AETH-PROLADES RESEARCH AND INFORMATION
ON HISPANIC PROTESTANT CHURCHES & MINISTRIES
This research and information network will provide much needed information about Hispanic Protestant Churches, Institutions and Ministries in the USA, Puerto Rico & Canada regarding their ethnic composition and diversity (national origins), theological and denominational diversity, historical origins, organizational growth and development, and current status within the growing Hispanic population regionally and nationally in each country. A series of three Online Handbooks on the Hispanic Protestant Church in these three geographical regions will inform church and para-church leaders (Hispanics as well as other ethnic groups) and provide them with needed educational, motivational and communication resources for their respective areas of responsibility and ministry. The Online Handbooks will become an important resource for evaluation and strategic planning within the framework of denominational and interdenominational cooperation and leadership training and development for the greater good of the Hispanic community in the countries where AETH-affiliated members and organizations conduct their respective ministries.
ABOUT THESE RESEARCH PROJECTS
The PROLADES Team, under the direction of Clifton L. Holland, began to update its previous research on Hispanic Protestant ministry in the USA in January 2010, which was a continuation of Holland's personal efforts begun in 1970 while studying in the M.A. in Missiology program (1969-1972) at Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS) in Pasadena, CA. The result of Holland's fieldwork on the Hispanic community in Southern California was the publication of The Religious Dimension in Hispanic Los Angeles: A Protestant Case Study (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1974, 554 pages). Between 1972 and 1980, Holland served as a Protestant missionary in Costa Rica with the nondenominational Latin America Mission, which provided him with an opportunity of conducting fieldwork on the Protestant movement in each country of Central America. Holland returned to FTS in 1980-1981 for Doctor of Missiology studies in the School of World Mission, where he produced "A History of the Protestant Movement in Central America" (450 pages) and served as General Editor for the production of World Christianity: Central America and the Caribbean (Monrovia, CA: MARC-World Vision International, 1982).
After Holland's return to Costa Rica in 1982, he was invited to provide technical assistance and training as a missiologist for urban and national research projects in a dozen countries, including Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Mexico. Also, during the 1980s, Holland provided technical assistance to Hispanic leaders in the USA who were interested in conducting a national study of Hispanic Protestantism, which had not been done since the 1930s when Protestant ministry among Hispanics was just beginning to flourish with support from the major denominations and service agencies. During the mid-1980s, Holland coordinated a preliminary report on Hispanic Protestant church growth in the USA (published in March 1987 by IDEA Ministries/PROLADES, led by Holland) with the support of two dozen Hispanic and Anglo-American church leaders; however, at that time, it was impossible to obtain major funding from foundations, denominations and service agencies to conduct a thorough national study. Nevertheless, steps were taken by several members of this same support group to create a national non-profit organization led by Hispanic leaders who had been inspired by this preliminary national study. This led to the creation of the Hispanic Association for Bilingual-Bicultural Ministries (HABBM) in 1988-1989, led by the Rev. Danny de León (senior pastor of Templo Calvario de las Asambleas de Dios in Santa Ana, CA), largely with support from Hispanic church leaders in Southern California.
Holland, a founding member of HABBM's board of directors, coordinated efforts with several other organizations to produce regional directories of Hispanic Protestant denominations and churches in South Florida (fieldwork by missionaries of WorldTeam and published by WT in 1983), Southern California (fieldwork by Lou Cordova, a staff member of the institute of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA, and published in May 1986 by the Hispanic Association for Theological Education, AHET), and the San Francisco Bay Area (fieldwork by Stewart Stout, a missionary on furlough with the Latin America Mission; published by IDEA Ministries/PROLADES in 1988) .
