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2015 Seminars

Latino Protestant Congregations Project

June 21-26, 2015

Directed by: Gerardo Marti, Davidson College &
Mark Mulder, Calvin College

Funds provided by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship with funding by Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Seminar Description

The Latino Protestant Congregations (LPC) Project is a unique, three year research grant awarded to Davidson College and funded by Lilly Endowment. A team of 10 social scientific researchers (fellows) will be conducting "ground level" observations and interviews across the United States to capture the diversity of liturgy and worship in Latino churches. LPC Fellows are expected to gain entrée to five local congregations in their geographic region and complete profiles for each, including field notes and audio interviews. LPC Fellows and the LPC Project Directors will gather annually to plan, collaborate, and debrief during the funding period.

This seminar is part of an ongoing project and is not accepting new applicants. Only those who took part in the 2014 seminar will be eligible to attend.

About the Directors

Gerardo Martí, PhD, is L. Richardson King associate professor of sociology at Davidson College. He is an ethnographer whose research centers on race/ethnicity and innovation/social change in congregational life. In addition to several peer-reviewed journal articles, he is author of A Mosaic of Believers (Indiana University Press, 2005), Hollywood Faith (Rutgers University Press, 2008), Worship across the Racial Divide (Oxford University Press, 2012), and The Deconstructed Church (Oxford University Press, 2014). He was the recipient of a Religious Institutions Grant from The Louisville Institute and an Engaged Scholars Fellowship from The Congregational Studies Project Team (both programs funded by Lilly Endowment) for research focusing on social scientific analysis of worship and music in racially diverse congregations. Besides his scholarly work, Gerardo is an ordained pastor with ten years of experience ministering in local churches of various sizes and ethnic/racial compositions. His Latino experience includes being a Cuban-American who was raised by and among Cuban refugees in Southern California. Combining his religious leadership with his ethnic background, he led various projects between 1987 and 2002 among Latino evangelical churches in Ensenada, Mexico. He received the “Key to the City” in 2000 and an “Award of Merit for Service to the Poor” in 2001 in recognition of his service, both awards presented by the city’s Mayor Daniel Quintero and the President of Social Services. Most recently, in 2013 he was selected to participate in “Los Protestantes: Latino Protestantism in the United States,” a Calvin Summer Seminar led by Juan Francisco Martinez (Fuller Seminary).


Mark Mulder, PhD, is associate professor of sociology at Calvin College. He has written extensively on congregations and how they engage with their local context. His book on churches in Chicago and how they responded to the Great Migration is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press (Shades of White Flight). For the last two years he has been principal investigator for evaluating the Gatherings of Hope project of the Doug and Maria DeVos Family Foundation, an ongoing five-year initiative that has engaged core city Latino and African American congregations in effort to improve academic performance in the city. Most recently, he also participated in “Los Protestantes: Latino Protestantism in the United States,” a Calvin Summer Seminar led by Juan Francisco Martinez (Fuller Seminary).