Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Richard H. Schein

Abstract

Hispanic religious ministry provides a way for long established mainstreams to stay afloat in the face of the demographic realities in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, the lack of literature, particularly in geography, precludes the examination of elements of contemporary Hispanic religious outreach, including such considerations as strategies, their effectiveness, and institutional praxis among mainstream religious denominations in the U.S.

Using a hybrid methodology that relies on several techniques, I examine Hispanic religious ministry in the Upper U.S. South, which geographers tell us is America’s newest Hispanic destination. I, thereby, develop and present here a case study to compare Hispanic religious ministry in Kentucky’s Inner Bluegrass metropolitan region, which has recently been attracting Hispanics. I use three mainstream denominations including the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention to examine the relationships of religious polity, outreach practices, and disparate strategies among these three denominations.

Strategies of Hispanic religious ministry among religious organizations associated with the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention; reflect many similarities, while simultaneously exhibiting much variation throughout the Inner Bluegrass. Similarities in outreach praxis seem to be predicated on tactics wherein agencies have come to dominate the cultures of contemporary mainstream religious denominations, while polities, historically structured to differentiate religious traditions and doctrines within a continuum of congregational versus connectional organization, seemed to account for much variation among these disparate denominations. While Hispanic outreach in the Inner Bluegrass mostly follow national-level plans or strategies, the Roman Catholic denomination seems most efficient and effective in managing new Hispanic ministries in the Inner Bluegrass today.

Share

COinS