Third Encuentro on Latino/a Theological Education,
3ELET: Preliminary Conversation May

"The family as a vital space in faith formation:
Challenges and opportunities in times of pandemic"


MAY 20th, 2021

7:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. (Eastern Time)

The family as a vital space in faith formation: Challenges and opportunities in times of pandemic

From a biblical perspective, the context of the home is recognized as the first and primary space for the formation of the faith of our sons and daughters. However, over the years, families have ceded that role to other institutions, including the church. Now, due to the health crisis caused by the pandemic, the family has regained (forced and unexpectedly) great relevance as the main and often the only space for contact and social interaction. What challenges generated by the pandemic do families face within them and what should we consider in our pastoral accompaniment towards them? What opportunities have we found and / or can we discern in the face of this new relevance of the role of the family? An intergenerational and interdisciplinary group will guide us to answer these questions together.


Dr. Fernando Cascante

Executive Director


Fernando was born and raised in Costa Rica. He has a bachelor’s degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Costa Rica and a bachelor’s degree in Theological Studies from the Latin American Biblical Seminary. He also has an M.A. in Christian Education and an Ed.D. degree from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, in Richmond, VA. From 1992 to 1999, Fernando served a pastor in San José, Costa Rica, as he was also teaching at the Latin American Biblical Seminary and the University of Costa Rica. In January of 2000, he moved to the United States to serve at the faculty of Union Theological Seminary-PSCE in Richmond, Virginia. There he taught until 2009. In April of 2011 Fernando was named Director of Leadership Development and Director of the Justo L. González Center for Hispanic/Latino Ministries of AETH. Since May of 2014, Fernando has served as Executive Director of AETH.

Conversatorio Facilitators

Rvdo. Dr. Edward and Lynda Delgado

Ed, President of the Board of AETH, has served in various Christian boards and is the immediate past President of CHET, Centro Hispano de Estudios Theologica. Lynda has served as a Coordinator of AVA, Advocates for Victims of Abuse, Facilitator for Mending the Soul, and is presently a Crescendo Coach with Evangelical Covenant Church. Both are graduates of Fuller Theological Seminary. They have served in South America, Africa, Central America, and the U.S. Today they live in Spring Valley, California where they are enjoying life with 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren with a new great-grandson on the way.

Rvda. Dra. Geritza Olivella Santana

The Rev. Olivella is an Ordained Minister of the Disciples of Christ Christian Church in Puerto Rico. She is currently the Associate Pastor to the General Pastor in the areas of Family and Church Growth (2015 - present). She has been the Secretary of the Church Cabinet, president of the Program Commission, and a member of the Family Life and Ministerial Formation and Accreditation committees. The pastor is Executive Editor of the educational project for children "SOY un Discípulo de Cristo" and the magazine for Christian education "El Discípulo". She was one of the writers of the special edition of El Discípulo: Salud Integral, published in March 2021. The Rev. Olivella holds a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, a Master of Arts with a concentration in Social Work- Direct Service from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Divinity from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, and a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Church Growth and Community Development from Drew University in New Jersey. The Rev. Geritza Olivella Santana is happily married to David J. Cortés Morales and is the proud mother of Emily and David Daniel.

Rvda. Nydia Fonseca

Costa Rican, Methodist, pastor with 35 years of experience, Bachelor of Political Science, University of Costa Rica, Bachelor of Theology, Latin American Biblical Seminary, Licenses and Master in Theological Sciences, Latin American Biblical University, Diploma in Prevention of Prostitution and Human Trafficking (University of Córdoba, Argentina). Retired teacher of the Latin American Biblical University. For 20 years she coordinated the Pastoral Biblical Institute of the Latin American Biblical University. This program was in charge of generating the accompaniment of churches, seminaries and institutes in all countries for the formation of pastors, pastors, leaders and leaders in the Pastoral Ministry and who for different reasons cannot access university training. She helped in the preparation of 30 courses reflected in physical notebooks, training in the pedagogical model of the Program and advising on the process of preparing similar courses. This teaching / learning process is carried out through agreements, in situ visits and through regional and continental meetings.

Dr. Harold Segura

Harold Segura is World Vision's Director of Faith and Development for Latin America and the Caribbean. Baptist pastor since 1980, theologian, and business administrator. Former Rector of the International Baptist Theological Seminary (1995-2000), today the Baptist University Foundation. University professor and theological teacher since 1985. Linked to the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and specialists in areas of faith and development since 2000. Certified Ontological Coaching (2020) by Newfield Consulting and member of the International Federation of Professional Ontological Coaching, FICOP. Member of the Interreligious Alliance for the 2030 Agenda, of the Latin American Theological Fraternity, and of the International Board of the Movement with Children and Youth. Co-founder of the Latin American Centrality of Childhood Project (PCN), a project promoted by the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM), Caritas, Fe y Alegría, and World Vision of Latin America and the Caribbean. Business Administrator, from the Santiago de Cali University (1984), Bachelor of Theology (1985), Master of Theology (1999) from the International Baptist Theological Seminary of Cali. Theologian (2004) of the Baptist University Foundation, Cali, Colombia. Master of Science in Religion (2007), Evangelical University of the Americas, Costa Rica. Graduated from the doctoral program in Theology at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia (2006-2008). Doctoral student of the Interdisciplinary Doctorate program in Letters and Arts in Central America with an emphasis on Theology, at the National University of Costa Rica.


The Conversatorios are in a totally virtual format and will include a time for the facilitators to present, sessions of breakout group discussions, and final conclusions. The benefits of your participation include sharing your knowledge and experience with a diversity of leaders involved in the theological formation and meeting and connecting with leaders and organizations with interests related to your field of experience, knowledge, and/or research.

General organization of the conversation

After their 7-8 minute presentations, the moderator will provide 2-3 questions to help participants engage the issues shared, with the purposes of identifying: 1. the challenges confronting the church and the formation of its leaders, 2. the practices and resources already available to respond to those challenges, and 3. the opportunities of collaboration that exist or need to be created to strengthen the work of the church and the training programs of its leaders in their response to the identified challenges. Finally, there will be a closing time where the presenters will offer final comments based on the conversations that took place in the small groups and, if possible, point to potential next steps to continue this conversation.

Basic outline of the session (90 minutes)

  1. Welcome and short opening (3 min)
  2. Brief presentation of facilitators and of the plan for the conversation (2min)
  3. Sharing time by facilitators (30-35 min)
  4. Work in small groups (35-40 min) (Group in the conversation will be divided into sub-groups according to the number of participants)
  5. Closing group time (10-15 min) (for closing remarks from facilitators)

Register me to the conversation

Please fill in the following form to register to the Conversatorio

Do you live in the USA?