Leslie Diaz-Perez Succeeds Daniel Rodriguez-Diaz as Director of the Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry

In the wake of the retirement of beloved professor emeritus of church history, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Rodriguez-Diaz as director of the Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary this past June, McCormick has appointed the Rev. Dr. Leslie Diaz-Perez as the new Center director. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Diaz-Perez applies her passion in the fields of education and training, missions, and ministry. A double alumna of McCormick, Dr. Diaz-Perez earned both her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the seminary.

Prior to retirement from his directorial duties Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz taught church history at McCormick and continues to serve as adjunct faculty. A graduate of the National University of Mexico, Mexico City, where he received a Ph.D. in History and Latin American Studies, Rodriguez-Diaz taught church history at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Mexico City. He also taught at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Wesley Theological Seminary and Baptist Seminary of Mexico and worked extensively with the United Methodist Church on anti-racism training and building awareness of United States foreign policy in Latin America.

“We are profoundly grateful for the many years of service Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz devoted to the founding and development of the center and the relationships he created and nurtured over time. There would not be a center without Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz. We are thrilled he will continue to be part of the teaching team for the Latin@ ministry certificate, and the degree programs he brought to fruition.” Says Dr. Ted Hiebert, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He continues, “Dr. Diaz-Perez brings new energy and passion to this role and we are delighted she has agreed to take Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz’s vision and move it forward. Working with her in the months before his retirement and since, has been exciting, inspiring, and illuminating. Her creativity, drive, and determination lend momentum to our efforts and are supported by her critical and analytical thinking and her devotion to and love for McCormick and its students.”

In July of 2017 Dr. Diaz-Perez assumed full duties as the new director of the center, which contributes to the theological and ministerial formation of Latin@s and non-Latin@s working in Hispanic ministries and theological education by planning courses, conferences, and lectures with other McCormick centers and other institutions in the Chicago area.

Together with her husband Rev. Obed Perez, she is part of the pastoral team at Resurrected Life Church in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago.

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