Faculty Profiles

Jair Pinedo

Jair Pinedo

Visiting Instructor in Urban Studies and Anthropology

On Faculty since 2023

[The University of Chicago] Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice
(Chicago, IL)
Master’s in Social Work 
Prof. Pinedo's master's thesis

The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The Divinity School - Master of Divinity

B.A. in Communication Studies, Cum Laude
Portland State University (Portland, OR)

Prior to instructing at Wheaton, Jair Hernandez Pinedo served for four years (2019-2023) as the Managing Director of Development and Communications at Sunshine Enterprises—a non-profit serving rising entrepreneurs in disinvested neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland by training coaching and connecting them. Sunshine Enterprises, began as a program of Sunshine Gospel Ministries—the organization that hosts our Wheaton in Chicago program. As an extension of his role at Sunshine was part of Elevated Chicago’s Green Line South, “E-hub” Steering Committee. Additionally he served as a part time lecturer at The University of Chicago’s school of Social Work, Policy and Practice where he taught a two-part Clinical Social Work, Direct Practice (2021-22 academic year). Previously he worked with Young Life (2007-2014) in Clackamas, Oregon. He earned his degree in Communication Studies from Portland State University (2011) and worked in a treatment facility for teens (2011-2015) as a Mental Health Counselor and Community Outreach Specialist. He moved to Chicago in 2015 to earn two Master's degrees (in Divinity and Social Work) from the University of Chicago by 2019. His Master's thesis was entitled, "Opting for the Poor Today: A Liberation of Our Scriptural, Christological and Historical Hermeneutics."

Jair has spent extensive time in Latin America serving as a minister and social worker in various capacities. He is passionate about addressing social problems related to poverty and contributing to solutions toward a more integrated and dignified society for all.  He has been a member of New Community Covenant Church  (Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago) since 2017, where he teaches Sunday school and is part of the Kid's City Ministry team. Next year he will be returning to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus on child welfare, fosterage and adoption. 

In his spare time Jair enjoys coaching wrestling, board games, distance running, karaoke, writing, reading (very interested in theology, and the social sciences), playing soccer, learning languages, performing poetry and comedy, and adventures to new places.