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 person and then meet two additional times in the coming year, virtually. At the first 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.
El Semillero 2024
Program Dates and Location
First In-Person Session: April 3 (noon) – April 4 (4:00 pm), 2024, Mother Boniface Center | Philadelphia, PA
Special Networking Meeting on Latinx Philanthropy and Fundraising: April 4 (5:30 pm) – April 6 (noon), 2024
Second and Third Virtual Sessions will be Scheduled during the In-Person Session
A Note on the Special Networking Meeting
The Lake Institute on Faith and Giving is hosting a special “Community of Practice” gathering with Latinx leaders from across the country immediately following the First Session of El Semillero. All 2024 Semilleristas are invited to attend and learn with fundraisers from a variety of institutions and organizations all while contributing to broader conversations about faith and giving.
First and second sessions are completely in-person with subsequent sessions facilitated online.
El Semillero gathers theological leaders—ministers, organizers, faculty, and non-profit and/or higher education administrators—from across the country for a training on fundraising, finance, and development. Through a partnership with the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, all program participants will be eligible to receive an Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising upon completion El Semillero and submission of a project proposal with corresponding reports.
Unless otherwise stated in the program description, all HSP programs are primarily facilitated in English.
To be eligible for this program you must be a Latinx theological leader who is currently serving as a practitioner which we define as a congregational leader, community organizer, faculty, and non-profit and/or higher education administrator.
El Semillero is heavily subsidized thanks to the generous funding of the Lilly Endowment. The fee to participate in this year-long cohort is only $750 per participant. Payment of this fee is due after acceptance into the program.
Applications Open | November 1, 2023
Applications Close | December 31, 2023
Admissions Decisions | Sent on or around January 15, 2024
Apply for El Semillero
Application Deadline for El Semillero: