Center for the Study of Latino Religion receives Pew Trusts grant

Author: Shannon Chapla

The Center for the Study of Latino Religion (CSLR) at the University of Notre Dame has received a $485,000 grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to support the Latino Church Social Service Capacity Study.

Housed in Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, the center will assess the impact Latino congregations have in their communities and the social service infrastructure of the Latino faith community by examining the organizational needs of well-established Latino faith-based organizations in 25 cities. The data gathered will support efforts by the Faith and Service Technical Assistance Network to create more effective organizations.

Edwin I. Hernandez, director of CSLR, will oversee the initiative. Hernandez, who received a doctoral degree in sociology from Notre Dame in 1989, was a program officer for the religion program of The Pew Charitable Trusts from 1999 to 2001. He has administered and conducted research and published numerous articles and reports on Latino religion and spirituality.

In 2002 The Pew Charitable Trusts provided a $1 million grant for the Hispanic Church Research Initiative at Notre Dame. The two-year grant funded an examination of how religious institutions strengthen Latino communities.

The Pew Charitable Trusts ( ) serves the public interest by providing information, policy solutions and support for civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts make investments to provide organizations and citizens with fact-based research and practical solutions on challenging issues. With approximately $4.1 billion in dedicated assets, in 2003 the Trusts committed more than $143 million to 151 nonprofit organizations.

Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies was established in 1999 to promote understanding and appreciation of the Latino experience in the United States through research, education, and outreach. The institute studies Latino spirituality, art, culture, literature, history, politics, and socioeconomic conditions.

Established in 2002, the CSLR serves as a national center and clearinghouse for social scientific study of the U.S. Latino church, its leadership, and the interaction between religion and community. Additional information on this and other center projects is available on the Web at .

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