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Hector A. Acero Ferrer

Luther appoints Héctor A. Acero Ferrer as Interim Program Coordinator

Martin Luther University College has appointed Héctor A. Acero Ferrer as Interim Program Coordinator of the university’s Bachelor of Arts: Christian Studies and Global Citizenship program. He assumed the role on October 1, 2022.

Kristine Lund, principal-dean at Luther expressed her enthusiasm towards Acero Ferrer’s appointment.

“I am excited to have Héctor take on the interim role for our BA degree. He brings a wealth of experience and has much to offer in his teaching and work with students, staff, and faculty. He will provide important leadership in working with the committee that is reviewing and redeveloping the BA degree,” Lund said.

Acero Ferrer joined Luther as adjunct faculty in January 2016. Throughout his career at the university, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the topics of youth engagement, social justice, community and theology, and intersectionality.

He brings an educational background in philosophy from the University of Toronto (BA 2009) and the Institute for Christian Studies (MA 2016), as well as in theology and pastoral practice from the Toronto School of Theology (MDiv 2013). He has conducted extensive work in the field of interreligious dialogue at Scarboro Missions, the North American Interfaith Network, and The Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, working to develop interfaith curriculum resources, outreach programs, and networking opportunities for youth and young adults.

“That work is what connected me to Luther,” Acero Ferrer explained.

Currently, Acero Ferrer teaches two undergraduate courses offered at Luther, GC241: Engaging Youth Cultures and GC401: Senior Project and Integration Seminar.

“All the courses I teach have a certain personal flavour that I give them, because theology, philosophy and spiritual care are deeply personal. If you don’t model these in your teaching, your students won’t be able to see it in their own practice,” Acero Ferrer said.

Seeing several cohorts of undergraduate students go through his classes has given Acero Ferrer a strong sense of what the BA program can do for them.

“Students want a program where they can integrate faith and learning, but also have a space in which they begin to understand themselves as citizens in a complex world,” he said. “This integration could take place in their lives as family members, as political actors, or simply as people engaged in a specific career. Even if what they are planning to do in life isn’t exactly faith-based, they are seeking the coherence that comes from a strong sense of vocation and purpose.”

To Acero Ferrer, it is essential to develop a program that will help students to go out—into the world—and do something they care about, something that aligns with their values.

 “I usually start my classes by asking my students to share one thing that concerns them, an issue afflicting their communities that keeps them up at night,” Acero Ferrer said. “For some, it may be mental health, for others accessibility, or homelessness and so on. And that’s why they are enrolled in this program, because it is a space that allows them to think how their concerns, their values and their career can intersect.”

According to Acero Ferrer, the program outcomes should always function as a way to understand and provide coherence to the many intersections of life—faith and learning, spirituality and action, global and local, etc.—while giving students a strong sense of vocation that equips them to identify how their academic reflection can lead to a job about which they are passionate.

Acero Ferrer notes that the added value of the BA program comes from the investment of Luther and its faculty members in their teaching and research.

“Luther is a place that, because of its size and emphasis on the students, has the ability to adapt to what our students need, without losing a sense of who we are and our identity as an institution,” he said. “We have a great complement of faculty, all of whom have a strong sense of vocation. I always invite the students to take advantage of the fact that their instructors are people who love what they do, and who are willing to offer a part of who they are in their teaching. That makes Luther a very special place to be a student!”

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