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NHCLC’s Education Sunday To Be Celebrated in All 50 States on Sept. 3

Thousands of Congregations Unite in Support of High-Quality Education for All American Students

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – For the first time ever, National Education Sunday – an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Faith and Education Coalition – will be celebrated across all 50 states. From Alaska to Alabama, congregations, especially those representing minorities and other low-income and marginalized communities, will unite in support of a common goal: quality education for all students regardless of ZIP code, ethnicity or income.

National Education Sunday will be held on Sept. 3, 2017, and invites congregations from multiple denominations and ethnic backgrounds to commit to advocating for, and working on behalf of education excellence in their communities.

Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition – NHCLC, adds, “Churches are central to much of American life, but this is perhaps especially true when it comes to Hispanic, African-American and immigrant communities. As such, church gatherings are a natural place for parents and community leaders to discuss education. So often, these communities have been left out of the discussion or unsure of how to even begin to get involved. Education Sunday is an effective means by which more people at a grassroots level can engage this critically important conversation.

Dr. Ramirez notes that Education Sunday is an ideal time to invite a principal, teacher, or district leader to share ways the church can best serve and support local students and schools. “This is a great opportunity to invite all local stakeholders to the table. Our prayer is that education equity can become a reality for all children across our country. The era of families moving solely to gain access to ‘the good schools’ needs to end, and churches can be a part of the solution.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC/CONEL and a former public-school educator adds, “A lot of people are unaware that, according to multiple polls, education is consistently the No. 1 or No. 2 most important issue to Hispanics. This is largely because we know that education is – or at least should be – our society’s great equalizer. Education Sunday is about helping local communities ensure that remains true for the next generation.”

The NHCLC hosts a resource page at www.FaithandEducation.com for churches participating in Education Sunday. Bilingual tools, resources and other information for parents and church leaders include:

  • Education Sunday Tools for Churches: resources include a sample sermon, Bible studies for a variety of age groups, bilingual “Back to School” tips from Scholastic, bilingual information from the College Board and more.


  • More through the year: resources are provided year-round, including a monthly education e-newsletter and an electronic bilingual College. Church leaders will learn how they can participate in state-based conversations such as school accountability and guaranteeing English language learners have access to information for student success.


  • Parent Toolkit: parents can plan for a successful school year with tips for student success, parent-teacher conference guides, suggestions for test prep, and links to academic standards by grade level.

Dr. Antipas Harris, a member of the NHCLC Board and a leader in the Faith and Education Coalition, encourages African-American churches to join Education Sunday: “From both practical and moral perspectives, education is a key mechanism in pursuit of equality in society. Education sharpens students’ critical thinking and prepares them for an outstanding future. Education Sunday shows that the Church advocates for children to rise to fulfill their God-given potential. That is as true of the African-American community as it is for Hispanics, whites and Asians. All groups and communities should be involved in ensuring education equity for our children.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL), the nation’s leading organization for 16 million Hispanic-American Evangelicals, founded Education Sunday in 2005. The NHCLC holds Education as one of its core directives, advocating for education equity and high academic standards for all students.

When we come together on behalf of our children and our students, we act as an influencing agent within our culture and an agent of change within our communities. Join us on Sept. 3 as we support excellent education options for every child in America,” adds Rev. Rodriguez.



Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leaders Conference (NHCLC). With 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states, the Faith and Education Coalition advocates for high-quality education options for all of America’s children.


Website | www.faithandeducation.com


NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.


Website | www.nhclc.org                    Twitter | @nhclc

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Applauds Independent Peer Review of State Accountability Plans

“Not only does this review identify a set of best practices that will help states improve their plans, they have also drawn attention to a glaring hole in the state plans that have already been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education…”

—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement in reaction to the Collaborative for Student Success’ Check State Plans project released Tuesday, June 27, 2017:

“Today, the Collaborative for Student Success released what I believe, represents a landmark achievement in the discussion surrounding public education (K-12) accountability. While most agree districts and schools must and should serve all of its students well, these statements are seldom backed up with specific measures outlining what good accountability looks like, especially regarding educational equity for Hispanics, minorities and lower-income students.

“The Collaborative’s Check State Plans project changes that. By working hand-in-hand with Bellwether Education Partners, their peer review of state accountability plans provides states across the country with a set of comprehensive feedback from education experts that will help to move our nation closer to ensuring all of America’s students, regardless of race, income or ZIP code, have access to a high quality, public education.

“Not only does this review identify a set of best practices that will help states improve their plans, they have also drawn attention to a glaring hole in the state plans that have already been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education: none of the 17 plans that they reviewed adequately address how they will ensure a high-quality education for all students. Effective accountability clearly impacts education equality, one of the most critical social justice issues of our time, and the Check State Plans projects underscores the fact that there is more work to do. I applaud the Collaborative for Student Success for their leadership in this important area.”


Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America. 

NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. 

Website | www.nhclc.org Twitter | @nhclc 


Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leaders Conference (NHCLC). With 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states, the Faith and Education Coalition advocates for high-quality education options for all of America’s children.


Website | www.faithandeducation.com

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A discussion on the challenges facing Hispanic education today

A Q&A with David Park of Learning Heroes: parents are the key to education

Last week, during President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, he declared education to be “the civil rights issues of our time,” echoing similar statements by past Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. I couldn’t agree more.

Hispanics and other minorities comprise a growing proportion of the student population in America, and yet their test scores continue to lag dangerously behind white counterparts. As such, education equality is the frontline of the battle for America’s future. That’s why this week I want to highlight the incredible work of David Park of Learning Heroes, to get his perspective on this critical issue. My hope is that his insights will give parents practical tools they can use to help ensure their child’s success in the classroom.

SR: What do you see as the greatest challenges in education today?

DP: There are certainly challenges in education, but there are also tremendous opportunities – so let’s start there. We know from our national survey, Parents 2016, that K-8 parents and guardians have high aspirations for their children. 83% of African American parents and 90% of Hispanic parents believe that a two- or four-year college degree is very important.
A big challenge, however, is that too many young people are still unprepared for success after high school. In fact, 60% of first-year college students need to take remedial courses to help them catch up to a college level. Research also shows that parents play a critical role in their child’s academic progress – and that’s where Learning Heroes comes in.

SR: How does Learning Heroes help parents to get involved?

DP: At Learning Heroes, our number one goal is to equip parents with information, resources, and simple actions to take to support their children’s success. According to a RAND study, families may have four-to-eight times more impact on student achievement than teachers (and teachers are obviously incredibly important). But many parents need some help identifying what they can do to best support their child in school.

The first step for parents is to understand where your child excels and where he or she needs additional support. As a group, 87% of Hispanic parents believe their child is at or above grade level in math (NAEP scores tell us reality is 26%); and 84% in reading (reality is 21%).

SR: How can parents get a more accurate picture of their child’s academic achievement?

DP: Together, teacher feedback, grades, parent observations, and the upcoming annual state test results can give parents a good picture of whether their child is performing at grade level and whether he or she will be prepared for success next year. Our website, BeALearningHero.org features tools and resources in English and Spanish from trusted organizations all in one place – organizations such as Scholastic, National PTA, GreatSchools and others.

SR: After so many states adopted new standards, how are we now testing students?

DP: The Common Core debate has left a lot of parents confused about testing standards. The bottom line is that each state must measure every child’s progress in reading and math in grades 3-8 and at least once during grades 10-12.

SR: Why is the annual state test so important?

DP: Annual state test results help parents understand how prepared their child will be for the next grade. Combined with grades and classroom work, the state test can help a parent know how well their child is meeting grade level expectations in math and English Language Arts.

SR: What are some tips for parents as they help their children get ready for the annual state test?

DP: Parents can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty by checking out sample test questions or even reviewing a practice test, all of which are available at our website. We’ve also created an online guide, “Ready for the Test,” which is available in English and Spanish. “Ready for the Test” includes lots of other state specific information and tips – from looking at last year’s test results, to talking to the teacher about the test, tackling test nerves and more.

