“A seminary delegation to El Salvador is the ultimate integration of theory and practice, of words and living Word. Students prepare in the classroom by discussing theology, politics, culture and economics and then move into the actual experience to figure out how to embody a prophetic, gospel imperative in the midst of grotesque poverty and devastating injustice.” -Dr. Marcia Bailey, Faculty at Colgate, Rochester, Crozer Divinity School
With the legacy of martyrs like Archbishop Oscar Romero and Father Rutilio Grande ever present, El Salvador provides an incredibly rich environment for studying and experiencing first-hand the struggle for social justice through the lens of Latin American liberation theology. With this in mind, SHARE invites you to organize a Theological Seminar to El Salvador and to be immersed in the day to day struggle for liberation among the Salvadoran people.
SHARE organizes and facilitates one to two-week theological seminars in El Salvador. This life-changing experience is a unique opportunity to bring the classroom into the real world. Seminar participants learn about key issues facing the Salvadoran people today, speak with Salvadorans struggling for justice and human rights, learn about liberation theology and faith-based responses to poverty and oppression, visit important historical sites, and talk with members of faith communities seeking sustainable alternatives for their country.
Through dialogue with these inheritors of the legacy of Romero, students see how the praxis of liberation theology plays out across the borders of nationality, language, class and race. They experience first hand the process of inviting all types of communities–religious, neighborhood, economic, gender–to analize their own reality and to devise strategies for becoming “subjects of their own history, rather than objects of someone else’s history.” In the Salvadoran faith communities included in this seminar, this process has led to an inspiring emphasis on the “rediscovery and reconstitution of the prophetic, utopian community of primitive Christianity.”( UCA professor Soyapa Perez).
This kind of immersion and meaningful interaction with Salvadoran people and communities provides an exciting practical context for students trying to understand today’s multi-cultural society and religion. In addition, it gives them an invaluable basis for developing their own strategies for ministry.
SHARE El Salvador staff will work closely with professors, students, and faculty to plan the seminar itinerary. Possibilities include:
- A visit to sacred sites such as Archbishop Oscar Romero’s home and tomb, the Memorial Wall to the Civil War, the Romero Museum, and the Rose Garden dedicated to the memory of the Jesuit Martyrs at the University of Central America.
“In a world where diversity is often an excuse for hatred and a trigger for violence, Drew students learn to use diversity as a key to unlock the mysteries of a God beyond individual understanding, who is revealed more fully through our shared faith and experience.” former Theological Seminar participant
- Visits to Christian Base Communities to learn about the history and commitment of base communities and experience their ongoing struggle for justice
- Meetings with various groups that organize and lead the Salvadoran social movement around issues such as women’s and youth rights, environmental justice, and human rights activism.
- Meetings with religious leaders of different faiths and social visions.
- An overnight home-stay in a community of faith. Immersion into the daily life of a Salvadoran families and learn about how they live out their faith amidst their day to day joys and struggles.
- Meetings with theologians to discuss theology through the lens of the Salvadoran reality
- Visits to cooperatives or grassroots organizations involved in local development and the creation of alternative economic models.
- Meetings with organizations that lead the Salvadoran social movement around issues such as environmental justice and human rights activism.
- Visit to a National Park or Reserve to take in the natural beauty of El Salvador
SHARE has hosted delegations for thirty years and can lead you through the planning process, step by step. We work closely with seminar organizers to plan the itinerary and prepare the group for the delegation. For more information, please read the The SHARE Foundation Theological Seminars in El Salvador and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Theological Partners:
Drew University, Madison, NJ
Drew University’s Masters in Theology Program organizes theological seminars to El Salvador every two years as a part of a cross-cultural course.
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
As a part of its contextual learning focus, PSR has organized several theological seminars to El Savlador. One student reflects on her experience in El Salvador: it “enabled me to experience liberation theology as its being lived, not just through reading about it.”
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY
Colgate Rochester was the founding member of the theological school consortium program.
Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY