The Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary, the
preeminent training ground for the church’s religious leaders at Andrews
University, has chosen its first woman to serve as associate dean, a
development that comes the same month that the university named a woman as its
Teresa Reeve, an associate professor of New Testament contexts,
will fill a role vacated by Clifford Jones, who will become president of the
church’s Lake Region Conference on July 1.
“This is a historical nomination because for the first time
a lady will hold this position!” seminary dean Jiří Moskala said in a letter to
seminary faculty and students this week.
Moskala said the selection process had included
consultations with the church’s North American Division and the General
Conference, which oversees the world church, and he believed that the
appointment would bring “unique diversity in our leadership.”
Addressing Reeve, he said, “I praise God for you, and I am
glad that I can play a part in this historic moment. I am looking forward to an
excellent collaboration with you.”
Reeve, who received her doctorate from the University of
Notre Dame and has taught at Andrews for 11 years, said she would seek to promote
greater learning and leadership in her new position, which she likened to the
role of academic dean.
“I have to make sure that we are making the best leaders for
the church,” she said Wednesday by telephone from Pittsburgh, where she was
attending an Association of Theological Schools conference. “I believe we are
in the last days and we are on the verge of great new things that God wants to
do for us in the church.”
Reeve promised to spend a lot of time listening, especially
to the faculty. “They are the center of the institution,” she said. “We have a
She conceded that some people in the Adventist church might
find it “a new idea” to have a woman serve as associate dean. But she said that
on a personal level she didn’t see her appointment as a gender issue.
“The seminary believes that God gives people gifts and gives
them for a reason,” she said. “It’s about pursuing God’s calling and gifting.”
Reeve’s appointment comes weeks after Andrews announced that
that June Price, associate dean of its Lamson women’s residence hall, would become
lead chaplain on July 1. The university said it had invested a substantial
amount of time in the search process before deciding that Price would replace
Japhet De Oliveira, who left in January to pastor in Boulder, Colorado.
“We are delighted to provide an opportunity for June to
share with our entire campus community the spiritual gifts and leadership she
has so effectively honed and demonstrated over the last decade in her ministry
to Lamson residents,” Frances Faehner, vice president of student life at
Andrews and chair of the search committee, said in a statement on June 5.
Price said in the statement that she was “humbled and
honored to serve the family of God as chaplain.”
Meanwhile, Moskala, the seminary dean, praised Jones for his
19 years of work at Andrews, including the past 10 years as associate dean. “We
will greatly miss you as a person and [for] your expertise,” he said. “The only
comfort is that you will still live in Berrien Springs and do contract teaching
The Lake Region Conference that Jones will lead oversees more than 100 churches and eight elementary and high schools in the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is one of four conferences comprising the Lake Union Conference.
Reeve graduated with a doctorate in Christianity and Judaism
in Antiquity from Notre Dame in 2000. Before that, she earned her bachelor’s at
Pacific Union College and went on to receive two master’s degrees from Andrews
University, including one in educational and developmental psychology in 1990
and a second in divinity in 1997, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Her husband, John, is an assistant professor of church history at the theological seminary and
also serves as editor of Andrews University
Seminary Studies, the institution’s scholarly journal.
On LinkedIn, Reeve summarizes herself in one sentence: “Just
a quiet servant of the King of the Universe — looking forward to welcoming Him
Contact Adventist Review news editor Andrew McChesney at [email protected].