SR: What are some other Learning Heroes resources in English and Spanish? How have you seen these strategies benefit both children and parents?

DP: Most of our resources are available in both English and Spanish. A good example of a helpful English/Spanish resource is our Readiness Roadmap, which was developed in partnership with Univision and National PTA. The Readiness Roadmap is a guide that helps parents understand each stage of their child’s development—from what children are expected to know each grade year and how parents can support social, emotional and academic learning at home, to starting the college planning process and more.

Based on an initial study conducted earlier this year and from what we’ve seen in communities where we’re working, we know that the strategy of meeting parents where they are and providing them with actionable resources is having a very significant and positive impact in terms of parent knowledge, skills and actions on behalf of their child’s academic success. The fact of the matter is, parents are the key and the data supports this. That’s why Learning Heroes exists, to help parents help their children succeed.

Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leaders Conference (NHCLC), with 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states.

Original article can be read here: http://www.univision.com/univision-news/opinion/a-discussion-on-the-challenges-facing-hispanic-education-today

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NHCLC EDUCATION REFORM WHITE PAPER – By Dr. Jesse Miranda and Dr. Gus Reyes

NHCLC Senior partner is Indiana Wesleyan University. NHCLC also has strategic partnerships with Liberty University, Regent University, Denver Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university that is committed to liberal arts and professional education. U.S. News & World Report ranks Indiana Wesleyan University as “one of the best Master’s universities in the Midwest.” Over 3,200 students live and learn in state-of-the-art residence halls and academic facilities on IWU’s residential campus in Marion, Indiana. More than 80 majors are offered, covering everything from Art to Theology and Ministry. An increasing number of honors students on the residential campus has led to the formation of the John Wesley Honors College. Another 12,000 adult learners attend classes at regional IWU Education Centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, as well as through our Online Degree programs, including Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degree offerings such as the Master of Education, certificates, and electives. The innovative adult education program, which was established in 1985, has received national attention. IWU has been Indiana’s fastest-growing University for the past two years. The University’s total enrollment, which now exceeds 15,000 students, makes IWU the largest private university in Indiana. One result of this growth has been the establishment of the IWU School of Nursing, a premier nursing school in its own right. Indiana Wesleyan University stands ready – with the resources and the passion – to equip future generations of learners with skills they will need to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world.

Liberty University is the largest and fastest growing Christian Evangelical university in the world. Founded in 1971 by my father, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., Liberty started with his vision to train young Champions for Christ. We’re now the largest private university in Virginia, offering more than 60 accredited programs of study. Our campus boasts top-notch facilities and state-of-the-art technology, but our original mission and purpose remains strong as we continue to grow. Liberty hosts some of the world’s best-known Christian evangelists, speakers and performers every semester, and our vibrant spiritual life based on a solid doctrinal statement truly sets us apart from other schools. While academics and faith are our top priorities, Liberty is also pleased to offer NCAA Division I athletics and many recreational opportunities. Everything we do is designed to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.

NHCLC and Regent University
Regent University is proud to be NHCLC’s graduate programs partner. Founded in 1977, and led by the nation’s first Latino President at a Christian university, Dr. Carlos Campo, Regent is one of the country’s leading centers of Christian thought and action. Our commitment to a Biblically based curriculum empowered by the Holy Spirit, rigorous academics and an uncompromisingly Christ-first approach to higher learning has resulted in nearly 15,000 outstanding graduates. They are Christian leaders serving and impacting communities across 88 nations at every level of society.

Leadership, Character and Excellence.
More than a repository of knowledge, our primary calling is to see Jesus Christ glorified and the body of Christ prepared to serve Him. Therefore, our broad range of online and on-campus programs purposefully develop students’ character, knowledge, skill, and vision to lead and uplift societies on a global scale. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent’s online programs in the Top 25 of all universities in the nation, with faculty credentials and student engagement as our key strengths.* With this gold standard recognition, Christian higher education through Regent University is accessible and flexible without compromise in quality.

