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Old Testament scholar and Czech native Jiří Moskala will lead the Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Michigan. He was appointed yesterday by the university's board of trustees. [photo: Darren Heslop]
March 06, 2013 | Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States | Author: Keri Suarez
Old Testament scholar Jiří Moskala was chosen yesterday to serve as dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, located in the U.S. state of Michigan.
Moskala, who has served at the Seminary since 1996, will fill the role held by current dean Denis Fortin, who last October announced his intention to return to fulltime teaching at the seminary by this autumn.
Moskala currently serves as professor of Old Testament exegesis and theology and chair of the Department of Old Testament. His new appointment is effective July 1.
“Dr. Moskala is a fine academic scholar and very loyal to the church. I don’t know anyone who can question his commitment to the mission and values that we stand for,” said Ben Schoun, chair of the Andrews University Board of Trustees and a general vice president of the Adventist world church.
Of his appointment, Moskala said, “My vision for the Theological Seminary is to be the light for the world and the theological resource for the church. We are here to serve the worldwide church in various capacities to prepare future church leaders to work and deal with different challenges in order to proclaim the eternal Gospel with conviction, urgency and passion, make a difference for good, and prepare people for the soon second coming of Jesus.”
The seminary dean is a member of the The Adventist world church's International Board of Theological and Ministerial Education, the North American Division Executive Committee, and the North American Division Board of Theological and Ministerial Education. Additionally, the dean works closely with leadership from both the Adventist church’s North American Division and the world church headquarters.
Schoun said the seminary also acts as a think-tank for the Adventist Church. “For those of us in church leadership who are out encouraging the work on the ground to go forward, it’s nice to get the council of the thinkers who are here at the seminary.”
Seventh-day Adventist world church president Ted N. C. Wilson said Moskala comes from a “strong biblical and mission-oriented background.”
“He and his family are very focused on the tremendous task the Lord has given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and out of that grows his passion for the educational process and mission of the church,” Wilson said. “It is a blessing to have someone like that heading the seminary, keeping in front of many theological students, not only the academic side, which is very important, but also the practical mission side as we approach Christ's soon coming.”
A native of the Czech Republic, Moskala received a Master of Theology in 1979 and a Doctor of Theology in 1990, both from the Comenius Faculty of Protestant Theology (now Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University). In 1998, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy from Andrews University.
Moskala began his ministry as a pastor for the Czecho-Slovakian Union, serving in this capacity until 1989. When the Communist regime fell after the Velvet Revolution, he established and served as the first principal of the Theological Seminary in Prague. Moskala has also served as director of the Life and Health Society, Education Department and Health Department for the Czecho-Slovakian Union.
Moskala has served as a speaker for many Bible conferences and theological symposia in all 13 divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and he has lectured at Adventist universities and colleges around the world.
He is a member of various theological societies including the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, Adventist Theological Society, Chicago Society of Biblical Research, Society of Biblical Literature, and Society of Christian Ethics. Moskala has authored or edited a number of articles and books in both Czech and English. In addition, he has participated in several archaeological expeditions in Tall Jalul, Jordan.
The seminary’s mission is to prepare ministers and teachers for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It offers several master’s degrees and five doctoral programs: Doctor of Ministry; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical & Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Religion, and Religious Education; and Doctor of Theology.
Andrews is an institution of both the North American Division and the Adventist Church world headquarters, which means that it serves a broad constituency beyond its own division. Two other university seminaries are also institutions of the world church headquarters: the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies, located in the Philippines, and Adventist University of Africa, located in Kenya.