Samuel Cruz

Assistant Professor of Church and Society
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
New York, N.Y.
Samuel Cruz

Biography

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz completed his Ph.D at Drew University, Madison, N.J. in 2002 under the directorship of internationally renowned philosopher and sociologist of religion, Dr. Otto Maduro. Cruz also completed the M. Phil from Drew University in 1999. He received the M.A., magna cum laude, from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, N.J., and is a 1987 graduate of the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Cruz’s publications include two books, Masked Africanisms: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2005) as well as Christianity and Culture in the City: A Post Colonial Approach (Lexington Books, 2013), he is currently working on a book project "Latinas and the LGBT community: Implications for the Church and Beyond." He has published a number of book chapters and journal articles on Latina/o and global Pentecostalism and on the sociology of religion -- two principal areas of his research and teaching. He has published columns on civil rights for El Diario and The New York Daily News, most recently advocating for civil rights for the LGBT community, humane immigration policies, opposing “Stop and Frisk” police practices and critiquing the prison industrial complex. Cruz has been recently featured in the Stop and Frisk docu-series: “The Pastor.” He is a frequent guest on MSNBC, the Melissa Harris Perry show, a frequent contributor to WBAI, and various other media outlets.

Over the last 15 years Dr. Cruz has been conducting ethnographic research on urban and Caribbean Latina/o religion, focusing predominantly on Pentecostalism and African-based Caribbean/Latina religions as well as comparative analyses of Latina/o religion and Euro-American religious traditions. His work on Latina/o Pentecostalism has helped bring to the forefront the roles that Latina/o Pentecostal congregations and organizations have had in the development of leadership within Latina/o communities throughout U.S. urban centers. His research also focuses on the intersection of religion and social processes especially the potentiality for liberation among racially, culturally and sexually oppressed groups. Currently Dr. Cruz’ research has focused on Latina/o churches and the inclusion of the LGBTQIQ community.

Cruz was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.  He was ordained in 1994 as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has also served as pastor in several churches in the metro New York area and is currently Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is married to Tania Stanchich and has three daughters, Amber, Jovana and Naome.

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El Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz obtuvo su doctorado en la Universidad de Drew en 2002. Actualmente se desempeña como Profesor de Iglesia y Sociedad en el Union Theological Seminary en la ciudad de New York. Con anterioridad, dio clases en el Departamento de Estudios Latinos e Hispano-Caribeños de Rutgers, la Universidad Estatal de New Jersey.

Es autor del libro Masked Africanisms: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism (Africanismos Enmascarados: Pentecostalismo en Puerto Rico), publicado en 2005, y editor de Christianity and Culture in the City: A Postcolonial Approach (Cristianismo y Cultura en la Ciudad: Un enfoque post-colonial), publicado en 2012. También es autor de varios capítulos de libros y de artículos en revistas especializadas sobre latina/os y pentecostalismo global y sobre sociología de la religión, que son sus áreas principales de investigación y enseñanza.

Asimismo, ha publicado columnas en los periódicos El Diario y The New York Daily News, más recientemente en favor de los derechos civiles de la comunidad LGBT, de una reforma migratoria, y de la abolición de la práctica de detención y cacheo (“Stop and Frisk”) de la policía de New York, y expresando sus críticas al complejo industrial de prisiones de los EEUU. Condenó la práctica del “Stop and Frisk” en el documental “The Pastor” (El Pastor) producido por “Comunidades Unidas por una Reforma Policial.”

El Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz es pastor de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en los EEUU (ELCA). Fue ordenado en 1994 y ha servido como pastor de distintas comunidades en el área metropolitana de New York. En este momento es el pastor principal en la Trinity Lutheran Church en Brooklyn, NY.  

El Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz nació en Brooklyn, NY. Está casado con Tania Stanchich, y tienen tres hijas – Amber, Jovana y Naome.

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