Francisco Garcia, Jr.
Francisco García is a PhD Student in Theological Studies, with a minor in Ethics and Action at Vanderbilt University in the Graduate Department of Religion. He's also a Graduate Research Fellow at the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and serves part-time as an Assistant Chaplain at St. Augustine's Episcopal Chapel in Nashville. Francisco comes to Vanderbilt from Los Angeles, California, and grew up in a working-class, Roman Catholic, Mexican immigrant household. Francisco attended UCLA where he received a BA in Latin American Studies and Public Policy, and concurrent Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies. Francisco found his way to the Episcopal Church as a young adult, where he discerned a call in community to ordained ministry. He completed his M.Div. from the joint program at the Claremont School of Theology and the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, and was ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in June 2013. Prior to ordination, Francisco worked in the labor movement in various organizing, negotiating, and leadership capacities with workers in both the public and private sectors.
As an Episcopal priest, labor and community organizer, Francisco’s work over the last dozen years has centered around congregation-based ministry and interfaith community organizing around immigrant rights, housing rights, and racial and economic justice issues in the greater Los Angeles region. During this time, he served in pastoral roles at two parishes—as the Director of Peace and Justice Ministries, and Bilingual/Latin@/x Ministries at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, and later as the Rector of Holy Faith Episcopal Church, a multiracial, multilingual congregation in Inglewood, California.
Francisco has continued to support and engage in faith, community and labor efforts in the Nashville region and nationally. His doctoral research project entails developing theologies and ecclesiologies rooted in the organizing, social movement, and liberative faith traditions, in order to better equip communities of faith to address the pressing justice issues of our time.