Rev. Rubén Ortiz has served in ministry for the past 30 years with a focus in leadership development, youth ministry, church planting, and community development. He is currently a candidate for a Master’s degree in Theological Studies (MTS) from Palmer Theological Seminary.
He currently serves as Director of National Programs at Esperanza, administering a network of mentoring programs and national initiatives. Part of his work at Esperanza includes overseeing the Barrio Youth Initiative, which includes the development and management of the Christian Ministry degree program with an emphasis in youth ministry, in partnership with Esperanza College of Eastern University. He also develops partnerships on behalf of Esperanza with faith-based organizations such as the American Bible Society and Young Life.
Rev. Ortiz also serves as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, an organization of pastors and ministers which provides leadership, training, spiritual and technical assistance; stimulates ministerial communication, cooperation and fellowship; and facilitates representation before government entities.
Rev. Ortiz has spoken to many faith-based groups on issues of urban ministry, youth development, cross-cultural leadership, and capacity-building. He also serves as the Board Chair of Timoteo, a year-round athletics program for young men of the Kensington community in North Philadelphia.
Previously, Rev. Ortiz was Director of Hispanic Engagement for the national headquarters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), where he drove the expansion of Latino mentoring to over 200 of BBBSA’s 345 agencies. Prior to that, he served as City Coordinator for the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative in Philadelphia, leading a cohort of pastors and youth ministers through an intensive training, developing communities of practice, and mentoring. He planted Iglesia Del Barrio (IDB) and served as its senior pastor for ten years. During part of this time he was a Project Director at Esperanza, directly responsible for helping build the capacity of over 100 faith and community based organizations. His previous work included management of Communities United to Empower Youth, a program to prevent gang activity, reduce youth violence, child abuse and neglect.