Citing significantly increased program growth, Midwestern Seminary’s Spanish Studies Department announced on Aug. 17 a reorganization of the staff and the addition of new faculty members.
According to Bobby Sena, director of Spanish Studies, Arnaldo Achucarro and Cesar Perez have been added to the teaching faculty, and Felix Cabrera will assume additional responsibilities.
“With nearly 200 students now pursuing degrees through the Spanish Studies Department, the time was right to expand the program,” Sena said. “With these recent moves, it’s clear that the administration at Midwestern understands the value and need for strengthening the program.”
From what was once only a doctoral focus, Sena explained that the school has now moved to an overall Spanish Studies Program, that includes a certificate level, three master’s programs, and a Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus on leadership.
What makes the program special, Sena shared, is that all members of the Spanish Studies team are Hispanic with Cabrera being from Puerto Rico, Achucarro from Paraguay, and Perez from Cuba. Each will teach students in their heart language and understands the Hispanic culture. Each is also currently or has in the past served in a pastoral role, “which keeps them relevant as they lead and teach pastors, denominational workers, and lay leaders in the Spanish Studies Program.”
Within their new roles, Cabrera will serve as assistant Spanish Studies director and assistant professor of pastoral ministry; Achucarro will be academic coordinator for the program as well as an adjunct professor; and Perez will be academic assistant and adjunct professor.
Sena said Cabrera, who also serves as a NAMB SEND director and executive director for the Puerto Rico Southern Baptist Convention, “is a leader of influence, with a deep commitment to the Scriptures; reaching Hispanics with the gospel and training them to serve in and through the church.” Cabrera also will work with Midwestern’s new For the Church Institute to develop institute courses in Spanish as well as continuing to promote and recruit students for all Spanish Studies programs.
Achucarro serves as pastor of a new Hispanic church in Kansas City, Mo., and is a trainer of church planters for NAMB. Sena explained that in Achucarro’s new role, “When students have a question, they’re able to connect with the doctoral offices at Midwestern and are greeted by a Spanish voice—their heart language—and by a person who understands their culture and identifies with their specific programmatic needs because he also graduated from at Midwestern.”
Sena shared that Perez’s other responsibilities include serving as the point person for Spanish social media platforms, and he will also be the lead person for a future Spanish Ph.D. program. Perez also presently serves as pastor for international ethnic groups at the Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas.
Another gratifying aspect of each man’s appointment to his respective role, Sena noted, is that each is a product of Midwestern Seminary.
“These are true team players, who have been ‘home grown’ at MBTS,” he said. “They can speak from their own experience at the institution, and they identify linguistically, culturally, and educationally with the students.
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Source: Midwestern Seminary