Skip to main content

Yara González-Justiniano

Assistant Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture

Dr. Yara González-Justiniano is Assistant Professor of Religion, Culture, and Psychology with emphasis in Latinx Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is also affiliated faculty of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies.

Her most recent publication Centering Hope as a Sustainable Decolonial Practice: Esperanza en Práctica (2022), restless with answering the question of what does hope look like in the midst of socioeconomic crisis. Her interdisciplinary approach to this inquiry grounds itself in ethnographic research in hopes of finding practices that enable a hope that can sustain the collective.

She received a PhD in Theological Studies with concentration in church and society from Boston University School of Theology, where she also received her Master of Divinity. At the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. González-Justiniano earned a B.A. in Audiovisual Communications with a concentration on film; she also double majored in theater and modern languages. Her educational journey of interdisciplinarity inform the ways in which she approaches theological studies.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt Divinity faculty, Dr. González-Justiniano was Visiting Assistant Professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as a Louisville Postdoctoral Fellow. Here she also served as DMin program Track Adviser for the students in the Preaching and Leadership in LatinX Congregations.

Dr. González-Justiniano had the role of national director of the Raíces Latinas Leadership Institute, where she managed leadership development programming and served as an academic adviser to participants. She also served as assistant director and Senior Program coordinator in the Office of Contextual Education and Community Partnerships at Boston University School of Theology.

Her research and teaching interests include Latinx theologies, Latin American Liberation theology, ecclesiology and pastoral theologies, memory studies, postcolonial and decolonial theory, popular culture and film, and popular religion and theologies of hope.

She is also currently under care in the ordination process with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the New England region.