamente

Every ritual we do in our communities are the result of many relations between bodies, territories and worlds and our bodies are at the heart of our practices. Territories tell us where we are and belong. Worlds are the cosmological ways we perceive, feel, act, think and orient ourselves in our lives. However, colonization has enslaved our bodies, stolen our territories, and replaced our worlds. In this class, we will see how we can regain the notion of bodies, territories and worlds Latinamente. We will engage Latinxs studies, liturgical approaches, ritual theories and preaching ideas to reorient the relation between Latinxs bodies, territories and worlds.

Rev. Dr. Altagracia Pérez-Bullard

Virginia Theological Seminary

Christian Leadership for Transformative Ministries

Christian leaders face incredible challenges and opportunities for personal, communal, and social transformation and this is especially true in Latine communities. Theological reflection that engages the social sciences informs and strengthens the work of growth and change in congregations and faith-based organizations. Utilizing practical theology methodologies, organizational theories, Family Systems Theory, and community organizing strategies this course will explore theoretical and practical tools for equipping leaders facing contemporary, contextual challenges. Key areas of study: Practical Theology, Transformational Leadership Formation, Congregational and Community Development.

Rev. Dr. Cristian De La Rosa

Boston University

Latino Religious Expressions

This course will consider the role of religion in Latine cultures through the exploration of popular beliefs, cultural/religious symbols, and experiences of the Sacred.  It will discuss contributions from the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and art that assist in understanding faith practices and symbolic resource in the struggles of marginalized Latine communities.  Particular attention will be given to the experience of Mexican and Mexican American communities where Our Lady of Guadalupe can be considered, through most fields of study, as a powerful symbolic resource across geographical and chronological fronteras. This is an interdisciplinary course facilitated through a Protestant feminist/ Mujerista perspective. It will be run in a seminar style with the instructor as facilitator for critical engagement of readings, sharing of experiences, and contextual deconstruction/construction of methods, theories, and “official” historical understandings.

Dr. Melissa Pagán

Mount St. Mary’s University

Combativity and Connectivity: Exploring Decolonial Feminist Approaches to Theo-Ethics

This course explores the primary theories, themes, and methods of the decolonial move into Christian theologies and ethics with specific attention to feminist approaches. Decolonial feminist approaches will be placed in dialogue with indigenous feminist, womanist, and mujerista approaches to theology and ethics, highlighting areas of resonance and tension between and amongst the approaches to determine areas of collective struggle that demand insurgent “combative” resistance. Students will explore modes of domination and oppression as they relate to the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and the land under the logics of coloniality and reflect on the theo-ethical implications that emerge from an analysis of the conceptual frameworks of the coloniality of power, the coloniality of being, and the coloniality of gender. This course affords students an opportunity to reimagine and reframe core Christian theo-ethical concepts (e.g. sin, justice, human nature, etc.) within the legacy of “combative decoloniality” and consider the implications of such re-imaginings for Latinx communities and churches.

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