The Latin American Doctoral Program in Theology

Article excerpt

The Latin American Doctoral Program in Theology (LADPT) was created by Latin Americans in response to the need for graduate-level theological studies to be offered in Latin America, by Latin Americans, in the languages of Latin America, for the church in Latin America. Its mission is to offer contextual theological education at the Ph.D. level by means of a creative methodology in order to equip the leaders of the church.

A conversation in 2000 between Pablo Deiros from Argentina and Charles Van Engen who grew up in Chiapas, Mexico, led to the founding that year of the Latin American Christian Ministries (LACM) with the purpose of providing "teaching and church leadership mentoring skills, programs, and resources for Christian ministries and pastors in Latin America."

The vision was refined through discussion with Enrique Guang in Quito, Ecuador, in September 2000 at the Fourth Consultation of the Latin American Congress of Evangelization (CLADE IV). Guang, founding president of the Evangelical University of the Americas (UNELA) in Costa Rica, stressed the need to gain government accreditation as a Ph.D. program.

In March 2001 thirty-six Latin American Protestant professors from twelve countries, representing twenty-three denominations, mission agencies, and theological education institutions, met in Miami, Florida. As they prayed, dialogued, and dreamed, the vision of a continent-wide advanced theological education program took further shape.

Academically linked with UNELA, LADPT is the first Protestant multisite Ph.D.-level study program to be accredited at the university level by a Latin American government. Known in Latin America as PRODOLA (www.prodola.org), LADPT is designed to wed face-to-face classroom experiences with on-location and in-ministry research. …