Nichole M. Flores ’09 M.Div.
B.A. Smith College 2004
Compelled by our stated mission of “preparing leaders for church and world,” I dedicated much of my time at Yale Divinity School to increasing the presence of Latino/a theological voices at YDS and beyond. In addition to the well-rounded training that is the hallmark of the M.Div. degree, I found ample opportunities to think and write about salient themes in Latino/a theology.
Through the Leadership in Public Ministry (LPM) program, I worked with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group of farm workers primarily from Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti who organize for economic and human rights in the tomato fields of southwest Florida. I was moved by the depth of theological, social and political reflection revealed in my conversations with the workers and movement leaders. These interactions continue to inspire my activism and shape my theology. Outside of the classroom, I was delighted to find many other students who share an interest in Latin American theology, religion, culture, and language. In 2007, several students joined together to form the Yale Divinity Latina/o Association (YDLA). Over the past two years, the YDLA has coordinated and sponsored many events and programs, including workshops on Latino/a theology and a Spanish language lunch table. We are also known for hosting awesome dinners featuring Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Spanish food! These experiences were integral to my formation as a scholar and leader at YDS.
There is never a dull moment at YDS. During my time here, I planned weekly Mass and chapel services with the Catholic Student Fellowship. I was a cast member in the Vagina Monologues and A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer with the Women’s Center. I sang for Alzheimer’s patients and performed in concerts with the Sacramental Winers. I engaged in rigorous theological and political debates with my friends over meals at Archie Moore’s, one of our favorite restaurants. Despite this busy schedule, I did find some time to devote to my personal hobbies including crocheting, baking pies and making homemade tortillas.
This fall, I will matriculate into the Ph.D. program in theological ethics at Boston College, where I will continue to probe the moral issues that impact my communities. I know that my time at YDS has prepared me well for the next step in my education. I look forward to participating in the YDS community for years to come.