Thirty flags line the walls of Mackay Dining Hall, only a fraction of the countries represented in the Princeton Seminary community. Francisco Peláez-Díaz learned about Princeton Theological Seminary while studying theology in Mexico City. A PhD candidate in religion and society, Peláez-Díaz’s research now focuses on theological responses to migration.
Q: Where is home?
A: Puebla City, the fourth largest city in Mexico. It is the place where the Battle of Cinco de Mayo took place on May 5, 1862 against the French army, which was considered the world’s most powerful army at the time.
Today, Puebla’s gastronomy is nationally recognized and some of Mexico’s national dishes originated in Puebla, such as mole poblano (a rich and spicy dark red-brown sauce that can be served with chicken or turkey) and chiles en nogada (poblano chiles stuffed with a mixture of shredded meat, fruit, and spices, topped with a cream sauce and pomegranate seeds).
Q: What drew you to Princeton Seminary? What has your experience here been like?
A: I came to Princeton Seminary because one of my theology professors in Mexico City is a Seminary graduate. I also read John A. Mackay’s books in undergrad since he was a missionary and educator in Mexico and Latin America for a number of years before becoming the third president of Princeton Seminary (1936-1959). Princeton Theological Seminary is known in Latin America in large part due to the work and influence of John A. Mackay.
My overall experience at Princeton Seminary has been good, especially because bibliographical and other resources relevant to my research are abundant and available in our library’s extensive collection. The Hispanic Theological Initiative has also been a significant source of support and guidance during my doctoral program. My advisors have been key in making my experience at Princeton Seminary very rich and formative. The quality of the courses overall was excellent and the experience of serving as a teaching assistant for a number of professors has been very enriching as well.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m hoping to teach at a seminary, religion department, or divinity school. Since I served as a pastor before coming to seminary, I would like to engage in pastoral ministry again to some degree while teaching at an institution.