Rev. Dr. Patricia Hernandez began her life in the former Yugoslavia, before her parents, who were missionaries at the time, returned to the United States. Growing up in some of the great urban neighborhoods of Detroit, Philadelphia, and the Capital district of New York state, she developed a deep affinity for and sensitivity towards those who live on the margins of mainstream society. Out of this concern emerged her call to ministry. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Dr. Hernandez studied at Colgate Rochester Divinity School where she received her Master of Divinity degree. She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Central Baptist Theological Seminary where her dissertation focused on the practices that create access for women seeking to fulfill calls to senior pastoral ministry.
With a passion for the spiritual life, she has participated in programs at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and Oasis Ministries/Lancaster Theological Seminary receiving certificates in Spiritual Direction and Group Spiritual Direction. She also completed the Foundations for Christian Leadership program at Duke Divinity School and Interim Ministry training with the Center for Congregational Health.
After serving in a ministry with migrant farmworkers, she pastored churches in New York and Pennsylvania before being called to serve the American Baptist Churches of Michigan as the Consultant for Leadership Development. Currently, she serves as Associate General Secretary for American Baptist Women in Ministry and Transition Ministries with the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary.
More than degrees or position, what is important to her is breaking barriers, building bridges and becoming Beloved Community where all God’s people are able to fully utilize their God-given gifts and fully live out their God-given calls.
In all that she does, she strives to love God and love others as she lives out God’s call on her life, inviting others to do the same.