Opinion | Pop Culture

Latina, Pentecostal, and College-Bound

How the church stands to benefit from rising educational attainment.
Latina, Pentecostal, and College-Bound
Image: COD Newsroom / Flickr

Educational gains among Latino youth pose an opportunity or a threat to the growing number of Latino Pentecostal churches in the U.S.

Latinos are graduating from high school and enrolling in college at record-high rates. At the same time, Latino Pentecostalism is on the rise. According to a Pew Research report released this year, two thirds of Hispanic Protestants self-identify as Pentecostal.

So when it comes to Latino evangelical churches and education, Pentecostals stand to benefit the most from improvements in the educational success of its Latino youth congregants—that is, if they can keep them.

Toxic rhetoric against higher education attainment preached from the pulpit and reinforced by members in Pentecostal churches can discourage aspiring young Latinos, especially young Latinas, from pursuing higher education altogether or from remaining in the churches that helped rear them.

As a Latina growing up in a large Latino Pentecostal church, I experienced firsthand ...

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