LU strengthens ties with Hispanic evangelicals, adds LUOA
February 17, 2010 | University Advancement staff
In an unprecedented move, Liberty University Online and Liberty University Online Academy have formed a three-year partnership with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), becoming the online academy and online university of choice for Hispanic Americans nationwide.
The NHCLC is the largest Hispanic Christian organization in America representing more than 25,000 churches and approximately 16 million Hispanic Christians.
Jay Spencer, dean of Online Non-Degree Programs at LUOA, said the partnership “indicates the level of commitment to and the compatibility of our educational programs with NHCLC’s mission and vision.”
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC president, spoke at a convocation at Liberty University in October 2008 and invigorated students with his unshakeable testimony and passion for spiritual revival.
“Our desire is to see Hispanic born-again Christians mobilized on both the vertical and horizontal planes of the cross, preaching salvation and transforming their communities,” he said at convocation. “This can only transpire via the platform of top-tier education.”
Orlando Lobaina, Liberty’s executive director of the Study Abroad office, said the partnership was a step in the right direction.
“When our students heard Reverend Rodriguez speak, it was obvious that the NHCLC and Liberty were on the same page. Our common emphasis on family, faith and higher education make this partnership a natural fit.”
In 2008, after tracking demographic trends, Liberty and the NHCLC both saw a greater demand for higher education among Hispanic evangelicals who, according to the NHCLC, represent the fastest growing demographic of the Christian church in America and the Western hemisphere.
From the outset, NHCLC chairman Dr. Gilbert Velez called the partnership “historic and prophetic,” because it enables Latino children to “study in an environment that resonates with their biblical worldview.”
Dr. Jesse Miranda, chief executive of the NHCLC, sees the partnership and the emphasis on education as the primary concern for the Hispanic Evangelical community as it fosters next-generation leadership that can holistically live and execute the Gospel.