I come from a highly educated Hispanic family. My mother has a Masters of Arts in Spanish, and although my father only has his high school degree, he knows the value of education and has been an example of Christ in my life. I have two older brothers who are medical doctors and a sister who graduated with a certificate from SCS, so I have been blessed with great examples of Hispanics in higher education.  

Throughout my own educational experience, I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible. When I came to SCS, I was surrounded by a community that celebrated who I was and made it possible for me to pursue an education. I had professors who were Hispanic and understood my culture, and professors of different backgrounds who valued my experiences and what I brought to the classroom. I was able to pursue a higher education in an environment that displayed their dedication to multiculturalism in both their student body and faculty.

A few years after graduating with my Master of Divinity from Logsdon Seminary at SCS, I began teaching as an adjunct professor for SCS. During that time, Dr. Tony Celelli, Dr. Joe Rangel, and Dr. Doug Jackson each told me I should pursue a Doctor of Ministry. Although I was blessed to have family members who were doctors, I myself never considered pursuing a doctorate. However, with the encouragement of the staff at SCS and my family, I decided to take the next step and applied and was accepted into a Doctor of Ministry program. 

Being a doctoral student at another seminary has been challenging. None of my professors are Hispanic, and I am the only Hispanic doctoral student in the past 3 cohorts.  Although having no one of your ethnicity around you can be discouraging, I am constantly encouraged by my SCS family to work hard and answer the call of education God has placed on my life. 

As reflected by the demographics in my doctoral cohort, there are not many Hispanics who hold a Doctor of Ministry in South Texas. That has become a major inspiration for me. I want to make sure that Hispanic and minority students have an example of what can be accomplished with the help of family, friends, and a college like SCS. As the pastor of New Song Fellowship Church and a professor at SCS, I want to be a testament that God places calls of greatness on all of our lives and uses our unique cultures and experiences to build his Kingdom here on earth.

 

This article was written by Andres Garcia. He is the Director of Certificate Programs at SCS and the pastor of New Song Fellowship Church.