La Mesa Academy for Theological Studies

A two-year diploma program emphasizing a multicultural approach, designed for those whose traditions do not require a master's degree for ordination.

Why La Mesa?

La Mesa Academy for Theological Studies is an innovative new learning opportunity at Candler, especially designed with multiculturalism at its core. La Mesa offers a welcoming and open environment for students from diverse cultures, ethnicities, and ecclesial traditions who are seeking to theologically reflect on issues impacting the church and our diasporic societies.

Through La Mesa, students are equipped to engage in culturally responsive dialogues that acknowledge the diversity of perspectives and theological stances. The program is designed to increase the intercultural competencies of students. It promotes well-being and includes opportunities to study with a community that engages spiritual formation and contextual educational experiences with global awareness and understanding.

Diploma in Theological Studies

When courses begin in summer-fall 2024, La Mesa Academy will prepare pastors and ecclesial leaders in a two-year hybrid program that combines virtual and in-person learning. The program consists of two semesters per year, with 8 weeks of online courses and an annual 3-4 day in-person residency. The required multilingual courses are offered in Spanish, English and Korean. An optional third year serves as a bridge year for those interested in pursuing a master’s degree.

For students preparing for licensing or ordination, the curriculum was designed to provide an alternative path that does not require a Master of Divinity degree. It also serves students in other ministry roles who believe a theological foundation will allow them to be more faithful and effective.

Learn more about La Mesa Academy

The curriculum for La Mesa students incorporates courses from these areas:

  • Christian Faith: Bible, Theology & History
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • History of Christianity through different cultural lenses
  • Christian theology with an emphasis on different cultural perspectives
  • Advanced courses such as Hispanic and Latinx approaches to biblical interpretation
  • Ministerial Capacity
  • Community and Nonprofit Leadership
  • Spiritual Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Church Administration Leadership
  • Christian Formation and Worship Leadership
  • Public Witness in Civic Engagement Leadership
  • Engaging Culture and Context
  • Ethics and Society
  • Prophetic Leadership and Proclamation
  • The Future of the Multilingual, Multi-generational & Multicultural Church
  • High school diploma or equivalency, including Bible Institute Certificate and/or other ministry experience
  • Purpose statement
  • Autobiographical statement
  • Recommendations
  • Interviews

Educating clergy for the whole church has long been the impetus by which Candler seeks to serve a broader community of constituents. The hope continues to be the formation of culturally diverse clergy for the renewal of the whole church, as a sign of witness to God’s redeeming love for all creation.

Interested in learning more about La Mesa Academy?

Contact us