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Dominican Hosts National Conference on Latino Impact on Campus Ministries

Friday, July 6, 2018

River Forest, IL - Dominican University is hosting a three-day conference with representatives from 50 Catholic colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations across the country focusing on ways for creating campus ministries and theological pedagogies that are more responsive to the cultural backgrounds of Latino students. The conference will be held from July 31 to August 2 at the university, 7900 W. Division Street.

Latino peoples have been part of the fabric of North American Catholicism for more than 500 years. At this critical moment in time, Latinos constitute the majority of U.S. Catholics under the age of 24 and this rapidly growing population is having a profound effect on the Church and higher education. This conference is designed to help participants representing various collegiate departments work together to understand and celebrate the cultures of their Latino students and to make their presence a driving educational and theological priority. Campus ministers, university mission officers, student leaders and faculty in religious studies departments will be challenged to engage in dialogue and develop action steps that move their institutions, as well as the Catholic Church, toward culturally responsive practices in their respective fields of influence.

Keynote speakers for the conference include Dr. Carmen Nanko-Fernandez, director of the Hispanic theology and ministry program at Catholic Theology Union, and Dr. Hosffman Ospino, director of graduate programs in Hispanic ministry at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. Nanko-Fernandez will discuss how Latino youth are impacting the identities of Catholic colleges and universities. Ospino will discuss the potential that is fueling Catholic higher education’s successful engagement with Hispanic communities.

Conference participants also will visit Chicago area institutions including the National Museum of Mexican Art and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and enjoy a guided mural walk throughout Pilsen.

For more information about this conference, contact John DeCostanza, director of University Ministry at Dominican University, at jdecostanza@dom.edu.

About Dominican University

Dominican University is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) founded in 1901 by the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. In the 2018 issue of America’s Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked Dominican University in the top 20 of Midwest master’s level universities. The magazine also ranked Dominican as a “Great School at a Great Price.”