Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Michael Reid Trice

Second Advisor

Sharon H. Callahan

Third Advisor

Maria Teresa Lara-Montes


In this study, the researcher investigated the migration experience and resettlement of five Salvadoran women who sought refuge in the United States. Unlike refugees who have been placed after a vetting process, through an international placement program and the United States State Department, Salvadorans have often fled to the United States, with or without U.S. federal authorization. Often they have applied for asylum after arriving in the United States. This leaves many Salvadorans (1) separated from family members and loved ones, (2) facing possible economic hardship, and (3) vulnerable to detention and deportation. Yet, these immigrants have demonstrated—if we go back historically to the Salvadoran Civil War of the 1980s—an ability not only to survive but also to thrive in their adopted country. This study documents their experiences, challenges, and hopes to achieve a purposeful sampling (Patton 2015, 52–53) and examination of patterns (Saldana 2016, 236) emerging from narrative coding (Saldaña 2016, 196–97) through face-to-face interviews with a small group of recently immigrated Salvadoran women. Specifically, through five interviews and field observations, this research elicited testimony from recent, Salvadoran women immigrants to determine the values and principles that undergird their survival and thriving. This project attempts to describe what these women can teach the faith community and church members in the U.S., by discerning the steps that promote mutual proposals for action.

Data interpretation included analyzing the interviewees responses using a lens of faith rooted in the interviewees’ self-reflection, sense of community, and relationship with personal faith and local churches. As agents of their own destiny, the interviewees offered much that would improve their lives and the lives of Salvadorans in general. These offerings include: (1) understanding the impact of policies that reflect their struggle in the United States, and (2) discerning ministry that purports to provide authentic accompaniment by walking alongside one another while practicing a faith that pursues social justice.