Over the years HSP alums have shared a two fold testimony about their seminary experience. The first is that the HSP provided a space for them to feel empowered to lead communally in ways that inspire creative and transformational organization. The second is that their seminary experience did not equip them with the tangible and practical skills to engage the financial challenges of working with a congregation, non-profit, or institution of higher and theological education. In response to this need, El Semillero was born.
Semillero literally translates to a “seed bed,” a place where local soil is gathered in order to plant seeds that with proper care can develop and grow into robust, healthy, nourishing, and sustainable crops. The idea of El Semillero serves as an apt metaphor for this workshop where practitioners will be invited to learn about the soil of fundraising, finance, and development so that they can grow their missional organizations—whether they be churches, non-profits, or institutions of higher and theological education—in ways that are economically sustainable and can, as a result, provide a greater impact for their communities of concern. Through El Semillero we hope to empower our Latinx theological leaders with practical tools that will help them build sustainable and equitable institutions that can positively impact the Latinx community for generations to come.
El Semillero does this by partnering with the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving to gather a year long cohort of practitioners who through workshops, assignments, and meetings will practically apply tangible skills in finance, fundraising, and development to their context. Cohort members will begin their journey in June at the host institution of the HSP Summer Session and then meet two additional times in the coming year, virtually or in-person. At the June meeting, participants will spend three days with experts in development and theological education where they will gain concepts on matters of finance and begin imagining how they can apply these concepts to their organizations. From there, Semilleristas (as cohort members are called) will return to their home contexts where they’ll put these new skills to action. At the two subsequent trainings, Semilleristas will report on their work, receive feedback from experts and cohort-mates, and gain new tools they can bring to their community.
Eligibility: To be part of El Semillero you must be a Latinx theological leader who currently serves in a congregation, non-profit, or university/seminary/school of theology. Current students are not eligible for this program unless they are also active practitioners or returned to school after several years of practical service. All those interested must be able to commit to all three sessions and must apply through the HSP website. If accepted, participants must pay all associated fees for the program by the stated deadline. Space is limited.
Fees: El Semillero is heavily subsidized thanks to the generous funding of the Lilly Endowment and Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. The fee to participate in this year-long cohort is only $500 per participant. Payment of this fee is due after acceptance into the program.
El Semillero 2022
Where: Duke Divinity School and Online
- First Session: June 22 – 24, 2022
- Second and Third Session: TBD [virtual]
Program Fee: $500
The inaugural El Semillero / Lake Institute workshop on Fundraising, Finance, and Development will begin, in person, at Duke Divinity School from noon on June 22 through noon on June 24, 2022. The theme of this year’s workshop will be “Fundraising as Ministry.”
All those interested in joining the inaugural cohort must apply below. As a reminder, this program is exclusively for Latinx theological leaders who are currently practitioners, that is congregational leaders, community organizers, faculty, and non-profit and higher education administrators. Space is limited to 20 participants.
Apply for El Semillero
Application Deadline for El Semillero: