Union Theological Seminary Student Life


Samuel Cruz

Sam Cruz

Assistant Professor of Church and Society


3041 Broadway, BT 803
New York, NY 10027



Drew University, Ph.D., 2002

Drew University, M.Phil., 1999

New Brunswick Theological Seminary, M.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1994

College of New Rochelle, B.A., 1987


Assistant Professor of Church and Society Samuel Cruz, a 1987 graduate of the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, N.Y., received the M.A., Magna Cum Laude, from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1994 and the M.Phil from Drew University, Madison, N.J. in 1999. He completed his Ph.D. at Drew University in 2002.

Dr. Cruz comes to Union from Rutgers, the State University, New Brunswick, N.J., where he has been a lecturer in the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department since 2003 and an instructor at the Center for Children and Families since 2004.

Dr. Cruz’s publications include a book, Masked Africanisms: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2005) as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles on Latina/o and global Pentecostalism and on the sociology of religion-- two principal areas of his research and teaching.

Over the last decade he has been conducting ethnographic research on urban and Caribbean Latina/o religion, focusing predominantly on Pentecostalism and African based Caribbean/Latina religions and comparative analyses of Latina/o religion and Euro-American religious traditions. His work on Latina/o Pentecostalism has helped bring to the forefront the roles that Latina/o Pentecostal congregations and organizations have had in the development of leadership within Latina/o communities throughout U.S. urban centers. The role that Latina Pentecostal congregations have had in the facilitation and adaptation for Latino/a immigrant communities in the U.S. and in the fostering, maintenance and protection of culture is another dimension of his work. His research also focuses on the intersection of religion and social processes especially the potentiality for liberation among racially, culturally and sexually oppressed groups. Currently Dr. Cruz’ research has focused on Latin@ churches and the inclusion of the LGBTQIQ community.  The study of race, racism and ethnicity in the Caribbean and Latin America has been a major focus of his scholarship. He has lectured throughout Central America and the Caribbean. As a member of the Immigration Task Force of the ELCA and a community leader within the New Sanctuary Movement, Dr. Cruz has been actively organizing communities around issues of immigrant rights throughout NYC. Dr. Cruz was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  He has also served as pastor in several churches in the Metro-NY area.


African Religions in the Americas (Fall 2013)

Major Theories in the Sociology of Religion: Marx/Engels, Weber, Durkheim & Du Bois (with Jan Rehmann, Fall 2013)

Christianities in the City (Spring 2014)

Methods in the Study of Urban Life and Religion (Spring 2014)

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