Meet the Latino Protestant Congregations Project Research Fellows, 2014-2017
The Latino Protestant Congregations (LPC) Project includes a team of ten researchers conducting qualitative observations and interviews in Latino Protestant churches across the United States. Each LPC Research Fellow will focus on five local congregations in their geographic region and complete profiles for each, including field notes and audio interviews.
Jonathan Eli Calvillo is Assistant Professor of the Sociology of Religion at Boston University, School of Theology who completed his PhD at the University of California, Irvine. His sites are in Orange County, California.
Jeanette “Lil Milagro” Henriquez is a doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Her sites are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aida Ramos is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the George Fox University. Her LPCs are located in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas.
Melissa Guzman Fresno is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, San Francisco. She completed her PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She focuses on Fresno, California.
Mandy Rodgers-Gates is a doctoral student of Theology (Th.D.) at Duke Divinity School. She will focus on Durham, North Carolina.
Ricardo L. Franco completed a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Spirituality at Boston University, School of Theology. He has access to research sites in New England and focus on Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Debbie Berho was Professor of Spanish at George Fox University and currently Director of the Latin American Studies Program of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. She lives in Costa Rica. Her focus is on sites in Oregon.
Peter Marina is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He has access to LPCs in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Mark McCormack earned his PhD in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University and is currently Director of Research & Evaluation for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church. His LPCs cluster in and around Nashville, Tennessee.
Karen Hooge Michalka is a graduate student in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Her LPCs cluster in and around South Bend, Indiana.
Co-Director Gerardo Martí, PhD, is L. Richardson King 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).
Co-Director Mark Mulder, PhD, is 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).