The Church’s Response to the Imigration Crisis certificate offers a biblical, legal, pastoral, and ministerial preparation for Christian leaders to respond to the current moment immigrant communities are facing.

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra,DMiss.

Program Coordinator – Professor for Organizing module

Alexia Salvatierra is the author along with Peter Hetzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (IVP Press) and founder of “Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork.” She was the Director for Justice for the California Southwest Lutheran Synod under Bishop Nelson’s leadership. Aditionally to her work as Associate Pastor at Hope Church in Hollywood, she currently is Assistant Professor of Mission and Global Transformation at Fuller Theological Seminary. She also si Adjunct Faculty at Eastern University, Asuza Pacific Seminary, Biola University and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. She is the “madrina” and part of the board of Matthew 25 SoCal.

Oscar García-Johnson, PhD.

Academic Dean for Centro Latino – Professor for Bible and Theology module.

Oscar García-Johnson is associate professor of theology and Latino/a studies, and academic dean for the Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community (Centro Latino). He is author of several books, including his most recent publication Spirit Outside the Gate: Decolonial Pneumatologies of the American Global South (IVP Academic, 2019). Prior to joining the Fuller faculty in 2008, he taught for ten years as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller. He also served as a regional minister with the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles for 11 years and planted four new churches in Southern California. In addition to teaching courses at Fuller, García-Johnson is a social activist involved in faith-rooted holistic justice with Matthew 25 of Southern California, LA RED, and CCDA

Lisseth Rojas-Flores, PhD.

Professor for Pastoral Responses module

Lisseth Rojas-Flores is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Rojas-Flores’ research centers on immigrant children’s well-being with particular focus on how trauma, community violence, and socio-structural adversity impacts the child and family unit. With funding from the Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars Program, Rojas-Flores examined the impact of immigration enforcement on Latino citizen—children’s psychological and academic well-being in the U.S. In an international context, she conducts collaborative research to examine the impact of community violence and trauma on adolescents, parents, and teachers living in El Salvador. In Colombia, as part of a multidisciplinary research team, she examines the challenges caused by forced migration and works to mobilize local religious communities to support people in situations of internal displacement (IDPs) recover and flourish.

Robert Chao Romero, PhD, JD.

Professor for Legal Basis module

Rev. Dr. Robert Chao Romero is “Asian-Latino,” and has been a professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA since 2005.  He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley, and is also an attorney. Romero has published 15 academic books and articles on issues of race, immigration, history, education, and religion, and received the Latina/o Studies book award from the international Latin American Studies Association. He is a former Ford Foundation and U.C. President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, as well as a recipient of the Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Researchers.  Robert is also an ordained pastor. Together with his wife Erica, he is the co-founder of Jesus 4 Revolutionaries, a Christian ministry to activists, as well as the co-chair of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California.  

Rev. M. Ava Steaffens, JD.

Professor for Advocacy module

Rev. Ava Steaffens leads the World Relief office of Southern California. Previously, she was the executive director of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) in Chicago, IL. Before leading CCDA, Ava leds KidWorks Community Development Corporation in Santa Ana, CA for 15 years. It focused on community work, civic commitment, and education and advocacy. Prior to entering my community development career, I practiced immigration law in Orange County, CA for 18 years. She is also licensed as a attorney to practice in California.