By: Catherine Doud

Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid speaks to the participants of the 2018 Theological Institute in ConcordiaDr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid was the speaker for the 2018 Theological Institute held July 12-15, 2018 at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia. Her topic was "Salvation and the Community of Faith."

Dr. Pineda-Madrid is an associate professor of Theology and Latino/a Ministry, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; vice president, International Network of Society of Catholic Theology; past-president, Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States; and author of "Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez," and "Hope: Promise, Possibility and Fulfillment."

"It is the violence in Ciudad Juarez that has forced me to ask questions about salvation," she said during the opening night of the Institute. "The border region is very much a part of my interest in salvation. We'll be looking at salvation and what it means to confront the broken and fragmentary experience of our lives, and how Jesus and the Church provide that release."

The Institute began with a discussion and reflection on the nature of sin, both personal and social.

"We live in a time right now where we have to ask ourselves, when is fear a sin?" Dr. Pineda-Madrid said.

Following the discussion of the nature of sin, three models of salvation were presented over the course of four days: salvation as expiation or atonement; salvation as liberation, and salvation as divinization or transforming love. Each model was explained through Scripture and texts, as well as by putting it into the context of theological figures in history.

"I want to present us with a range of models of salvation," she said as she gave the group a roadmap of the upcoming days of study. "There are a lot of ways to think about salvation. They aren't mutually exclusive; they spill into each other."

Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid speaks about the three models of salvation.Dr.Pineda-Madrid grew up near the border in El Paso, Texas. She is the niece of Sister Esther Pineda, CSJ of Concordia (deceased). Her parents, Gus and Rachel, attended the institute. Gus is Sister Esther's brother.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia established the annual Theological Institute as a way to continue their long-standing educational tradition, exemplified by the schools they founded and staffed, including Marymount College in Salina, Kansas. The program is held each summer in Concordia.

The 2019 Theological Institute is scheduled for July 18-21 and will feature Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, speaking on the topic, "The Sin of Racism." Dr. Williams is the author of the book "Subversive Habits: Black Nuns and the Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America." Her study chronicles the epic journey of black Catholic sisters in the United States from their fiercely contested beginnings in the nineteenth century to the present day. For more information on reserving a spot for the 2019 Theological Institute, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[Catherine Doud is the Director of Communications for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.]