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School of Theology and Ministry

Hispanic Ministry Program Language Requirement

school of theology and ministry

Students in the Hispanic Ministry Track (Master and Certificate) need to demonstrate basic knowledge of the Spanish language (reading and speaking). Students in this concentration must be able to communicate in English and Spanish. Knowing English is crucial because they will serve as bridges among the immigrant community, the Latinos/as who have lived in the United States for more than one generation, and the rest of the U.S. population. Knowing Spanish is very important for the effectiveness of their ministry as they, more likely than not, will work in communities where first-generation Latinos/as will be present. Native speakers are exempt from this requirement.


By the end of their first academic semester, Hispanic Ministry students need to contact the Director of Hispanic Ministry programs and schedule a thirty-minute meeting. During this meeting the Director of Hispanic Ministry will make a preliminary assessment of the Spanish language skills of the student by means of a brief conversation in Spanish. Students will receive appropriate advice on how to complete the language requirement by the end of the program. Students judged to possess a high level of fluency may be exempted from this requirement. The Director of Hispanic Ministry will make this decision at the conclusion of this preliminary meeting.

Options for Learning or Improving Spanish Skills

1. Immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking country (minimum two-weeks). The student must demonstrate that he/she was enrolled in a language school during this experience and that his/her language skills truly improved.

2. Take a Spanish course at Boston College’s Department of Romance Languages, the
Woods School of Advancing Studies or through Harvard Divinity School’s Spanish for Ministry course.

3. Other options must be discussed with the Director of Hispanic Ministry programs.

Examination Procedure

During the LAST semester of academic studies, Hispanic Ministry students need to contact the Director of Hispanic Ministry programs and schedule a two-component language exam:

a. Oral component: a 30-minute conversation in Spanish.
b. Written component: a translation of a text related to the student’s future work in ministry from Spanish into English.

Upon completion of the examination, the Director of Hispanic Ministry programs will communicate the results to the Chairperson of the Department and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Updated October 23, 2013