The Latinx Discernment Workshop

The Latinx Discernment, Calling, and Vocation workshop provides space for a small group of Latinx graduate students from HSP sponsoring schools to critically reflect on their strengths, the needs of their communities, their goals and desires, and how these inform their next steps after graduate school.

Started with funding from the Forum for Theological Exploration, the Latinx Discernment Workshop was created in response to the profound gaps in vocational resources and the yearnings of our Latinx graduate students. As carefully documented by scholar Dr. Patrick Reyes, resources on vocation are often written from a White, majority perspective that fails to account for the ways Brown and Black communities are systemically underserved. As Dr. Reyes notes in The Purpose Gap, dominant vocational resources do not begin from the communal, systemic, and historical question: “How do you thrive when the world sees you as a problem?” (2). The Latinx Discernment Workshop explicitly begins from this question.

We do so by rooting conversations about vocation within the context of student’s community, being honest of the ways Latinx thriving is explicitly tied to the thriving of minoritized communities writ large, and practically and tangibly leading Latinx graduate students through exercises that situate their skills to the needs of their community in a way that is sustainable.

The HSP has thus far hosted two Latinx Discernment Workshops, serving thirty students. During our workshops we’ve had students affirm a switch in their post-graduation trajectory, pursue leadership in their community, their faith tradition, and/or the academy, build a horizontal network among their cohort that has led to continued community well beyond the Workshop. These outcomes have made plain that our students need intentional spaces to discern their next steps and that these spaces must begin and end in our communities.

We are clear that these workshops oriented towards discernment empower and equip our community well beyond the three days they spend with the HSP.

Latinx Discernment Workshop 2024

Program Dates and Location

First In-Person Session: 

  • June 27th, 2024 at 5:30 pm (EST)
  • (Session is During the HSP Summer Session, Hosted at Villanova University)

Second In-Person Session

  • July 30 – August 2, 2024
  • Pendle Hill | Outside of Philadelphia, PA

Third and Fourth Virtual sessions will be scheduled at the Second In-Person Session

Facilitation Modality

First and second sessions are completely in-person with subsequent sessions facilitated online. 

Program Description

All Workshop participants will be invited to a year-long cohort that will equip them with practical skills for exploring their own sense of vocation while simultaneously connecting them to a community that will tangibly encourage them and build with them throughout the discernment process. Stemming from the concept that discernment does not occur alone, cohort participants will have multiple opportunities throughout the year to connect with one another as well as with Latinx theological leaders in various sectors of society as they explore the ways their gifts connect with their community.

The first meeting of the Latinx Discernment Workshop Cohort will occur in-person during the HSP Summer Session. There, cohort-members will meet one another and begin the process of community building. From there cohort members will meet again in person for a four-day workshop in late July. There they will critically examine ideas of discernment, calling, and vocation and how those concepts connect to their lives. Finally, workshop participants will come together twice more, once in the Fall Semester and once in the Spring Semester, in a virtual session to discuss how these ideas of vocation, calling, and discernment have been applied to their lives.


Unless otherwise stated in the program description, all HSP programs are primarily facilitated in English. 


The Latinx Discernment Workshop is open to Latinx Masters Level students from HSP Sponsoring Schools who still have one full year of coursework before graduation. Participants must have been accepted to the HSP 2024 Summer Session, must attend the Summer Session, must be able to commit to all four workshop sessions, and must have applied to the Latinx Discernment Workshop below.


The Latinx Discernment Workshop is heavily subsidized thanks to the generous funding of the Lilly Endowment. The fee to participate in this year-long cohort is only $250 per participant. Payment of this fee is due after acceptance into the program.

Application Schedule 

Rolling Admissions through March 31, 2024


The Latinx Discernment Workshop is facilitated by Dr. Jorge Juan Rodríguez V and Dr. Yara González-Justiniano.

Dr. Rodríguez. The Associate Director for Strategic Programming at the Hispanic Summer Program, is an experienced facilitator who has spent years working with Latinx populations and brings a unique perspective to conversations around discernment that begin in community and end in empowerment. To learn more about Dr. Rodríguez, visit the HSP’s team page

Dr. Yara González-Justiniano serves as Assistant Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture with emphasis in Latinx Studies at Vanderbilt University where she is also affiliated faculty of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies. Her research on hope and community practices alongside her experience in academic, artistic, and ecclesial spaces provide a rich lens to questions of discernment and vocation. To learn more about Dr. González-Justiniano, visit her faculty page.

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