A Diverse Global Community and Service.
Regent is especially proud that our student, faculty, and staff community reflects the range of God’s creation. Our student body is comprised of 33 percent non-Caucasian students and is expanding rapidly as we develop services to meet their needs. Additionally, we have created The Center for Latino Leadership, the Youth and Urban Renewal Center, and RUGlobal, a 10-year project to infuse a global perspective, cross-cultural understanding and practical training across our curriculum. We are also delighted to co-develop with NHCLC, Take 2 Through College—a special program offering scholarships, mentorship and other community-based support to increase student success through college graduation.

We open our hearts and hands to the NHCLC community and invite you to discover how Regent University can help you fulfill your calling or how you can participate in any of our community-based centers and programs. Visit Regent’s Center for Latino Leadership at www.regent.edu/nhclc.
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, Certificate and Continuing Education Programs. Christian Leadership to Change the World.
* Source: U.S. News & World Report Online Education: www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Regent University & NHCLC

Denver Seminary is committed to the great truths and abiding fundamentals of the Christian faith. Each year trustees, administration and faculty are required to affirm and sign Denver Seminary’s doctrinal statement without mental reservation.

Students and Seminary staff are required to affirm and sign the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith.
National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith

1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary combines a rich tradition with cutting-edge educational innovation. Rooted in the gospel and God’s Word, the seminary seeks to develop Christian leaders who are thoughtful, globally aware, spiritually mature and ready for a broad array of ministries.

We are deeply privileged to have a history that includes people of vision in the founding and development of what is now Gordon-Conwell such as A. J. Gordon, Russell Conwell, Harold John Ockenga and Billy Graham. They provide a heritage and paradigm from which we are moving into the future. While being historically orthodox and evangelical, we seek to address the issues of our times with both relevance to the culture and faithfulness to Christ and God’s truthful Word.

Gordon-Conwell is unique with its broad array of students from 96 denominations and 38 different countries. We offer multiple sites and delivery systems to meet the varied needs you might have as a prospective student. These include a classical model of residential education at the South Hamilton, MA campus; an urban context offering classes in five languages in downtown Boston, MA (CUME); and adult educational models in both our Charlotte, NC campus and our offerings in Jacksonville, FL. Along with these campuses we have online offerings to address student needs, despite location and vocational commitments. And our Doctor of Ministry programs, delivered at various locations, are geared to provide strength and renewal for your own ministry and calling.

If you come to Gordon-Conwell, what can you expect? You can anticipate being pushed to think in ways you never imagined, for the Church needs thinking Christians who can address our contexts from a Christian worldview perspective. You will be prodded to deepen your walk with Christ, while looking outward to the needs of the world. You will meet professors and fellow-students who may think differently than you do about those parts of our faith that are secondary to the core. And, they will expand your own theological and spiritual horizons. You will find professors who are world renowned while giving themselves personally to your needs and concerns. You will be encouraged to have a passion for a world without Christ, while giving attention to the needs of the whole person and the whole of society. You will sometimes be nudged beyond your comfort zone to become prepared to serve Christ wherever he calls you.

God is doing exciting things at and through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. We’d love to have you join this dynamic community. Whether you sense a leading to pastoral ministry, cross-cultural ministries, teaching ministries, counseling or a lay person serving Christ in the marketplace, I encourage you to consider Gordon-Conwell, a seminary helping the Church to think and live.

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Professor of Christian Ethics

Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu

William Jessup University is a private, Christian liberal arts institution founded in 1939. The main campus is located in Rocklin, California, a vibrant community in the Sacramento metropolitan area. WJU enrolls students from across the country and around the world.

In partnership with the Church, William Jessup University prepares Christians for leadership and service in church and society, through Christian higher education, spiritual formation and directed experiences.

