For the last 10 years God has given me the opportunity to serve as an administrator in Christian higher education. Through my service as director of missions, student services, and professor of theology, I was able to confirm my call to higher education. I was recently appointed Dean of Students at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas.
I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving students now in the role of Dean of Students and be a catalyst for promoting success and opportunities of growth among all students at Criswell College. I hope to plant seeds through our initiatives so that our students succeed and flower when they graduate and respond to God’s call in their life. I take great joy being an effective, responsive agent in students’ lives. My hope is that the Office of the Dean of Students provides the support students need to persevere and thrive during their college years at Criswell
Criswell College is committed to equipping Christian leaders to serve as Ambassadors, Cultivators, Peacemakers, Problem Solvers, and Professionals.
After considering the immense task of training and educating Hispanic ministers and professionals, Criswell has accepted the call to be a blessing to the Hispanic community and has taken strategic steps to fulfill that call. For that reason, in 2019, Criswell offered for the first time a scholarship called the “Timoteo Scholarship.” This scholarship is offered exclusively to Hispanic students and covers 75% of the cost of tuition and housing for four years and also covers 75% of the cost of a trip to Israel.
Criswell College is being faithful to God’s call to train Hispanic leaders. An example of this is Mariana Piña, recipient of the “Timoteo Scholarship” and international student from Venezuela. Mariana testifies that she was able to find a family who welcomed her with open arms and provided opportunities for academic and professional development at Criswell College. She is currently the first ever president of Psi Chi, the international psychology honors society chapter at Criswell.
Another example of our effort to bless the Latino community is Vanessa Loera Cruz who graduated this May 2021 with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Born to a Mexican father and a Salvadoran mother, Vanessa was born in the United States and thanks to her preparation at Criswell College she is ready to be a blessing in the educational area of the Dallas school district.
Other Hispanic students like Omar Rivera and Miguel Torres graduated this year with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and in Psychology. During his time at Criswell, Omar served as the Executive Leader of Student Government and plans to continue his studies and serve in bilingual ministries. Miguel was a psychology tutor and graduated with honors from the psychology undergraduate program and plans to continue in the Master of Professional Counseling program also offered at Criswell. According to the US Census Bureau, by the middle of this year 2021, Latinos will be the largest population group in the state of Texas.
Criswell College is a fully accredited university and is ready to be a blessing to Latinos in Texas, the United States, and around the world.
This article was originally published by The Baptist Standard’s Spanish news edition.
Luis Juárez, Criswell College Dean of Students, UMHB doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership Concentration in Higher Education Administration, and FBC Kaufman en Español Administration Member