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The IDEAL Fund | Pastoral Advancement Program
SETECA Extension Site
The IDEAL Fund
The IDEAL Fund supports our three foundational initiatives: IDEAL, Oasis, and Against the Flow. At the present time, the tuition charged for students of IDEAL only covers about 1/4 of the real costs of the program. Although we offer both the Plan Básico and the Plan Ministerial at the rate of $15-$25 per class, this price does not cover the full price of tuition.
Donations to the IDEAL Fund allow Hispanic Initiatives to:
- Subsidize the cost of each student’s education
- Resource the development of future educational programs
- Cover administrative costs related to running the three initiatives
- Purchase books and support administration for Oasis
- Expand the broadcasting of Against the Flow
The IDEAL Fund allows Hispanic Initiatives to expand our ability to offer quality theological education to lay people within the Hispanic community of Colorado. This fund allows us to support the 130 students currently involved with IDEAL and train the future leaders of the Hispanic church in Colorado.
Pastoral Advancement Program
Over 80% of the estimated 250 pastors in the Denver area have little to no formal theological training. To meet this need, Wilmer Ramírez, Director of Hispanic Initiatives, has proposed the “PAP” Program (Programa de Actualización Pastoral), which would provide continuing education for pastors. The program would consist of three one-day seminars and a 1-2 week Summer Intensive Clinic each year. The program would offer clinics on important topics such as Pastoral Counseling, Community Transformation, and Developing Leadership in the Hispanic Church. This past summer, Hispanic Initiatives tested the viability of this program by offering a course on Biblical Preaching. It was a raving success. The class was capped at 40 students, and dozens of pastors and lay people learned expository preaching for the first time.
The cost for launching PAP is estimated to be $18,700. This includes travel and lodging for guest faculty from SETECA, advertising, administrative costs, and resources and study materials for pastors. It is our hope to offer the first one-day clinic in the Spring of 2010 and the first Intensive Clinic in the Summer of 2010. PAP will offer crucial continuing education to the pastors leading small churches throughout Colorado. The PAP Fund will allow Hispanic Initiatives to equip existing pastors for immediate kingdom impact.
SETECA Extension Site
The vision of Hispanic Initiatives is to open an official extension site of Seminario Teológico Centroamericano (SETECA) on the campus of Denver Seminary by 2012. This cooperative extension site will offer university-level courses offered through SETECA to Hispanics in the Colorado area. This site would offer accredited degrees, beginning with a profesorado (akin to an associate’s degree), which would be taught by both Denver Seminary and SETECA faculty. In response to the growing Hispanic population in Colorado and the changing dynamics of global Christianity, we prayerfully request the partnership of individuals, churches and foundations to make this vision a prompt reality.
Denver Seminary has launched this initiative because the United States is undergoing a major demographic and cultural shift. For example, the population of Hispanics in the United States has increased from 14.6 million in 1980 to 45.5 million in 2007, a rise from 6% to 15% of the total population. In Colorado, there are 968,000 Hispanics (20% of the population), 57% of whom speak only Spanish at home. Considering the challenge of training ministers within the burgeoning Hispanic community, Rev. Dr. Justo González comments:
All of this is an indication that, finally, and in some cases much against its will, the Church has begun to learn [that] to survive as a viable agent of mission, the Church must be bilingual…For if we are to be in mission to the twenty-first century…[i]t will be necessary to move across the various cultural divides in our emerging society, and to witness to Christ in a myriad of contexts.
The SETECA extension site for Hispanic church leaders is Denver Seminary’s response to becoming just such a “viable agent of mission” in the twenty-first century.
Denver Seminary is proposing a unique model to answer the challenge of new multicultural realities in the United States. As the church grows most rapidly in the Global South, finding solutions to educate and train church leaders from non-Euro-American backgrounds will be a prime challenge in the next century. Denver Seminary’s official vision is to build a “multicultural/diverse learning environment that emulates God’s heart for His creation and the society of the future.” The SETECA extension site will significantly contribute toward making that vision a reality.
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 “Pew Hispanic Center analysis of US Census Bureau county population estimates,” Pew Hispanic Center (2009), accessed online on 15 August 2009: http://pewhispanic.org/states/population/
 “Demographics profile of Hispanics in Colorado, 2007,” Pew Hispanic Center (2007), accessed online on 16 August 2009: http://pewhispanic.org/states/?stateid=CO
 Justo Gonzalez, quoted in: Hernandez, Edwin, Peña Milagros, Rev. Kenneth Davis, and Elizabeth Station, “Strengthening Hispanic Ministry Across Denominations: A Call to Action,” in Pulpit and Pew: Research on Pastoral Leadership, (2005), 9.
 Phillip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2007), 2-3.