Rubén Arjona called to Union Seminary faculty

RICHMOND, VA (May 28, 2020) – Upon the recommendation of the president, the board of trustees of Union Presbyterian Seminary has appointed Rev. Dr. Rubén Arjona as assistant professor of pastoral care at the Richmond campus, effective July 1.

Arjona previously held the position of assistant professor of pastoral theology and care at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. An ordained pastor in the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico and former executive secretary of its board of education, he has served as pastor, moderator of the Berea Presbytery in Mexico City, and instructor in seminaries in his native Mexico.

Dr. Arjona brings an exemplary teaching resume, a growing retinue of important publications, a deep location in and commitment to the church, scholarly momentum to build upon the vocational foundation he has established, and a collegial and gracious spirit to the work of our school and faculty,” President Brian K. Blount said.  “I am excited to introduce him to the UPSem family.”

Arjona earned his Bachelor of Theology from the Seminario Teológico Presbiteriano de México, where he later served as an instructor. He received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and a Master of Theology with concentrations in pastoral care from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he later earned his Ph.D. in pastoral theology.  His dissertation was entitled “The Minister as Curator of Desire: A Model of Pastoral Accompaniment with Young Mexican Men.”

His areas of interest include the pastoral care of Mexican and Latino men, the intersections of pastoral care and liberation theologies, the care of couples and families, and the relevance of Erik H. Erikson’s psychosocial theory for a justice-oriented framework of care. He has taught graduate-level courses on these subjects, in addition to courses such as “Why the Church,” “Caring with the Oppressed Latinamente,” “Practical Theology,” and “Ministry and Human Sexuality.” He has published articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, including Pastoral Psychology and the Journal of Pastoral Theology.

“In the early 20th century, many Union graduates served in the Presbyterian mission field, including some that served in Mexico and Central America,” Arjona said. “In God’s providence, the time is ripe for a Mexican minister to serve Union Presbyterian Seminary. Inspired by a deep love for the Reformed tradition, I join UPSem with a heartfelt commitment to accompany students as they embrace the sacred vocation of caring for Christ’s Church in the World.”

Arjona is fluent in Spanish and English, and can read French and Portuguese.


Rubén Arjona headshot


Mike Frontiero
Director of Communications
Union Presbyterian Seminary