Rod Light | January 25, 2019

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Spanish-speaking students can earn a Master of Arts degree in Leadership in their first language at Life Pacific University.

When Life Pacific College transitions to Life Pacific University in July 2019, a new graduate program will launch offering Spanish-speaking students a Master of Arts degree in Leadership – in their first language.

For Program Director Daniel Ruarte, Ed.D., the new program is a personal milestone of lifelong learning for him and he hopes for other Spanish-speaking professionals and pastors.

“When I accepted Christ at the age of 16 in a Southern California Hispanic Church, I needed to learn, although I never dreamed I would become an educator,” Daniel says. “I was so captured by God that I needed to learn more. Fortunately, my pastor held classes in Spanish that met that need and taught me to become a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”

Fast-forward 20 years now. Daniel is a graduate of Life Pacific’s Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership program and holds a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. He has been a pastor for 12 years, a business owner, and has taught courses at some of the largest Christian universities in the U.S.

Daniel says executives and ministry leaders who serve in Spanish language contexts have been waiting for a program of this caliber. Life Pacific received a 90% positive support rating for the program on a survey sent to 300 Hispanic leaders. Interest is gaining momentum as Spanish-speaking leaders hear about the quality and substance of the program.

Leaders already committed to the first cohort in July include Rev. Fernando and Rosa Castillo, from the Rock en Español, Rev. Walter Ramos and Eduardo Belmont from Dios Restaura, Rev. Carmen Ortiz from Ministerio Internacional Deborah, and Rev. Silvia Cortes from La Iglesia en el Camino Los Angeles. Some 35 candidates have expressed interest in the program because it is delivered exclusively in one of the top three spoken languages in the world, the other two being English and Mandarin.

“Part of the greater vision of LPU is to position itself as the flagship Pentecostal institution of higher learning globally,” Daniel says. “The Master of Arts in Leadership in Spanish will expand LPU’s reach to new demographics and new geographic areas.”

Additionally, the new MA in Leadership in Spanish has received the full endorsement of the Hispanic Theological Association (ATH), an educational initiative of the nationally recognized Association of Theological Schools, ATH is an organization committed to Hispanic ministerial education that is promoting and supporting LPU Hispanic Programs.

“Imagine leaders from all walks of life and generations, a well-trained generation of Hispanic business owners, executives, non-profit leaders, pastors, and ministry leaders all receiving graduate education at Life Pacific University,” Daniel says.

Two woman smiling and working at computers.Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Salmeier, D.Phil., acknowledges the many Hispanic Bible institutes that have faithfully taught students over the years in their native language. With this new program, Michael says that Life Pacific will offer those graduates this regionally accredited, graduate-level program from a Pentecostal perspective.

“We want to thank institutions such as Facultad de Teología Internacional (Facultad Bible College), a ministry at Beverly Blvd. Montebello Foursquare Church, that has been developing Hispanic students for graduate level education and Angelus Bible Institute (ABI), a ministry at Angelus Temple Hispanic Church, that has been training Hispanic pastors and leaders for vocational ministry and are partnering with us in this new program.”

Daniel believes the Master of Arts in Leadership in Spanish offered at Life Pacific University is the first of its kind in the nation. “I have seen Hispanic programs in theology, ministry and even Christian education offered in Spanish,” he says. “A program exclusively in Spanish that will train individuals to lead organizations or ministries in their native language is something tremendously exciting and innovative.”

Learn more about the M.A. in Leadership in Spanish.

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Contact the Office of Hispanic Programs at