The Rev. Nancy Frausto named Director of Latinx Studies at Seminary of the Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest
Posted Aug 9, 2021

Seminary of the Southwest (Southwest) announces the Rev. Nancy Frausto as the new Director of Latinx Studies. Frausto will begin in her role at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year this fall.

“I am humbled and honored to have been called to this position. I love parish ministry and have spent most of my life working in Episcopal Churches engaged in Latinx Ministries,” said Frausto. “I am excited to share everything I have learned with those seeking to learn and work with Latinx communities.  The Episcopal Church needs priests who will uplift the stories and leadership of the Latinx community and who will advocate for structural changes that will make Latinx Ministries in churches with a growing Latinx population a priority, not a side project or a charity case.  I applaud the seminary’s commitment to Latinx ministry in the Episcopal church, and I look forward to the opportunity of creating a space where future priests engage the academic work of Latinx Theologies and the hands-on ‘how-to’ of the complex multigenerational, multilingual, multicultural beauty of Latinx/Latiné Ministry.”

“I am delighted to be welcoming Nancy Frausto to lead Latinx Studies as part of our faculty,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, dean and president. “She joins a lively, growing, and dynamic community of faithful scholars and ministers who are devoted to forming our students in mind and heart. She will be a wonderful colleague in this work.”

As director of Latinx Studies, Frausto will oversee the Latinx Ministry Concentration in the Master of Divinity program as well as other initiatives to develop and sustain Latinx ministry throughout the church. Students in the concentration gain cultural competency while acquiring skills for the practice of ministry with Latinx communities.

“Nancy is a rising leader in Latinx ministry in The Episcopal Church,” said Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, academic dean. “She has worked in multi-ethnic, bilingual churches since her ordination to the priesthood in 2013, and  she has taught at Bloy House, the theological school of the Diocese of Los Angeles. I have already come to know Nancy as a person of infectious joy and prophetic passion with a heart for what she calls “scrappy churches.” She is the right person to help us become a hub for creative Latinx ministry in The Episcopal Church.”

Frausto, born in Zacatecas, Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. as a child. She is the first and only DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiary priest in the Episcopal Church and a founding member of the Diocese of Los Angeles Sanctuary Task Force. Her story was featured by Episcopal News Service last December in marking 50 years of Latino/Hispanic Ministries in The Episcopal Church.

A powerful preacher, teacher, and witness to the power of God’s liberating love, she is the Diocese of Los Angeles’ first Latina leader to have grown up in a Spanish Speaking Episcopal Church who has gone on to pursue ordination. Nancy recognizes the importance of honoring diversity in language, culture, social-economic status, and race in people’s stories. Her passion for storytelling and finding God amid chaos, pain, laughter, and joy drives her desire to share her personal story and hear the stories of others who seek, name, and celebrate Jesus’ loving presence in their lives. Nancy is the recipient of the Episcopal Church Foundation and Beatitudes Society Fellowship. She was named one of the “Future 50” Interfaith Leaders in Los Angeles to watch by the Interreligious Council of Southern California.  In 2013, Nancy completed her Diploma in Theology from Bloy House, the Episcopal Seminary at Claremont School of Theology; she received the Thomas Cranmer Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement in Liturgical Scholarship and the Preaching Excellence Award. Online magazine named her one of their 12 effective Women Preachers.  In the spring of 2018, CBS network featured her work on their documentary Race, Religion & Resistance.


About Seminary of the Southwest

Rooted in the reconciling ministry of Christ, the mission of Seminary of the Southwest is to form people for vocations of ministry, service, and healing. Established in Austin, TX, in 1952 by Bishop John Hines, Seminary of the Southwest is one of 10 accredited seminaries in The Episcopal Church.

The insight and creativity with which Seminary of the Southwest engages the Christian tradition with the reality of the contemporary world makes it a leader among institutions of higher learning, both within and beyond The Episcopal Church. Sustained by innovative teaching and research, Southwest forms servant leaders who minister in a diverse culture with confidence and humility. The seminary has the financial and spiritual capacity to discern and develop new programs to advance God’s mission of healing and reconciliation.

Southwest provides excellent residential formation for ordained ministry; has a sought-after masters degree in clinical mental health counseling; offers professional master’s degrees to lay professionals and church leaders in a range of denominations and faith traditions; and serves the church through innovative models for local formation and ongoing training.