Latinas and Christian Mentoring: A Study in Transformation from a Marred Identity in an Urban Poverty Context

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This study concerns itself with cross-cultural care of Latinas in urban poverty and the Christian women who are their mentors. Latinas are an important and growing population in the United States and this study focuses on intentionally learning about their experience with urban poverty, how that poverty mars their understanding of being created in the image of God and their understanding of being of value and worth to and within the Kingdom of God. This study is further concerned with the Christian women who desire to walk alongside Latinas in urban poverty through Christian mentoring relationships. Through their roles as mentors, these women discover their own marred identity and develop in their understanding of being created in the image of God and being of value and worth to and within the Kingdom of God. Latinas in urban poverty and their Christian mentors are integral to God’s mission and to furthering the Kingdom.

Through the analysis of the data I discovered the importance of creating a mentoring tool that would specifically attend to the needs of Latinas in urban poverty as a means for helping them recover from their marred identity. Themes of urban poverty culture, mentor boundary setting, mentor self-care, and the spirituality of mentoring rose as the first four modules of a mentoring curriculum.

Mentors who receive adequate training are better able to weather the trauma and suffering found in urban poverty contexts, and are more confident in reaching out to Latinas in urban poverty. Latinas who learn of their marred identity through mentoring relationships are better able to understand that they are created in the image of God and are persons of great worth in God’s kingdom. Churches and parachurch organizations benefit from understanding marred identity, their own and that of Latinas in urban poverty. The proposed mentoring curriculum will enhance Christian mentors’ ability to care well for poverty populations and to raise up indigenous leaders who can then mentor back into the poverty context.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Glanville, Elizabeth L.

Document Type



Church work with women; Presbyterian Church; Church work with Hispanic Americans; Hispanic American women; Ethnic identity; Poverty; Identity (Psychology)


Missions and World Christianity


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