Andrews University Offering New Jewish-Christian Interdisciplinary Master's

June 23, 2019 | Education

A program never offered before at any Seventh-day Adventist college or university — a Master of Arts in Jewish-Christian studies — begins in May 2020. This degree explores the parallel histories of the Christian and Jewish communities from the birth of Jesus until today. It also investigates the large body of Jewish literature that imparts a clearer interpretation of the Old and New Testaments.

The vision for this degree arose as Alexander Bolotnikov of the North American Division’s Shalom Learning Center saw an alarming increase of Seventh-day Adventists converting to Judaism in recent years.

“Many Adventists are drawn to the Hebrew roots of their faith, yet common misunderstandings about Judaism among our pastors has aroused hostility when members ask questions about Jewish topics. This is unfortunate,” Bolotnikov says. “As a man raised in communism, I faced hostility because I was Jewish. I decided I should learn what it meant to be Jewish because I was raised as a communist, not a Jew. So, I went to the yeshiva. When I became a believer in Jesus, the only Christian church I could join without compromising Scripture was the Seventh-day Adventist.

“What I learned in the yeshiva has anchored me within Adventism. Thus, my dream developed of bringing together instructors and a curriculum that equips Adventists to interact effectively with both secular and religious Jews, while also addressing the attrition of our people to messianic congregations and Jewish communities like Chabad.”

Courses specific to this degree include Jewish life and thought; the Great Controversy, covenant, law and Sabbath; history of Jewish experience; and seminars in classical Jewish literature from both Old Testament and New Testament time frames. In addition, traditional Adventist topics such as the doctrine of the sanctuary and studies in Revelation and Daniel reflect overlooked ties to a Torah-based foundation.

Another unique property of this program is its accessibility. Rather than expecting students to live on campus, the classes will be held on campus for four weeks each May, with the balance of class time held online for the next 11 months. At the end of five years, students will be able to complete their degree while remaining employed.

Now is the time to apply. You may contact Alexander Bolotnikov by email or by phone at 503-481-3563, or you may contact Andrews University by email or 269-471-3218. You will also find more information about the program at www.ShalomLC.org/index.php/master-of-arts.