HTI launches new program with $7.3 million grant

PRINCETON, NJ – The Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) is proud to announce that a $7.3 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will support the creation of a new program to help master’s students discern and navigate their way to doctoral studies. The grant, awarded to Princeton Theological Seminary, one of the HTI Consortium member schools and its housing institution, also allows HTI to provide scholarships for pre-thesis doctoral students, create more collaborative internships with non-profit organizations nonprofit in the ecology of theological and religious education. , and more. HTI’s program, titled “In conjunction! Strengthening the Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Latinx Masters and Doctoral Students,” will outline a five-year scholarship programming and support plan to reinforce HTI’s mission and vision of supporting doctoral students, Latinx graduates and mid-level teachers. the academy, the church and the world.

“We are thrilled to receive this substantial grant as HTI enters 2022,” said HTI Executive Director, Reverend Joanne Rodríguez. “This grant honors HTI in conjunction working with its founders, mentors, faculty, editors, staff, partner institutions, and 24 consortium chairs and deans. It is a testament to the innovative work and collaborative value of the HTI Consortium and its growing legacy. The grant creates more spaces for HTI to advance its holistic approach to nurturing and preparing Latinx doctors to serve in this new pandemic time and post-pandemic world.

“This grant complements the vital work that HTI has done over a quarter of a century. The HTI community and I could not be more grateful to Lilly Endowment for their insightful and visionary leadership,” said Reverend Rodríguez. HTI’s proposal was born out of many conversations with many partners, and in response to identified needs in conjunction with all 64 HTI Fellows at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. During this time, HTI also shifted its programming to virtual formats. Programming and in-person events are expected to gradually return with safety measures in place.

“HTI’s commitment to ensuring the graduation of Latinx scholars (93% and average time to graduation of 5.5 years) and helping them thrive as scholars, church leaders, and nonprofit administrators are needed more than ever. Institutions are working to realign their operational structures and educational vision to prepare a diverse cohort of agile, collaborative, and justice-focused leaders. These Latinx leaders will continue to transform the academy, the church, and the world. HTI has the experience, cumulative knowledge and community connections to walk alongside partner institutions as we shape diverse futures in conjunctionsaid Reverend Rodríguez.

“Princeton Theological Seminary’s doctoral program has benefited from the high caliber of Hispanic Theological Initiative programming and support for decades,” said Mr. Craig Barnes, President of Princeton Theological Seminary. “With this grant, HTI will continue its vital work to support early-career scholars and encourage gifted students to embark on their studies with the financial support and mentorship that will allow them to thrive. Princeton Theological Seminary is proud to be a partner in HTI’s work, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that will arise from this investment in HTI’s mission.

In a testimonial on HTI’s 25and anniversary, celebrated last year, Dr. Frank Yamada, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), said, “HTI responds to a current and future critical missionary need for theological schools. This is a growing need in ATS schools because what we know from our ATS enrollment data is that the only places where there is growth among students and students newly enrolled students are among students of color. Additionally, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Theology, shared that “HTI is needed. The predominantly white theological schools were not able to do this alone. They needed the kind of intensity, support, vision, embrace that HTI gave its scholars, and the kinds of relationships that HTI helped build across the Americas.

In its first 25 years, HTI has helped 150 Latinx scholars earn doctoral degrees and provided professional development and scholarships to several master’s students and postdoctoral fellows. HTI graduates serve in seminaries and universities as teachers and administrators across the United States and in six other countries, as well as in ministerial and nonprofit leadership positions. In conjunction with institutional partners and individual investors, HTI looks forward to advancing its impact in the larger ecology of theological and religious education.

About the Hispanic Theological Initiative
The Hispanic Theological Initiative is a unique partnership with 24 doctoral granting institutions whose mission is to cultivate Latinx doctoral degrees for leadership positions in academia, the church, and the world. With the support of the 24 consortium member institutions, HTI seeks to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Latinx doctoral students across the country; increase the presence of Latinx leaders and teachers—especially tenured professors in seminaries, theological schools, and universities; and provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices to engage the contributions of Latinx faculty and students and amplify diverse voices and perspectives within the Latinx community and beyond. . Established in 1996, HTI is a mentorship, networking, and fellowship program that addresses the critical issue of advancing Latinx research and leadership in the theological and religious landscape for the betterment of academic and church communities across the world. Learn more at


Rev. Joanne Rodriguez
Hispanic Theological Initiative
[email protected]

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