During the 1990s, Holland returned to the Los Angeles area to coordinate "A Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity in the Greater Los Angeles Metro Area (GLAMA)," with the logistical support of a dozen partnership agencies (1990-1997). He established an office in Pasadena on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission for himself and his research team, most of whom were loaned to PROLADES by other missions and service agencies. Also, Holland became an active member of the Hispanic Association of Theological Education (AHET, Asociación Hispana de Educación Teológica) and participated in the AHET History Committee under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Rodelo Wilson. He served as the project manager for the production of a 224-page compendium of articles on the history of a dozen Protestant denominations with Hispanic ministry in Southern California. Some of the original articles that were considered for publication had been written by students in Holland's FTS-School of Theology course on the "History of the Hispanic Protestant Church in Southern California" during 1980-1981. However, since these earlier articles had been written about ten years previously, the History Committee decided ask each author to update them or to invite other Hispanic leaders to write new articles about their respective denominations. Consequently, some of the articles published by the AHET History Committee in 1993 were updated versions of the original 1980-1981 documents, while others were newly written. See the following website for the online version of the AHET History compendium: http://www.hispanicchurchesusa.net/AHET/indice2.htm
Also, during 1992-1993, Holland and his research team in Pasadena were able conduct a preliminary study of Hispanic Protestant denominations in the USA and produce a series of documents, which were presented to the board of directors of HABBM in Santa Ana, CA, on October 13, 1993 in fulfilment of our contract with HABBM, which provided us with a small grant for this undertaking. It was not until the mid-2000s that Holland was able to process some of this information and make it available on his old website at: www.ideaministries.com (DISCONTINUED). Now, with the creation of our new website at www.HispanicChurchesUSA.net, some of these documents are available at: http://www.hispanicchurchesusa.net/national_hisp_study_93.htm
Holland returned to his home in Costa Rica in 1997 to continue his work with PROLADES in Latin America and the Caribbean, while resuming his professional career as a Christian educator at the Evangelical University of the Americas (UNELA) of which he is one of the founders (1982, originally known as the Missiological Institute of the Americas, IMDELA - Holland was the Executive Director from 1982-1990; IMDELA became an accredited private university in 1997). Between 1997 and 2007, Holland was a member of the faculty and taught Master's level courses in missiology, church history, urban ministry and the social sciences; he also served on UNELA's board of directors, most of the time as its president. After Holland resigned from UNELA in 2007, he resumed full-time his work in research and information management as Director of PROLADES, while writing and editing a series of publications. Between 1999 and 2012, Holland designed, developed and managed a half-dozen websites with technical support from IT colleagues in Southern California and Lima, Peru. Holland was a major contributor to several encyclopedias published during the 2000s, including Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices (Drs. J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, editors; Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO - first edition in four volumes, published in 2002; second edition in six volumes, published in 2010). Currently, Holland is completing the editing of his own "Encyclopedia of Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean," in both English and Spanish (four volumes, about 1,500 pages), which is scheduled for completion in December 2012.
After years of thinking about the possibility of resuming his work on a national study of Hispanic Protestant ministry in the USA, Holland was able to do so in late 2009 after completing work on the second edition of Religions of the World. He consulted with more than a dozen Hispanic church leaders in the USA, many of whom were former colleagues, before formally launching a new national study on the Hispanic Protestant movement in the USA with its own website at: http://www.hispanicchurchesusa.net Thanks to the Internet and help from his research assistants in Costa Rica, Holland began to create a national computerized database of Protestant denominations with Hispanic ministry in the USA, as well as a database of local Hispanic churches, along with the production of hundreds of webpages and documents of information on the Hispanic Protestant Church in the USA. All of these databases and informational resources are now available on this website for Hispanic USA.
While attending the dedication ceremonies for the new Dr. Justo L. González Center for Latino/Latina Ministry ( https://www.aeth.org/educacion?language=english) in Orlando, FL, in October 2011, sponsored by the Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH, Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana), Holland began to discuss with AETH leaders the possibility of expanding his research and information gathering to include a study of Hispanic ministry in the Dominion of Canada and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This resulted in the establishment of a partnership agreement between AETH & PROLADES, which provided Holland and the PROLADES Team in Costa Rica with needed funding to conduct these additional studies that were begun in November 2011 and completed in late August 2012. The results of these three studies are now available on this website above.
Dr. Fernando A. Cascante, Executive Director
P.O. Box 677848, Orlando, FL 32867
8401 Valencia College Lane, Orlando, FL 32825
Phone: (407) 482-7598; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org