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Sánchez awarded Louisville Institute grant

Research will explore Spirit Christology, models of sanctification

Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., the Werner R.H. Krause and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries and director of the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the prestigious Louisville Institute in Louisville, Ky.

Sánchez will use the grant for a project that explores Spirit Christology and models of sanctification.

The grant is the first-ever to be awarded to a member of the Seminary faculty from the Louisville Institute. Sánchez was awarded the maximum amount.

LeoSanchez2016
Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.

“My project will examine what life in the Spirit looks like daily,” Sánchez said. “Is it living a life shaped by Christ’s death and resurrection? Is it a life spent girding for spiritual warfare? Is it a life of discipleship or servanthood? The goal of this research is to develop pastoral, practical applications for envisioning and fostering the sanctified life across a biblical and theological spectrum of ways individuals might identify with when describing their spirituality.”

Sánchez’s newest research will build upon a models-based approach to sanctification that he introduced in an earlier work, Teología de la santificación, La espiritualidad del cristiano (The Theology of Sanctification, Christian Spirituality), focusing on the development of descriptions or shapes of Christian life across theological traditions and culminating in a more comprehensive vision of life in the Spirit.

“Ultimately, pastors can use this information to help them recognize how people in their congregations and communities are living out their spirituality and be better prepared to minister to them,” Sánchez said.

This project is unique because it mines insights in the field of Spirit Christology for addressing the needs of the religiously unaffiliated (also known as the “Nones”) and ethnic-racial minority groups such as those from the Global South – underrepresented groups in previous North American studies of Christology – who seek a meaningful integration of spirituality and everyday life.

“Dr. Sánchez is a significant voice in bringing Lutheran theology from within a Latino context to the wider church,” said Provost Dr. Jeff Kloha. “He has already published widely, both inside and outside The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Concordia Seminary serves ‘church and world’ in providing theological education and leadership, and the awarding of this prestigious and highly competitive grant to Dr. Sánchez demonstrates that the faculty is bringing the Lutheran confession, centered in Christ who sends out His Spirit, to the world.”

Sánchez noted there is a good match between the Institute and Concordia Seminary when it comes to mission. “The Louisville Institute promotes advanced research addressed to church workers and the challenges their congregations deal with,” he said. “Here at the Seminary, we focus on ensuring that our research and teaching relates directly to ministry and the best formation of our students for their future service to the church.”

The grant period is Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2017. Sánchez’ study will be published and his findings incorporated into his teaching. The results of his project also will be shared with church leaders and scholars at future conferences, workshops and symposiums.

About Louisville Institute
Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Louisville, Ky. The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.

The Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Researchers Program enables ecclesially-engaged academics and scholarly religious leaders to conduct a major study that can contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants of up to $40,000 support year-long research projects that address Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions.

About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit www.csl.edu.