The university offers rigorous academic programs from Business Administration to Youth Ministry and inspires its’ graduates to become learners, leaders, professionals and people who make a difference in the world. WJU is the first private Christian university in the Sacramento area accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The state-of-the art, 128 acre campus provides endless opportunities to meet the growing needs of students allowing them to experience the most of college life.

Community is built across the campus through classroom discussions, spiritual formation groups and informal gatherings. Relationships are vital for the growth of our students and university. Our students encourage one another through social interaction, ministries, intercultural celebrations and community service.

William Jessup University offers degrees in many different disciplines, including Business Administration, Family & Children’s Ministry, English, History, Intercultural Studies, Liberal Studies (Teacher Education), Math, Music, Pastoral Ministry, Psychology, Public Policy and Youth Ministry. Anticipated majors include fields in the humanities and science.

WJU also offers an accelerated learning program known as the School of Professional Studies (SPS) at its campuses in Rocklin and San Jose. Program concentrations include Business Administration, Christian Leadership, Counseling Psychology and a Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Credential Program.

For more information, please visit www.jessup.edu or call (916) 577-2200.

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Under DeVos, the Real School Choice Christians Face

The future of public education will depend on the church.

Andrea Reyes Ramirez/ February 7, 2017

new administration’s nominee for Secretary of Education doesn’t usually steal the show. Betsy DeVos made headlines during her prolonged and contentious nomination process which ended in approval today. While some evangelical supporters of homeschooling, private school, and charter school options are celebrating a school choice advocate’s appointment to this all-important role (and a graduate of the evangelical liberal arts school, Calvin College, at that), other conservative Christian public school parents and advocates are disheartened by DeVos’s limited personal history with our nation’s public schools (she has mentored in public schools but not attended, taught, or sent children to public schools).

In light of varying perspectives about this appointment, Christian leaders will need to think afresh about their relationship to local public schools, where more than 90 percent of America’s children are educated. What comes…[READ COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/february-web-only/under-devos-real-school-choice-christians-face.html ]

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“We urge Sec. DeVos to make education equity in our public schools a top priority at the Department of Education. Access to high-quality education must be guaranteed for every American student, regardless of income, race or zip code.”

–Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Faith and Education Coalition Executive Director

AUSTIN, TX. – Following the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, the Faith and Education Coalition of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) congratulates Sec. DeVos and calls on her to ensure that all America’s children have access to high quality education.

“The Faith and Education Coalition congratulates the newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. We share her commitment to high standards and quality education for all children as well as a shared belief that each child has been created in the image of God,” said Faith and Education Coalition Executive Director, Dr. Andrea Ramirez.

“We, as people of faith, dedicate to faithfully pray for Sec. DeVos and her staff throughout her term as secretary. As citizens invested in the future of our children, we commit to work at state and local levels to support students to achieve their God-given potential. We are grateful and encouraged that Sec. DeVos has demonstrated a commitment to honor the Imago Dei in each child,” Dr. Ramirez added. “We pray this will be the hallmark of her service in the Department of Education. May income, race and zip code no longer determine a child’s educational outcome as we work together to provide excellent education options to all students.”

The Faith and Education Coalition calls on Sec. DeVos to prioritize education excellence for the more than 50 million students enrolled in public schools, the majority of whom are students of color. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, minority students, when added together, made up the majority of students that year — a shift largely fueled by growth in the number of Hispanic children. At 55 million strong, Hispanics are the largest minority group in the nation. Education tops the list of social concerns for Latinos in America.

“We encourage Sec. DeVos to make high quality public education a top priority in her vision for America’s students. Hispanic and minority students will soon take their place as leaders in our nation. Thus, as the Department of Education empowers these children to succeed in the classroom, America will also succeed both economically and socially, as a result of producing millions of skilled students, workers, professionals, and entrepreneurs. We will also succeed in serving as a world leader in education. In short, when minority students win, America wins.”

Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). With 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states, the Faith and Education Coalition advocates to ensure every child in America has access to high-quality education.

Website | www.faithandeducation.com

NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit www.nhclc.org.

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