Interview: Between Two Cultures: How Latina Christians Approach Leadership

Yvette Santana pilots a new project to coalesce Hispanic women.

With nearly 58 million Hispanics residing stateside and one in every four children born in the United States being Hispanic, the US Census Bureau identifies the Hispanic population as one of the nation’s fastest growing groups. Given that 60 percent of Hispanic evangelicals are women, new ministries solely focused on equipping bicultural women are emerging. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) has recently established one such ministry with an intentional focus on creating a safe space for Latina Christian leaders from different generations to gather. This ministry—which represents mothers, mijas (a term of endearment used in the Hispanic community that translates as “my daughters”), hermanas (sisters), tias (aunts), abuelas (grandmothers), and nietas (granddaughters) alike—seeks to empower, equip, and encourage Hispanic female leaders to reach their God-given potential.

Yvette Santana spearheads this new bilingual and bicultural ministry in her role as chief women’s ministry officer for the NHCLC. She also serves as women’s discipleship coordinator for the Church of God, Southwest Region. “The NHCLC’s division for women’s ministry desires to create a community for these fabulous women to connect and share and celebrate our role in the church,” says Santana. “We want to create a network for Latina pastor’s wives and lead female pastors, as they have such a unique role in the kingdom.”

Andrea Ramirez, executive director of the Faith and Education Coalition of the NHCLC, interviewed Santana on her unique work.

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